Every year, I have a mammogram. And every year, I get the letter, telling me I’m fine, thank you for coming, see you next year. Except this year. This year-yesterday, to be more precise-I got a phone call. A phone call means trouble. They found “something.” I have to go back in Monday for another mammogram and an ultrasound. I found “something,” too: a lump.
Now the odds are on my side. According to the nurse I spoke with, 80% of these turn out to be nothing. I’m still nervous. Nervous I might have breast cancer, nervous about the test results, nervous about what the “something” might be. What I am not nervous about is paying for this, because of Obamacare.
My husband is retired, and writing for the internet doesn’t exactly have me rolling in money. If it wasn’t for the ACA, we wouldn’t have health insurance, and my nervousness about Monday would be threefold. I would be analyzing our bank statements, trying to find the extra money we’d need to afford medical treatment and tests. And I think this is what conservatives who hate Obamacare often forget.
There are real people who are being helped by Obamacare. People like me, and people like Brent Brown, a lifelong Republican whose life was saved by the ACA. Parents, who couldn’t afford to take their children to the doctor. People who visited the ER for non-emergency care. Diabetics who went without treatment, who may have been forced to go without insulin. Men and women who are in pain, or need skin cancer screenings, or physicals, can now go to the doctor without worrying about not being able to pay the rest of their bills due to the cost of medical care without insurance.
Conservatives say Obamacare is not successful. Well, I’m one person who has been helped by the ACA, and there are many others. Interestingly, lower-income Americans have benefited the most from the ACA, along with women, which might explain the GOP’s hatred. I think we all know by now how conservatives feel about women and the poor. From New York Magazine:
It is true that Obamacare is far more helpful to people lower down the income scale. The poorest people get Medicaid, which is free. Those higher up the income ladder get tax credits, which phase out at $45,000 a year for an individual, and $94,000 a year for a family of four. (I wouldn’t call people earning under those levels “poor.”) Of course, people who get employer-sponsored insurance also get their coverage paid for with “other peoples’ money.” The difference is that employer-sponsored insurance uses a tax deduction, which gives the largest benefits to those who earn the most money, as opposed to Obamacare’s sliding-scale tax credit, which gives the most to those who earn the least.
But at least conservatives are now representing their true bedrock position on Obamacare. It is largely a transfer program benefiting people who either don’t have enough money, or pose too high a health risk, to bear the cost of their own medical care. Conservatives don’t like transfer programs because they require helping the less fortunate with other peoples’ money.
Monday, I will hopefully receive news that this “something” is actually nothing. But if I don’t, if it turns out to be serious, out of all the things I have to worry about. paying for my treatment isn’t one of them. Thanks, Obama.