Photograph from the LA Times
In the next couple of weeks, I need to determine what health insurance options are available to me.
This whole business of acquiring health insurance is a bit of a conundrum for me. I’m too young to qualify for Medicare, but earn too much to qualify for Medicaid. I’m at that earnings cusp that if I select a “Silver” plan it puts me in precarious financial position. Putting me in a position to skip a month paying one bill or paying both and risk overdrawing my checking account.
Before you get your henchmen to lecture me on living frugally, I can vow I live within a very tight budget. What I earn goes out to rent, taxes, food, insurance, gas and that’s about it.
Before the Affordable Care Act (ACA), I had freelancers’ health insurance, which I could afford pre-Great Recession. After the economic downturn, I didn’t have enough money to afford the premium, and my only recourse was not getting ill.
That changed for me in 2014 when I learned I had three pre-cancerous lesions on my cervix. Luckily, thanks to the ACA, I had an affordable plan that helped pay for the procedure I needed and for the two times I went to the hospital via ambulance.
I also have a pre-existing condition—hypertension. I need to take medication to keep my blood pressure in check. With my current insurance, the beta-blockers I take cost me $32 for ninety days worth of pills. Without insurance it costs almost $150. I can’t afford that. There are certain lifestyle changes I am making to help lower my blood pressure, like losing weight, watching my sodium intake, and keeping calm, but that last one is tricky because I don’t know what to expect from your presidency.
To keep my composure and my blood pressure at a healthy range, I have elected to no longer read any news about you. The schadenfreude obtained from reading or listening to reports that ridicule you and your henchmen no longer gratify me because the damage you have caused since the moment you stepped into the White House has affected every individual in this country.
I believe remaining ignorant is dangerous—as witnessed by your many actions—but in my case, it might save me from having a stroke.