#ThanksObama!

Originally written on July 25th. Posted later. 

This is long. Very long. But I need to get it out.

From 2010 on, did/do you have a child who was/is a young adult (approx. age 19-26 years old) who was allowed to stay on your health insurance plan? If so, you can thank The ACA (Affordable Care Act, aka “Obamacare”) for that. Prior to that, dependent children typically “aged out” and were booted off of their parents’ health care plans by age 19, maybe 22 if they were full-time college students. Obamacare made it so that young adults (to age 26), EVEN IF married, financially independent, or no longer living with their parents, could STAY on their parents’ health insurance plans. #ThanksObama! Imagine what happens to those young adults when Obamacare is repealed.

What about loved ones in elder care? Do you have family in nursing homes? Assisted living facilities? Did you know that under law, they are currently protected from the (once, widespread and under-reported) elder abuse? Or that if someone reports a potential crime against a senior citizen in elder care, they are also protected? You can thank “Obamacare” for that. The ACA implemented the Elder Justice Act, which provides federal resources to prevent, detect, treat, understand, intervene in and, where appropriate, prosecute elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation. #ThanksObama! Imagine what happens to our loved ones in elder care when “Obamacare” is repealed.

Are you a new mom working and still trying to breastfeed? “Obamacare” is the reason your employer has to let new mothers take breast-pumping breaks, whenever they are needed. Also, because of “Obamacare,” your employer has to give you a “reasonable” amount of time to pump, and is required to provide a designated private area (that is NOT a bathroom) for pumping. #ThanksObama!

“Obamacare” is the reason why free domestic violence screenings and counseling for survivors is available. “Obamacare” requires insurance plans to cover domestic violence screening and counseling under the blanket of “free preventative services for women.” “Obamacare” is the reason why women can choose any ob/gyn without needing a doctor’s referral. It’s also why we can choose any pediatrician or primary care provider we want. #ThanksObama!

“Obamacare” is the reason women have access to well-woman preventative care (annual gynecologist check-ups), including things like mammograms, pap smear, contraceptive counseling, and STI screenings. Also included are pregnancy screenings for gestational diabetes, HPV testing, HIV screening & counseling, and support to women experiencing postpartum depression. Grant money was even set aside to research that topic more so our society is better equipped to take care of mothers experiencing PPD. #ThanksObama!

“Obamacare” is the reason why you can’t be charged more for health insurance based on your health status, or gender. It’s why you can’t be denied coverage for pre-existing conditions (which 1 in every 2 Americans has), and the reason why young adults who age out of the foster system at age 18 receive benefits until they’re 26 (as opposed to *maybe* being covered through age 21, but it was ultimately up to individual states). #ThanksObama!

“Obamacare” is the reason why the cost of your insurance now appears on your tax forms, because prior to that, most people had no idea how much their insurance through their company actually cost. Because of Obamacare, employers are required to disclose the full cost of an insurance plan (both the employer, and the employee share) on your W-2 tax form. #ThanksObama!

“Obamacare” is the reason why large employers must auto-enroll new employees into insurance, but also give the employee adequate opportunity to decline coverage if they choose to. “Obamacae” is the reason why private insurers have to help you quit smoking without out-of-pocket expense, i.e., smoking cessation aids like nicotine gum or patches. Those are given to enrollees without a co-pay as a form of basic, preventative care. #ThanksObama!

“Obamacare” is the reason why it’s easier for students going into primary care and nursing to become primary care doctors, and nurses to get loans, because, God knows, we need more of them. Obamacare is also the reason why maximum loan amounts were increased in the federal nursing student loan program, since a nursing shortage is expected to happen by 2025. “Obamacare” is the reason why people with serious medical conditions pay the same premiums as the healthy. #ThanksObama!

Including the obvious fact that 20+ million more people gained health insurance, who previously couldn’t or didn’t have it, these are just a few of the many, many good things The ACA (Affordable Care Act, aka, “Obamacare”) provides. Unfortunately, many of the same people who are pro-Trump, anti-Obama, or anti-Affordable Care Act/anti-“Obamacare” will be hurt by the repeal of “Obamacare,” and they won’t realize it until they feel it in their pockets, or until is hurts one of them, or one of their family members.

And, I promise you, despite Trump promising that your premiums would go down, (haha), they AREN’T going to go down. Remember, this is the man who wrote “The Art of The Deal;” this is the man who brags about saying, “Do whatever you need to do to make the deal, then afterwards, it doesn’t matter. Do whatever you want.” This is a man who is not the “successful businessman” you’ve been led to believe. A quick google search of his many, many failed businesses, bankruptcies, and lawsuits are facts that cannot be denied. And besides, our country is not a business, and cannot be run like one, as we are seeing unfold before in real time like a failing reality show.

Trump keeps referring to “Obamacare” as “a total disaster.” To clear up any misunderstanding (because Trump likes to use short, easy-to-remember buzzwords that seem to ring true in people’s ears without having to give it much thought), “Obamacare” is not just health insurance. And it is far from being a total disaster. Of course there are parts that need tweaking. But “Obamacare” was the creation of a system for private health insurance companies to offer coverage for people who couldn’t otherwise get affordable coverage. This is the burden of a healthy democracy. We take care of one another. Trump does not believe that. He never has. 

If your chief complaint of “Obamacare” was high cost, then you don’t understand how the system works. If you were upset at the rising cost of medical expenses, out of pocket deductible, or premiums going up, THAT WAS NOT BECAUSE OF “OBAMACARE.” Health insurance premiums have been rising for years and years, long before the birth of “Obamacare.” But if you absolutely need someone to blame, you can blame 1.) the big pharma industry, and/or 2.) your state, because states regulate healthcare, and companies decide which states they’ll offer health insurance in, and some pretty shoddy deals have been made by corrupt local politicians.

What The ACA sought to do was add a protective layer of federal regulation on health insurance. And, good things sought to happen, like insurers having to provide a certain minimum of coverage, including the full cost of preventative medicine visits, cancer screenings, vaccines, and birth control. It wanted to require insurance companies to take all people, regardless of whether or not they were sick, prevent them from excluding coverage for pre-existing conditions, and stop the practice of capping payouts. Only, individual states got to cherry pick what they would & wouldn’t provide.

I will never understand how attempts to make health insurance available to 20+ million people who couldn’t or didn’t have it before, and putting provisions in place to make sure health care is better overall is considered a “total disaster.” Trump has used people who he knew would fall for his rhetoric to push this message, all so he could become President and further benefit and profit… himself.

Trump is only smart about one thing: he knows his base. He knows your healthcare costs are rising. He knows you now see it in print because of Obamacare provisions. He knows that if he says the words “Obamacare” and “total disaster” in the same sentence, it will ring true and many people would think, “YEAH! THAT’S RIGHT! What the hell is going on with my medical care costs?” He knows you so well, and he is the master manipulator.

If you fell for it, I’m sorry that you were duped. I truly am. If you think for a second that Don the Con gives a flying flip about the middle class, let alone the lower class, or how expensive your premiums are, then you are strongly, strongly detached from reality. Trump looks to benefit no one but himself. He is nothing but a danger, a scourge upon mankind, and a menace to society. Members of his own party are realizing it and trying to summon the courage to speak out against him, even at the risk of losing their upcoming votes.

But, as is pretty much everything else that has to do with health care and the reform of health care, there are plenty of nuances and caveats. Nothing I post can even attempt to cover all of it. I don’t even understand all of it. My insurance company doesn’t even appear to understand all of it. That trump said only he, alone, could fix it? Un-friggin-believable. I can’t take hearing that anymore. 

I guess that was the main point of my rambling today. That hearing him (and others) continually whine about “Obamacare” is maddening. That people voted for trump specifically because they “didn’t like ‘Obamacare'” is pitiful and shows a genuine lack of basic understanding of what The Affordable Care Act actually sought to do in the first place. 

Honestly, I think most of those people mad at “Obamacare” were more mad about being “forced” to do something. Like sign up for health insurance. (Because ultimately, that benefits the greater good, even if it inconveniences you, or makes you feel “forced.” It helps society as a whole, and that is the point.) For those people, I think, it was the principle of the matter. Like they think, “This is America! You can’t make me do anything!” That one caveat pissed them off most of all, I believe. 

Which means they have an egoistic mindset, only caring about themselves and being preoccupied with only how they are affected: “how dare someone else tell me what to do – screw everyone else, I’m only looking out for me,” when America does not pride itself on egoistic, but rather, altruistic principles. We were founded on ideals like equality and opportunity. And unalienable rights, which are rights so basic and so essential to being human, that no government should ever be able to take them away. Rights like healthcare. 

Furthermore, it is our duty to look out for each other. Duty is non-optional. Regardless of what one thinks is best for them, regardless of what they personally want, a sense of duty calls us to do what’s in the best interest of the greater good. 24 million people in this country are about to lose their health care, Medicare, Medicaid, coverage for pre-existing conditions, etc., and for what? So that the wealthiest people in the country can enjoy a big tax cut. The Affordable Care Act/”Obamacare” is funded in part through higher taxes on the rich, on both investment income and payroll tax. What we know of the current GOP replacement bill would eliminate these taxes, thus giving the wealthiest in the country that long-ago backroom deal they made, where they were promised a tax break that they totally don’t need. They especially don’t need it when we have families like mine who are living paycheck-to-paycheck and still barely making it, who would love to have a teeny, tiny fraction of what the wealthiest consider chump change.

The GOP “shell of a bill” (from what we know) would also allow insurance companies to charge older customers up to five times more than younger customers. From what we’ve seen of the bill, it also allows insurance companies to offer more bare-bones policies. It means that young, healthy people could find more affordable coverage options, but older, sicker people would have to pay substantially more. Also, because the subsidies offered in (what we know of) the GOP plan don’t vary with state & local insurance prices the way subsidies do in Obamacare, residents of high-cost, rural areas would also suffer. In an unfortunate case of irony, that would include a large number of Trump voters. The list of numerous other dangers in repealing the ACA is long, long, long. 

We are all supposed to have the same, unalienable rights. And basic, decent healthcare is a right, not a privilege. The American Revolution and all the people who took part in it understood this spirit of altruism. They understood that the personal price of progress is very high, yet they were willing to risk their personal well-being (and that of their families) for an IDEAL. And these people came together with an altruistic spirit, and they emerged from both the wealthy and the poor sections of society. What happened to that spirit? Where did it go? Seems to me it disappeared right around the time that Trump entered the political arena, because he embodies the very definition of “egoism.” 

That Trump says “‘Obamacare’ is exploding” (or “imploding”) is a blatant, provable LIE. There are so many misconceptions surrounding “Obamacare” that Trump was easily able to take that one thing and make it his platform. He’s not a Republican, nor does he care what the replacement bill will look like. He only wants to fulfill his campaign promise to “repeal ‘Obamacare,'” because he thinks that will make him a “winner.” But that’s where his interest with health care stops. He doesn’t care what the replacement looks like. That’s because his only dogs in this fight are 1.) defeating Obama in any way possible, and 2.) hooking up his rich buddies. He took the one thing he knew most Republicans couldn’t stand (Obamacare) and used that as a tool to further his own kingdom. And he’s undeniably racist, as are many in his base. You know them. The ones who totally say, “I’m not racist, but…”

And for the record, the term “Obamacare” was coined as a pejorative by house republicans who unanimously fought the attempts, every step of the way, of a black man, who happened to be our first black President, who was quite frankly, more of a man than any of those old white men in congress could ever hope to be, and they couldn’t stand that. To this day, we have a very jealous President, one who can’t stand that a black man did a good job as President. He won the Presidency, and yet, he’s still obsessing over Obama, who is no longer President.

He denigrates and puts down Obama every chance he gets, sparing no one, not even to the captive audience at the Boy Scout Jamboree yesterday in West Virginia! Trump (who was NEVER a boy scout) used that audience of captive children – boy scouts – to bash former President Obama (who, by the way, WAS a boy scout, and DID speak at the Boy Scout Jamboree, despite the fact that Trump said he didn’t). Trump used that opportunity to very grossly wax poetic about “that famous night,” and “that beautiful, beautiful night…” (election night, when he won), and gave a self-congratulatory, campaign-like speech, rife with jingoistic tones, to a captive audience of young boy scouts. Go watch it, if you don’t believe me. It’s out there. In fact, do me a favor: go watch Obama’s speech at the Jamboree, then watch Trump’s speech at the Jamboree. If afterwards you still feel like Trump is the “better man,” I’m going to have to call you out for racism. It’s really that simple.

2 thoughts on “#ThanksObama!

  1. jonnybehr says:

    Used to be you could give a kid the boot at w8 and they’d make it.
    But that was already no longer true with my generation.
    You really gotta keep tabs on a kid till late 20’s now, just to make sure .

    Liked by 1 person

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