Needless to Say, I’m Happy Today

I am so so so so happy about Health Care Reform. I just wish change would happen faster. I believe this will create a competitive environment that will drive premiums down, but that will take years and I can barely afford my insurance premiums now, which, by the way, recently went up an insane amount. No one can convince me that they didn’t do that knowing change was coming and they were going to squeeze everything they could out of me/us before it does. Bastards.

Well, you have to start somewhere. We’re all feeling a little safer now, though. Help is on the way. We can relax. A little.


Stacy Horn

I've written six non-fiction books, the most recent is Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York.

View all posts by Stacy Horn →

9 thoughts on “Needless to Say, I’m Happy Today

  1. Well, I hope that you’re right. But that has not happened in MA – the only state with universal health care. Premiums are by far the highest in the country – for those who work. The drug dealers, ex-cons, unemployed, and anybody who doesn’t get a W-2, or reports very small wages, gets free insurance – at the expense of those who work. I was up there visiting ill parents in the week before the Brown-Coakley election and the MA universal health care fiasco was a major factor in that election. My brother’s kids lost their health insurance in MA as a result of this plan because their employers changed employee hours to all part-time & now they don’t have to offer insurance. Buying it on their own is completely out of the question as its at least 10x more expensive than before the great “reform”, so they pay a fine for not having health insurance every year with their state taxes.

  2. Great shot of the lads!

    Top financial headline for today is that health insurance stocks are way up. They must be licking their chops in anticipation of increased profits.

  3. I’d love to know how much you pay, just for comparison. I don’t mind saying what I pay. I pay $1,670 a quarter. I’m single and I don’t think I’ve been sick for 30 years, the last time was in college when I got walking pneumonia.

    That price is relatively good because I was able to join a writers union and get on their group plan. Without that option I would not be able to afford health insurance.

    I wonder how close the MA plan is to how the federal plan will operate?

  4. Also, about your point about people who get insurance at the expense of those who work. I feel your frustration, but the category of people who don’t fill out W2’s is more diverse than your list.

    And secondly, I pay lots of taxes for things that benefit others. I don’t have kids but still I have to pay taxes for local schools, etc. There are tons of programs that benefit families, and I can’t think of any that benefit single people, it’s a pet peeve of mine. But after grumbling about that (which I do, ask my friends) for the most part I’m okay with contributing to things that help society as a whole, that helps people who for various reasons cannot help themselves right now or always, and even if there are people who are benefiting that shouldn’t that is the price of a pretty good system. You address that problem not by not helping those who genuinely need it but by trying to improve the safeguards against fraud.

    This is too long to go into in a comments section. But problems like the ones that happened to your brother’s kids should be addressed. In the federal plan they can stay under their parent’s plan until their 27th birthday.

  5. Most of us don’t get an exactly proportional return on investment when we pay our taxes. In theory, paying for good public schools benefits us all – regardless of whether we have kids in school. I paid more to send my son to a private college while my taxes partially subsidize the state schools – but that is my choice.

    I think the real successes of the universal health insurance are people who are alive & healthy today because their cancers were detected and treated earlier & I’d hope some of my premiums help them too. I don’t want the drug dealers and other criminals covered under any circumstances – and that is the failure in MA. To me, its outrageous that young people are paying fines for not buying insurance at high rates when the druggie parasites get free insurance.

    I no longer live in MA, having escaped the day after receiving my BS in Marine Bio in 1977 to go on to grad school and then work as a biologist around Chesapeake Bay. As a state employee at present, we get a good benefits package that includes health insurance ( click on health benefits). Its deducted per paycheck, but converting to quarters for comparison, I pay 1347/qtr for family coverage for health, drug and dental – which is a very good benefit. I consider myself lucky to have a job with benefits, although gov’t jobs are no longer secure.

    Sorry for the lengthy post – I really didn’t mean to be argumentative.

  6. I started out studying marine biology!! It was too hard. You must be SMART. Oh, I should have known when you explained about the mussels and the eels.

    But look at that difference! I pay $1,670 for one person and that DOESN’T include dental or drugs!! And that is considered a good rate for a single person. I would be paying much more than that if it weren’t for the Author’s Guild.

  7. We’re all smart in our own different ways, Stacy. Look at the things you’ve done with Echo that I could never have done in a million years. And your research skills are better than most biologists! I’m awed by what you’ve done. Our minds just work very differently. BTW, do you get the Discovery Channel? The new series “Life” started last night and is really good.

    You are right of course about the costs. My concern is for future costs. I don’t think the insurance companies’ stocks are going up today because they are eager to help us.

  8. Rick, this is how insane I am—I started watching Life and I was freaking out every few seconds. The poor fly! The poor praying mantis! I kept having to mute it and blur my eyes. When they got to those baby whatchmacallits on the cliffs I had to give up.

    Stocks are going up because insurance companies are going to get a bump. At first. Also, who knows, even if their revenues go down in the long run, if people are more preventative, and health care is better managed, maybe they will end out making better in the end.

  9. When we were kids, we believed you’d be arrested for harming a praying mantis – even accidentally. Luckily for the frogs, the mantis police were a myth.

    You would definitely have freaked out when the cute little crab-eating seal was being chased by the Orcas. I couldn’t believe it but he got away! Yes, I was rooting for him.

    The water buffalo was not so lucky and lingered for 3 weeks after a venomous bite from a komodo dragon. Once he was bitten, you knew he was a goner, and then the poor thing lingered while 9 (i think) giant komodo dragons gathered around. But then again, if komodo dragons don’t survive, there go the closest things to dinosaurs.

    I watched it twice.

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