My wife Jenny has it too, and thankfully my son has it as well because Montana has Montana Healthy Kids.
Jenny and I have Obamacare, however, which I just signed up for last night.
It costs us $7 a month.
That gets us a plan with a $12,000 deductible.
Yes, that means we have to pay $12,000 each year before insurance will cover a thing. When insurance does kick in, however, they pay for 100% of everything else.
So this is good in case we get some serious illness or get in a car crash or something.
It also gets us one free doctor’s visit a year.
It was probably that last point that pushed me over the edge into signing up. You see, I went to the doctor recently.
For the past couple years I’ve been having these chest, arm, back and shoulder pains.
I’ve had them looked at before, but over the past month they were just bothering me more than usual.
So I scheduled an appointment with Partnership Health Center, mainly because they have a sliding scale and I thought I’d get a good price.
Boy, was I stupid.
A week after my visit I got a bill for $256.
I was hoping for $30 to $100 to be completely honest.
Again, boy was I stupid.
So why did it cost that much?
Well I got in there and right away they were alarmed when they read “chest pains” on my sheet. That got me hooked up to an ECG to check my heart.
There were no problems there, or anywhere, really. I talked with the doctor for a bit and he had no answers.
I hadn’t expected any, however. Mainly I was there to get some peace of mind, a sense that I wouldn’t drop dead form a heart attack (we do have heart disease and stroke in my family).
I sure as shit didn’t think I’d be hit with a bill for $256. I called them up and said as much, and that got the bill kicked back up to Billing.
So far no new bill has come in the mail, though when it does I’m expecting it’ll be higher.
Yeah, healthcare in America – broken as hell.
So I decided to spend $7 a month so my wife and I can forgo that hassle in the future, get one free visit a year, and if all hell breaks loose, not be shackled to tens of thousands or God forbid, hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical debt.
So again, I’m paying for peace of mind.
Many others are also paying for the peace of mind that Obamacare gives them. Our legislators in Washington are coming to realize that.
Just today there was a story on The Hill called Republicans divided over how far to go with Obamacare repeal.
“Repealing the Medicaid expansion is a dicey proposition for endangered Senate incumbents running in four states,” the article says, “Illinois, Ohio, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania.”
Those are 2016 battleground states so you know the national GOP party isn’t going to want to rock the boat there, turn swing voters or stay-at-homers to the Democrats.
What’s more, one Senate Republican “expressed concern that states that expanded Medicaid would be penalized by billions of dollars if Congress repealed the federal assistance.”
The fed carry a big stick and billions of dollars is quite the carrot to dangle in front of them, quite the carrot to get them to do what you want.
“I don’t want to stick the state with the bill,” one lawmaker said.
No shit, Sherlock – do you think you’ll have a snowball’s chance in hell of getting reelected if you strip billions of dollars from the state’s budget, which repealing federal assistance essentially is as it creates a gaping budget shortfall? Wake the hell up, dimwit!
Even here in Montana Steve Daines is coming to realize this is not a winning issue.
“I respect the decision of our legislator and our governor on Medicaid expansion,” he said in the article. “I’m one who respects their rights and voices.”
So we’ll get no pushback from Daines and that means Zinke will likely fall into line as well.
I'd like to add that my healthcare is so cheap because I get a $511 tax credit each month.
Yeah, my plan is $518 without that. So someone is picking up that "free lunch."
That means that long-term, this is not a sustainable program. Eventually the federal government will have to come to terms with its spending policies, its debt, and perhaps even what it takes in for taxes.
We're broke, and Obamacare does not help that.
So this is the argument that we have in Montana in the legislature.
But do you think it'll be an argument when the money the feds are giving us comes into play and the Republicans have to find a way to make that up?
No, Obamacare in Montana is a done deal - the money is already flowing.
Now, someone please tell that to our Republican legislators.