Sharing my Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) recent Happy Dance re: No rate increases for my medical plan for 2015, dental rate decreased, while the Benefit Maximum more than doubled, yea!!). in the last 3 months, I have had a flu shot, a mammogram, and a blood test, all without co-pays. My yearly dental X-Rays scheduled for December is also without any other costs. Finally, the one medication that I take is only 1.81 $ for a month’s supply. When I retired in the summer of 2013, my biggest financial concern was the cost of health care (I am under 65 and single) that I would be directly responsible for for the first time (it was an employee benefit prior to this). It has been manageable so far, thanks, in part, to the ACA. When I received the news that there would be no rate increases for 2015, I was greatly relieved. I love Obamacare and the man who brought it to us. I am always so tickled that the term that the GOPers used as a pejorative, has instead insured that PBO would forever get credit for this law that has begun to transform the health and well-being of our nation.
I am going to be 64 years old in a few months and being self-employed for the last 33 years I have never had one of my medications covered by insurance. Never. Just to stay minimally healthy, my asthma, blood pressure meds and a few others are around $600/month.
We had awful insurance that never covered my asthma until there was no insurance at all for the last decade. I lived in constant fear.
I chose a Gold plan – for my last year and half until Medicare I wanted maximum flexibility and a low deductible: $500 and $3,500 out-of-pocket cap with a large network. I chose a co-op plan. These plans, with no profit incentive, were supposed to be a bridge to something akin to a public option. In the 2012 budget fight, the Republicans won the elimination of these plans from ACA but anyone who had a grant before then was grandfathered in. IL was able to establish an insurance plan/company that will run on overhead similar to Medicare and we all ‘own’ the company.
My premium, after some subsidy, is $558/month. Your age can still be a factor in premium cost, but with a cap. I do have co-pays on my medications – it will be about $140/month. But I’m still only out a little more for truly comprehensive health care than what I was paying retail for my meds before ACA.
To walk up to the CVS Pharmacy counter and give them my card was overwhelming. My $320 asthma med: $70 co-pay. My $160 nasal spray: $30. And so on.
I need to get my first mammogram. I need to go to the gynecologist for the first time in 10 years. When I was sick last week and even the meds from the doctor weren’t working, I knew if – God forbid – I needed the ER because I couldn’t breathe, I could go. I have insurance. I will not be denied, as I was in 1983 because ‘no one develops asthma as an adult’ sayeth BCBS and they wouldn’t pay for my hospital stay.
It all started with an email invitation. My reaction after opening this message swung from excitement and serious tingling, to disbelief and suspicion. I could not imagine what I had done that was wonderful enough to earn an invitation to the White House for a party. Our team had an event every week, I faithfully listened to briefing calls from our state and national leaders, we had been involved in some innovative projects – but a holiday party at the White house was over the top.
I had fantasized about meeting the President, when he was in the SF area, shaking his hand, mumbling something coherent and trying not to pass out. Going to Washington DC, being able to attend an event at the White House with the President and Mrs. Obama was way beyond anything I had ever imagined.
Then that dark voice that lives in my head began to emerge. I kept looking at the part of the invitation that asked for my social security number and date of birth. Was this just a clever scheme to steal my identity? Drats… I called the number on the invitation but it was an answering machine. I wrote to my Regional Field Organizer asking her if she knew anything about it – Nope. I wrote to another volunteer asking if she had received an invitation, Nada…
Bloomberg: The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits dropped last week to the lowest level in almost four years, adding to evidence the U.S. labor market is strengthening.
Initial jobless claims fell 5,000 in the week ended March 24 to 359,000, the lowest since April 2008, the Labor Department reported today in Washington…..
Companies are retaining workers and hiring as sales improve along with confidence in the expansion. The pace of employment has gained momentum in the past three months, helping drive income growth that may ease the strain of higher gasoline prices.
…. The U.S. jobless rate could drop to as low as 6 percent by the first half of 2013, according to research from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
E.J. Dionne: Three days of Supreme Court arguments over the health-care law demonstrated for all to see that conservative justices are prepared to act as an alternative legislature, diving deeply into policy details as if they were members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.
Senator, excuse me, Justice Samuel Alito quoted Congressional Budget Office figures on Tuesday to talk about the insurance costs of the young. On Wednesday, Chief Justice John Roberts sounded like the House whip in discussing whether parts of the law could stand if other parts fell. He noted that without various provisions, Congress “wouldn’t have been able to put together, cobble together, the votes to get it through.” Tell me again, was this a courtroom or a lobbyist’s office?
It fell to the court’s liberals — the so-called “judicial activists,” remember? — to remind their conservative brethren that legislative power is supposed to rest in our government’s elected branches.
CNN: President Barack Obama holds a double-digit lead over GOP presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum in hypothetical general election matchups, according to a new poll.
And a CNN/ORC International survey released Wednesday also indicates that the president’s approval rating has inched over the 50% mark in CNN surveys for the first time since last May, when the polls were still registering the after effects of the death of Osama bin Laden. The number of Americans who say the economy’s in good shape has jumped 13 points since January, though the survey shows a majority still think it is in poor shape.
If the general election were held today instead of in early November, 54% of registered voters say they would back Obama, with 43% supporting Mitt Romney … That’s up from a five-point 51%-46% advantage the president held over Romney in February.
And Obama would have a 55%-42% lead over Santorum …. the president led Santorum by a seven-point 52%-45% margin last month.
Mediaite: In recent weeks and months, there has been much made about the frequent “rich guy gaffes” that Mitt Romney has been making …. these gaffes seem to show the candidate can’t relate to the people he wants to lead …. Today he made yet another one. Perhaps Chris Matthews was right; this guy just isn’t “trainable”.
So, what did he do this time? Well, Romney called in to a “telephone town hall” in Wisconsin where he talked up his support of Gov. Scott Walker and Rep. Paul Ryan. All good, right? You’d think, but, at towards the beginning, Romney decided to tell a funny story about his history with the state of Wisconsin and … just see for yourself.
ABC: …. Obama campaign spokeswoman Lis Smith said in a statement: ”The only things more out-of-touch than Mitt Romney’s ‘joke’ about his dad closing a factory are his policies that would give massive tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires and allow insurance companies to discriminate against individuals with pre-existing conditions. He continues to be callous about the struggles that ordinary Americas face and his policies would make it harder-not easier-for anyone but the very wealthy to succeed.”
Sun Times: The eagerly-anticipated “Biggest Loser” makeover episode is here, and this season, it’s bigger than ever. First Lady Michelle Obama guest stars in a two-part celebration that whisks the contestants away to the White House to reunite with their loved ones, and take part in the show’s first-ever White House workout. The episode will air as two, one-hour episodes on Tuesday, April 3 (8-9 p.m. ET) and Tuesday, April 10 (8-9 p.m. ET).