I’ve spent a good part of today sitting in a hospital room with my oldest son, who will leave in a couple of days with an astronomical hospital bill and no major medical insurance to apply to it.
Because of pre-existing medical conditions, he has been unable to purchase individual health insurance for several years, and his employer did not offer it. The limited indemnity plan he was able to get is aptly named: “limited” is the operative word.
While sitting in his room today, however, we were able to access the healthcare.gov website and with little trouble (other than a slow wifi connection) sign him up for an excellent policy at affordable rates (while deeply regretting we hadn’t done so earlier!).
My son has worked hard to complete his college education and some post-graduate work while struggling to find a full-time job that offers an adequate income and any sort of healthcare benefits. He doesn’t go around asking the government for help — but he wouldn’t have been able to obtain health insurance if not for the Affordable Care Act. For me, his is the face of why this law, with all of it’s growing pains, was sorely needed.
When the “Bridgegate” involving New Jersey governor Christie’s staff hit the news last week, Republicans and Democrats alike decried the notion of blocking traffic as a political vendetta against a mayor who didn’t endorse their candidate. Yet, a determined passell of politicians in both Washington and right-leaning states has been doing precisely that for the past two years, throwing up every roadblock they could possibly find to sidetrack or delay the Affordable Care Act and embarrass President Obama in the process.
I know that many of these folk are well-meaning and may have real issues with the law: but there also seems to be an undeniable element of anti-Obamaism involved — anything to obstruct the president’s initiatives seems to be fair game, but it’s the hardworking but underserved citizens of our country who’ve been sitting in the politically contrived traffic jam that, thankfully, is finally beginning to move.
I for one am grateful for a president whose concern for the citizenry goes beyond posturing to take the risks and do the work of real change that will make an amazing difference for millions of deserving Americans.