In the fall of 2011, we received letters from my mother’s secondary health care provider advising us that, effective January 1, 2012, she would be paying an additional $300 per month for the co-pays on five medications she was currently taking. Two of those co-pays were increasing to $75, and three were increasing to $50. Previously, the co-pays were either $0 or close to it. I sat there, stunned, trying to think about what I was going to have to do to come up with these extra funds. On Social Security, mom only received $909 per month. I called her doctors and the insurance company and asked why the sudden increase? Their answers were the same: Obamacare.
Working with her doctors, we were able to change to, as much as possible, generics. Previously, she had tried to switch to a generic for one of her allergy medications; however, the filler was different, and she was allergic to it. I know. What were the chances? So we had to get a waiver to keep her on the original medicine. That wasn’t going to work this time, though. Thankfully, the patent had run out on this drug, and a new generic had become available. She wasn’t allergic to that one, so we saved $75 per month.
We switched to the generic of a second medication. That also worked with no problem, and we saved another $75 per month.
Mom has COPD and is on three different drugs/inhalants that she uses with her nebulizer. One of these was changed to a generic. Then, working with my mother’s pulmonologist, we found a loophole that allowed her to receive her inhalants with a $0 copay, saving the remaining $150 per month. No, I’m not going to tell you what that loophole was. Heaven forbid they should find it and close it. Then I’d have to figure out some other way to make that $150 disappear.
The total amount of savings was $300. At least for the time being, these creative ways of working around the system were going to save my mother’s life and allow her to continue living at home. What I truly wondered, though, was what was going to happen to all of those people who didn’t have an advocate, like me, to help them or a doctor with the time to have one of his staff find a workaround? I found that thought quite troubling.
I don’t want you to think that it ends here. It doesn’t. There’s more.
We received a notice, about a month ago, that the monthly copay on her secondary health insurance was going to increase from $39.80 per month to $62.00. That’s just shy of a 60% increase. Think about that. A law that was supposed to keep the high rate of increase to a minimum and reduce costs just generated a 60% increase in my mother’s monthly premiums. But it didn’t end there.
Mom’s in-hospital copay was $450 PER YEAR. That means that no matter how many times Mom went to the hospital during a calendar year, all she paid was $450 ONE TIME. As of January 2013, she will be paying $650 PER OCCURRENCE. One year, only a couple of years ago, Mom was in the hospital six times. Heaven forbid that should happen now because she’d be paying $3,900 in co-pays. It doesn’t end there, either.
When comparing her 2012 coverage vs. her 2013 coverage, I found the following increases, again, all due to Obamacare:
Mom’s eye-care co-pays changed. Previously, annual eye exams and glasses were free. Now she would be subject to a co-pay for eye exams and a deductible for glasses of $200.
All drug co-pays dramatically increased.
The co-pays for doctor’s visits, including both her primary health care provider and specialists, dramatically increased.
The emergency room co-pay dramatically increased.
My mother now has dental coverage. Two cleanings per year for free. She can receive some xrays free and a complete set of xrays free every three years. That would be wonderful if my mother had teeth.
What we don’t know: There will be an increase in the monthly Medicare premium. Right now, it’s close to $100 per month. In spite of my efforts, I’ve been unable, thus far, to find out how much that increase is going to be. I shudder to think what it’s going to go up to based upon the amounts of all these other increases for 2013.
I do what I can to keep my mother healthy. First of all, I make sure she takes her medications daily. Second, I have her on two liquid vitamin supplements that are incredible. One helps to keep her body healthy. The other one helps her bones (she has Osteoporosis). I also had the house carpeted with an extra thick pad so that now when Mom falls, she doesn’t break anything. I’ve done my very best; and the taxpayers of this country should be grateful because if I didn’t do everything I do for her, Mom would be in a nursing home, and the taxpayers would be picking up the tab. Me? If you’ve read my previous articles, you’d see that I definitely follow my own philosophies. Mom does better at home, psychologically; and I do better knowing that she’s here and well taken care of (and I like having her around.)
Insofar as Obamacare is concerned, many elderly care facilities are going to have to close. Obviously, you can see from my statements here that it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. It’s much more expensive. It’s also much more intrusive. When the bill was passed, I received a summary in the form of an email. Are you aware of the fact that the government now has the right to come into your house and teach you how to parent your children? And they can do this in direct contradiction to your moral and religious beliefs. That was just one of the parts of this new law I found shocking. Most of our representatives, both in the House and Senate, never read those 2700 pages. I know I haven’t. Have you? Here’s another problem: I did read part of the bill. It’s written in legal mumbo jumbo. While that’s wonderful for lawyers, it does nothing for us, the common people. We need to insist that all laws, whether state, local, or federal, be written in such a way that anyone with an 8th grade education can understand them. Furthermore, no law should be passed that is longer than, say, twenty 8-1/2 x 11 inch pages, double spaced. A 2700 page law is ridiculous and, I’m sure, was created on purpose to make it seem like an insurmountable task to either read or understand. These are just a couple of ideas I wish could become law. Otherwise, how will we ever understand what our legislators are trying to do to us?
Obamacare needs to be repealed and rewritten in a much simpler form so we all can understand it. It’s not the bill of goods the American People were sold. Just because we didn’t replace the President, and just because the Senate is still going to be controlled by the Democrats, we need to keep up the pressure to get rid of this monstrosity. Please contact your legislators today. Find petitions to sign. If you don’t, Obamacare will be fully implemented, and we will be the losers. One final word:
From this point forward, I am no longer going to refer to the Affordable Care Act as Obamacare. I am going to call it OSAMAcare because, in reality, it is an act of terrorism that has been perpetrated upon the American People. It is, perhaps, the utmost form of medical and health care terrorism. People are going to die from lack of care and long waits for tests and treatment, just like they do in Europe and Canada. Osamacare is going to kill far more than the 3,000 people who died on September 11, 2001. In the end, it will kill millions; and the terrorists in Washington, D.C., along with those who wrote the bill, will be responsible.
Photo credit: terrellaftermath