Here is comment I received from a gal, a reader of mine named Emmie here at AskMarion. Neither of these women are alone or exceptions… their situations are repeated hundreds of times daily…
I wanted to contact you privately but cannot find an email address for you anywhere. So I will write here and hope you see it.
I was all for healthcare reform because I found it unacceptable that so many Americans were unable to get it. This sounded like a good thing. So I tried to allay the fears of people like you whenever I heard concerns being raised. Boy, was I ever played!
I am currently between jobs. Cobra will run me about $500 a month – more than half of my mortgage. Not an option. Okay, I’ll go through healthcare.gov and see what they have to say. Well, that will run me more than $300 a month. Unemployment won’t garner me enough money to consider this and I’m not poor enough to qualify for any tax credits. Forget what my situation is – they don’t care that a bad economy, a major illness and two job losses, one of which resulted in gross underemployment, has led to a growing pile of bills. They don’t ask those kinds of questions. They don’t care. So I click on one of the two options remaining in IL, and I call Assurant. Sure, they can get me something for under $200 a month, but it won’t cover any pre-existing conditions. Wait, wha??? I thought that was part of the reform!?! Only if you go with the ACA plans! This fixed coverage won’t pay for much, certainly not major med if something happens, and since it’s not one of ACA plans, I’ll have to pay a penalty for using it. WHAT?! Oh, yes! There is a penalty, I was told by the nice lady at Assurant. Is this something you’ve read about anywhere? I’ve read that people will face a penalty if they have NO insurance, but I can’t seem to find anything about a penalty if they opt to go with a cheap plan outside of the ACA plans.
Now, how in God’s name are we supposed to pay for a government insurance policy that costs so much money we cannot afford it, yet if we don’t go that route we’ll be penalized anyway? If I was once considered middle class, and I’m struggling, how the heck will those who couldn’t afford healthcare before suddenly be able to afford it now?
I know it says there are exceptions and that people who face financial hardships will be excluded from penalties, but guess what? My hardships are never hard enough, apparently. I never qualify for any kind of aid or assistance or help of any kind. I guess it’s time I start considering filing bankruptcy since I’m losing faith. I long ago lost the hope Obama had the audacity to pedal.