Saturday, October 26, 2013

Counting on the ACA

WaPo letter to the editor:
E.J. Dionne Jr. rightly urged us all to “Take a deep breath” [op-ed, Oct. 24] in the face of the “staggeringly complex task” of launching the Web site for the Affordable Care Act.

I’ve heard it said that, if all the battleships launched in World War II had waited until they were fully equipped for battle, none would have left port. Anyone who thinks a massive computer program can be launched without major glitches lives in a fantasy world. Every businessman knows that creating new Web sites, even modest ones, entails complex programming whose bugs take time to eliminate. It took years for Social Security and Medicare to run smoothly.

Despite all the political capital Republicans have spent trashing Obamacare, I fear that Republicans will be left with egg on their face once the administration applies its massive resources to getting the system up to speed.

Richard L. McCloud, Reston
I am counting dearly on the ACA. I am a self-employed person who cannot purchase insurance at any price due to pre-existing conditions.

I paid for my own health insurance for several years after I turned freelance, thanks to COBRA. By June 2002 it cost me $292/month, which didn't include prescription coverage.

In 2003 I moved to Ogunquit, Maine for the winter, and my premiums doubled overnight. I couldn't afford that, and dropped the coverage I had.

I haven't had insurance since, except for a few months in Oregon when I qualified for the Oregon Health Plan. Unless you are destitute, which I am not, you can't qualify. I've had the dreaded "pre-existing" conditions since I was 23, and stumbled backward onto my butt when I was playing squash. I broke my tailbone, and eventually had to have it removed surgercially, but it has hurt ever since. And that's just the start of it. I am too complicated to be profitable to any insurance company. Does that mean I'm supposed to go without health insurance for the rest of my life?

If Obamacare fails, I simply don't know what I will do. I have never felt more involved and dependent on a legislative effort than I have for the ACA.

It's not a perfect law. I could get ironed out, if the Republicans gave a shit. But they do not.

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