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Wednesday, May 4, 2011


Dear Republicans,

I love you. I really, really do! Some of my best friends are Republican.

What I love most about you is your unbelievable optimism and confidence. In fact, I am so terrified and pessimistic about the future of health care in the USA that I am thinking of becoming a Republican so I won’t care any more!

Well, really, I am mostly worried about the future of my health care and I am supposed to be a bleeding heart liberal. How I envy those Republicans—not only are they unconcerned about the health care of others, they aren’t even worried at all about their own health care--or financial survival in old age! How confident! How optimistic!

I have been in HCSS—Health Care Sticker Shock—for 23 solid years. Twenty-three years ago is when I stopped working, lost all health care benefits and my husband and I began purchasing every stinking last little thingy for ourselves: health insurance, life insurance, disability insurance, all retirement planning…$yada, $yada, $yada.

So, I “Googled” Ryan’s Plan and you should try it! WOW! All I can say is there are some strange people in the world. OK, back to health care.

Coupons? Vouchers? Sticker books? Will we be able to trade? Will I be able to trade my husband one vasectomy for a mammogram? Will my husband have to choose between anti-depressants and Viagra—oh, wait, if he has Viagra, he won’t need anti-depressants!

I read that older people would be able to go out and purchase insurance. Bwahahahahah! Oh…I thought that was a joke. Here are a few facts:

+At one point our health insurance company was increasing our rates by 50% and more each year. When we asked the insurance commissioner, we were told that it was legal for companies to try to get rid of a “category” but not to get rid of individuals. The category was ages over 50.

+Then, I couldn’t get insurance because…wait for it…I am fat. Rather, Phat--Pretty Hot And Tasty. I had a friend who had cancer and was able to get insurance the first year I was turned down. But, I was unable to get insurance because I am fat even though I don’t smoke and had no health problems.

+My husband began having difficulty getting insurance when a doctor wrote that his “blood pressure was high” even though he did not have a “hypertension” diagnosis.

Now my husband has diabetes and neither of us can get health insurance. But, we are able to get high risk insurance—a form of welfare in someone’s view I’m sure.

Take a look at these numbers and then tell me how optimistic and confident you feel about your ability to purchase health care without Medicare.

+$8,400/year for major medical insurance for my husband and me only
+$5,000 deductible for each of us BEFORE insurance kicks in. So the real cost per person would be closer to $9,000 if you were hospitalized.

+$4,500 out of pocket for medications.

+$5-6,000 for doctor’s appointments, X-rays, etc.

+$2,000 for one emergency room visit

+$1,800 for lab testing. A 21 year old in my husband’s family had a stroke and was found to have a hereditary blood clotting disorder so all young women in his family had to have blood testing/DNA testing. I counted this here even though the rest of the expenses are only for my husband and me.

+$700.00 for a 1 ¾ hour interview with a nurse and a 10 minute exam by a doctor. I contested this.

+If you have a colonoscopy, mammogram, sleep apnea testing, physical exam, GYN exam, and any other care you need in one year you may get lucky and exceed $5,000 and the rest of your care for the year will be covered! Cool!

+Oh, let’s see, if you have horrible lung congestion and an X-ray, that cost about $400.00 but I only had to pay $200.00 Elderly people get pneumonia frequently so health care folks like to X-ray a lot.

So, a quick add-up: Without Medicare, for one couple without mostly age related problems—over $20,000/year. That doesn’t include my daughter. No cancer treatment. No hospital stays. Nothing fancy.

Republicans, can you really afford to live without Social Security and without Medicare? My hat’s off to you!

Oh, I love math. You will need well over $500,000 in investments earning over 5% interest with no big financial boo boos to even hope to last you until you are 75. Years old. Only 75 years old.

I get it! You're planning on dying young and you don't care about your children and grandchildren!


Your friend,

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