Last year I wrote a blog post based on a Facebook article by Craig Spector. He’s a working novelist and screenwriter at a fairly remunerative end of the income stream for said folks (He earns more than the median income of such folks, which is in the high four figure range). He was writing about his enrollment in ACA (‘Obamacare’ for Republicans) and what he would have to pay. He’s had some profitable times but he is by no means wealthy as far as I can tell. The article is here, but here’s a potent chunk of it:
At my income level, I qualify for no rebates or tax credits to offset my premiums, so whatever I would get would be paid at full market price. The plans available to me ranged from catastrophic (the lowest, covering less than 60% of average costs for the year), through bronze (60%), silver (70%), gold (80%), and platinum (the highest, covering 90%.) There was one plan available at the catastrophic level; there were zero plans available at the platinum level.
….At the Gold level, the plans range from $871 to $963/mo., with a deductible of $962 and a max out of pocket of $5,925… or $11,414 to $13,481 before I would receive the first $0.80 of actual health care.
Quite the bargain, eh?
Something that gets lost in the hyperbole in this, the best damned health care system in the whoooole wide world, is that there is a difference between health insurance and health care. All of the plans available would send me a shiny brochure telling me all of the care my premiums would theoretically be buying… although from my previous experiences in purchasing pre-Obamacare personal health insurance, every single time I tried to use it, the claim would be automatically denied for the first year (to safeguard against possible fraud, doncha know.) But I would have that shiny brochure.
It was an interesting story and was picked up by the folks fighting for RIP Medical Debt. I saw Craig’s occasional posting, and didn’t notice much when he said he’d been hospitalized. Then there was this:
A little over one month ago, on June 4, 2016, I had just had emergency spinal surgery to remove what I had thought was a pinched nerve but turned out to be a tumor on my T7 vertebrae, and I had just taken my first halting post surgery steps down Resurrection Road, as I began to battle what turned out to be Stage Four prostate cancer, metastized to my bones.
The T7 tumor had bored through the bone and reached my spinal cord; when it constricted the nerves by a factor of 50% my legs gave out and stopped “legging” — I couldn’t walk or stand or even crawl on hands and knees. That was around the time I finally figured out this was no pinched nerve.
Craig has launched a ‘gofundme’ page to help him with his expenses. Since he’s contributed to my understanding (and a lot of other people’s) about what is broken about the ACA, he deserves a moment of your time if not a few of your dollars.