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What health care reform means to me... - John [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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What health care reform means to me... [Jun. 28th, 2012|10:07 pm]
I'm 45 years old. I'd pay a lot for a health insurance policy in any case, but, just a few years back, I learned something. The odds were very high that I just couldn't get one, at any price.

See, I've been treated for depression. A lot of insurance companies just wouldn't write an individual policy, not at any price, just because of that. Plus, with a family history of diabetes, and my substantial gut, probably no one would want me. If I hid those things, I'd face rescission (as soon as I started to cost more than my premium payments, that is).

Every time I go to my doctor, I have to ask myself if I want to investigate something. Back when I thought maybe - maybe - I had a minor heart issue, I was wondering if investigating it might shut me out of the individual market completely and forever. What if they found a small arrhythmia that made me more at risk for expensive medical conditions? That would pretty much close the door on getting an individual policy, and might even put me in a situation in which I couldn't join a small group policy. (Sure, I could - and they'd get one of those off-the-record calls that if they drop me, their rates won't keep going up 30% a year until they can't afford it.) (As those of you who've followed this journal should know, my heart is so sound that one cardiologist was willing to label me the cardiology-clinic version of a GOoMER... not something a heart-doc would do if there was any substantial risk of being wrong!)

But now, the Supreme Court agreed that the health care reform bill is constitutional.

Now, if I want a policy, in a bit over two years, they'll ask me a few basic questions (like age and sex) and won't be able to ask about my medical conditions... or, if they do ask, they can't change the rates. Nope; if they want to cover 47-48 year olds at all, they'll have to cover me for that 47-48 year old man-rates. If I want to join a startup, or a small consulting group, I won't have to worry about being the weak link (though with recent health changes, who knows? Maybe I'll be the strong link!).

Is this perfect? Of course not; there are many better ways to handle paying for health care. Lots of other countries use them. The Congress rejected a lot of good ideas for some really stupid reasons.

It's still a lot better than it was, and now there's a chance of things getting even better over the long run.

If you're one of those who thinks that it would be good if "Obamacare" was repealed, well, let me just tell you that you really don't want to discuss that with me. I won't say you're not allowed to have that opinion; I'm not a fool. But it's vanishingly unlikely that your reasoning will impress me.