I am deflated.
Today was the day that I learned that under the Affordable Care Act I will have (somewhere abouts) a $6,000 deductible–IF I can get coverage at all.
$6,000! That’s what I make a year (Again… if I can get coverage at all in Florida)
That’s it. I am losing the health plan (Alachua County Choices) I have now, a plan I like, and am being forced under penalty of law to take on an inferior plan, one that not only does not help me in the slightest, it is in fact devastating to me. That is the best case scenario, the ACA is rigged in Florida to the point where I may simply be left entirely out in the cold. Yes, America, the greatest Aristocracy money can buy! I literally do not know how I am going to navigate my complicated health life with the ACA or without. I was doing fine without it through Choices health care with the county. As far as I’m concerned Obama has been of NO value. He came in, sold us on hope and change and delivered nothing, including the ACA, which does NOTHING to ease the pain of poor people. Blame Rick Scott all you want, Obama was the one that backed down and pulled the public option–and I’m tired of hearing people make excuses for this drone bombardier, Republican in Democrat drag, and conman. In answer to Palin’s question that went something like: how’s that hopie changie thing working for you? Well, Sarah, we’ll tell you as soon as we see some. And NO, the Republicans are not entirely to blame, Obama has been a coward and a follower during a time when we needed a leader and a man of conviction.
I became overwhelmed as I realized the implications of this devastating news regarding the ACA, and had to excuse myself from Christmas to come home. This is one of the most important issues in my life at the moment. I had so naively thought that this change over to the ACA was going to improve my life. Learning that it was going to make my life worse… pitched me into an inner spiral I couldn’t control.
I didn’t know what to do, so I chose to try and do the impossible and meditate.
I lit incense, bowed before Ganesh, not knowing what I was wanting, looking for, needing, let alone what I was asking for. This is how I meditate. I can’t seem to find that silent inner place yet (I have a powerful ego, or perhaps it’s partly because I am afraid of that place), so I meditate in a different way; to still the chaos to a single clarity. I meditate to find my way through the chaos. At moments like this my heart and head are full of conflicts, imaginings, dread, confusion, anger, helplessness, fears, fears, and more fears, I meditate, focusing my eyes directly on Ganesha’s face while I stare through the clamor upsetting my every breath and hair. I focus my mind on the “nothing” in the middle of the chaos. Sometimes, Gods willing, I find clarity there. I find there the only thing I need to know, the only thing that will allow me to rise up and stop the anxiety and depression.
Tonight there was not one thing, there were two.
The first clean and simple spot of clarity was that time and again I am thrown to my own wolves over these sorts of things… dispirited and overwhelmed by them, but there is a way out without having to kick back and fight the biting and snarling wolves. The way out is that single truth, that pinpoint of clarity offered through my meditations on Ganesh. Tonight the first note of clarity was: this is nothing you haven’t survived before, this is just more of the same… I will keep going just as I always have and always will. Believe it or not, this was a profound comfort, it allowed me to shrug it off. This is just one more bullshit thing in the shit-storm of life. Learning to weather these things better, with the confidence that things were never any different before the latest crisis, that somehow made it not only bearable, but hardly out of the ordinary. The ACA has in fact done nothing more or less than deliver me to exactly the same place I was in before it came along. No hope and no change, but I’ve survived this long, so what’s the difference?
The second pinpoint of clarity that came to me through Ganesh was to love everyone else who is experiencing this same distress.
If you are truly being devastated in your poverty by this Affordable Care Act mess (and I have NO interest in arguing over who made the mess)… I love you.
If you are different, have different needs, if this ACA mess makes your challenging life more challenging… I love you.
If you are fed up, exhausted and think you can’t fight one more battle… I love you.
If you become overwhelmed and can’t find your footing… I love you.
If you just can’t bear one more disappointment or complication… I love you.
Now, the hard part, and perhaps with many years of bowing before Ganesh I can learn to do it. Perhaps I can learn to love Obama, the Tea Partiers, the Republicans, the Democrats, Bush, Reagan, the insurance company executives, big bank executives, hospital executives, Ricks Scott… the whole lot of them, if I can learn to love them, then I will truly know God, and know myself. But for now, I just can’t bring myself to do that.
(p.s. What I am hoping is that what I have learned about the ACA is not going to pan out to be true, in which case this blog was a release of emotion, and a good lesson all the same, however, my source for this was very well researched and reliable.)
I am having a very similar reaction to obamacare. I have been trying to get clarity on the ACA for 7 months – i’ve spent hundreds of hours, and it’s gotten to the point where my battle find someone who can explain the ACA has put me in the hospital and on blood pressure medicine. Seriously – the most dangerous thing I can do these days is try to see a doctor – it averages about a week of lost work fighting through the bureaucracy. In fact, I tried to pay a doctor cash but that is now illegal for me due to obtuse state laws. I’m stuck in ACA Hell – i’ve actually considered just putting a bullet in my own brain to escape the bureaucratic nightmare of the ACA.
And I did have and still have health insurance – it’s just not ‘compliant’ for various trivial, idiotic reasons that have no bearing, at all, on my health care reality. My existing policy, which I purchased overseas, where I live around 6 months of the year and which I have had for years does not provide me with maternity care – I’m male – I really doubt that my testes will morph in a uterus and I’ll get pregnant. But since I do not have maternity coverage, I still have to pay the tax penalty – this is *just one* example of the kind of crap I’ve been sorting through for months.
I have not been able to locate a single person in the federal government, hundreds of hours, hundreds of phone calls, dozens of agencies who understands this law. I’ve even had staff at the U.S. Capitol Police yell at me, threatening to put me in prison if I kept insisting that the legislators should understand the laws they pass – this, they said, is unreasonable, because law is complex. The fact that the law is too complicated for the legislators to understand should be an indicated that it may be too difficult to apply to our lives.
I recognize that I am in a unique situation – but still, proper legislation would provide a vehicle by which I could document my compliance – and there is no such process. Proper legislation does not require that you predict the future under penalty of perjury – but that is, specifically, what I’ve been told – under penalty of perjury I need to provide a travel schedule for the next 18 months of my life. It is insane – there is no point to this law.
I’m 100% for accessible health care – one of the reasons I live overseas as much as I do is because I have access to extremely high quality health care with pre-insurance costs around 1/30th of the costs in the united states.
Good luck in your battle against the evil of the ACA.
Thanks, your exhaustion is well placed. It is sad that I have to agree with tea baggers on an issue, though I disagree entirely in what is the source of our hatred for the ACA. In practice, this is not a form of welfare (as the tea baggers would attest), it is not “socialism,” it is quite the opposite, an outright example of capitalism raping the people. I had to write more on this recently: https://barefootjustine.com/2014/05/07/the-hell-of-half-ass-obamacare/ Well, be well, ’cause if either of us get sick… we are fucking screwed.
Best of luck to you as well – i joined a republican senatorial campaign based on this – even though I pretty much disagree with republicans across the board. Fortunately, if I get sick we actually have a health care home – mine is a multi-nationality family, and we are dual-domiciled. I have a home in northern Thailand – and when there we have awesome, affordable health care. My wife, for example, had a hot oil fryer explode in front of her – 3rd degree burns on her arm and some plastic surgery over 4 days in the hospital to fix it. Total cost, pre insurance, was about $6000. I paid about $500 out of pocket as our health insurance covered the rest.
In the united states, we have maintained catastrophic health insurance with the primary concept of “stabilizing and getting to thailand” in the event of a health care emergency. What i love best about the health care over there is that it is patient driven – there are no lawyers, the insurance will and won’t cover some things – but the costs are not unreasonable. I wanted an EKG one year, it was $60 including the consultation afterwards – totally optional, I paid cash, no insurance involved. I’ve never felt safer in terms of health care, and it was amazing to feel that health care was an asset and a friend – it is so different from what I feel in the united states.
We desperately need health care reform in the united states – it’s too bad that they totally screwed the pooch with this. I’m here for a few years, but it is clear that the sun is setting on the united states – it’s not much of a society anymore, and almost impossible to live here….. over 1000 pages of obtuse legislation now block my access to a doctor…. it is obscene….
i joined a republican senatorial campaign – and it makes me want to wash my soul with bleach.
Best of luck to you, and I wish you good health!
Thanks again. I, like you, had at one point fled the US in the hopes of staying out. I worked in Korea for a couple years (battled cancer there… thank GOD that happened to me in Korea where they have universal healthcare), and had planned on retiring in Thailand. As it stands I am in the States, and I tend to agree, the States is on a decline that his taking the whole world with it. It’s terribly sad and enraging. Stay well, fight the good fight, but most importantly, eat and sleep well.