Here Comes Trouble: Stories from My Life

"Outstanding…Moore Triumphs! Publishers Weekly

Mike & Friends Blog

Donna Smith

Donna Smith, American SiCKO, is executive director of the Health Care for All Colorado Foundation

October 3rd, 2013 5:52 PM

Wanting Affordable Care Act/Obamacare Success and Medicare for All for Life

Affordable Care Act, Obamacare, Single-Payer, Medicare for all for life, medical bankruptcy

Yes, it is true. I want the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare to be successful, and I want single-payer, improved and expanded Medicare for all for life. I can hear it now, and almost predict who will be saying it, "Oh, Donna's a single-payer sell-out. Look, she said she wants the ACA to succeed. Doesn't she get it that it's nothing more than a bail-out to the private insurance industry?"

Yes, I get it. I lived in Washington, D.C., all through the health reform debates and saw what the process did to single-payer activists. I know that the ACA is not where we need to go. I know its failings, and I know in some ways it moves us further away from the "everybody in, nobody out" kind of system we hope to achieve. I know that the health industry basically drafted the bill to be spoon fed through Congress, and I watched and worked the press side of the days when 13 people were arrested in Max Baucus' Senate Finance Committee for wanting single-payer on the table. I know, I know.

Yes, I know. An insurance purchase mandate is not in any way the same as universal health care.

Yet, as I find myself among those frustrated about not yet being able to make my way through the insurance exchanges due to technical glitches and volume, I am doing so only partly as a single-payer advocate. But I am also doing so mostly as a woman so brutalized by the market-based, profit-driven system that I am anxious to find some financial relief from the $875.97 monthly COBRA/Aetna premium I now pay for pretty substandard coverage. My deductible and co-pays are hard to manage on top of the monthly premium, and my maximum out-of-pocket exposure with this policy could bankrupt us again if the cancer tests from which I am now waiting results show I need more treatment. I admit it. I want to find on the exchange a better health insurance plan at a lower premium cost, and I want to know if I will be eligible for any tax credit or subsidy. So, yes, I want the ACA/Obamacare to be successful in providing me and millions like me some relief.

When you have cancer or some other difficult health condition, no one cuts you much slack in our society. Working class people keep working as hard and as long as they possibly can and then when we must back off a bit of strenuous work hours and demands due to health crisis and the toll that stress will take on our health status, we often must take on the COBRA costs that are so horrific that we nearly go broke paying those premiums. And if this new law, as flawed as it is for our long run, can provide me and others like me with a little breathing room to just be human and deal with human needs, then I want it to provide that relief.

This morning when I looked back in to Connect for Health Colorado (for the seventh or eighth time since Tuesday), I was pleased to make it a little bit further into the application before I was met with this message:
"Thank you for your patience while we work to fix a technical issue. Please contact us at 1-855-PLANS-4-YOU (1-855 752-6749) if you need assistance."

Well, no thank you, I will not likely be able to be too patient as I really just want the hope that once I get to January that I won't have to be so terrified and worried and that I'll have better, more affordable health insurance options. And until the day when I actually have access to a single standard of high quality care without financial barrier through improved and expanded Medicare for all for life, I will continue to grab onto those things that will help me get by well enough to keep up the good fight.

For those who are wealthy enough and well set enough not to need to rely on any other options for health care access than you have right now, forgive those of us who must and count your blessings. Just because your bank account or insurance status is better than mine does not mean you have any more courage of your convictions than I do of mine.


October 3, 2013 -- Today's count of the health care dead and broke for profit in the U.S.:

The 2013, to date, U.S. medical-financial-
industrial -complex system dead: 34,335
The 2013, to date, U.S. health care system bankrupt: 541,040

** These figures are calculated based on the Harvard University studies on excess deaths in the U.S. due to lack of insurance coverage or the ability to pay for needed health care, and the Harvard University study that calculated the high percentage of personal bankruptcies attributable to medical crisis and debt in the U.S. 123 people die daily due to lack of coverage or cash to pay for care; 1,978 go bankrupt every day due to medical crisis and debt though the majority had insurance at the time their illness or injury occurred. This statistic is also based on the 1.2 million bankruptcies in the U.S. in 2012, according to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, and calculating those medically-relate

Creative Commons License This content is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License

You must log in to comment.

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Log in | Register

If you have a moment today, I hope you can read the obituary for my father Francis (Frank) Moore, who died this past Saturday at the age of 92: Francis...

Apr 22nd
6:33 PM
Read More

My father, Francis (Frank) Moore, passed away this morning a few months shy if his 93rd birthday. He was a great dad I am blessed to have had him in my life. I...

Apr 20th
2:58 AM
Read More

Time to put the cuffs on Chris Christie -- not for the bridge scandal, but for this: Chris Christie's $300m pension proposal broke state anti-corruption...

Apr 18th
7:31 PM
Read More

George W. Bush Debuts New Paintings Of Dogs, Friends, Ghost Of Iraqi Child That Follows Him... President Bush has a new hobby -- painting! --...

Apr 17th
7:28 PM
Read More

Big new story from David Sirota and Pando on top Christie adviser and appearance of corruption at New Jersey's pension fund: REVEALED: Gov....

Apr 17th
12:41 PM
Read More

FBI Uncovers Al-Qaeda Plot To Just Sit Back And Enjoy Collapse Of United States WASHINGTON—The FBI announced today that it has uncovered a...

Apr 15th
3:28 PM
Read More

Revealed: Rahm Emanuel's top donor bought stock in Marriott just before it was awarded huge contract As schools are closed and pensions cut,...

Apr 9th
2:00 PM
Read More

I'll be at First Time Fest today in New York City at the screening of my first film, Roger & Me. Loews Village 7 at 12:30 pm. Come see it on the big...

Apr 5th
9:48 AM
Read More

Revealed: Rahm Emanuel cuts public pensions, diverts money to benefit campaign donors If you've read the financial news out of Chicago the last...

Apr 4th
2:19 PM
Read More

Please take a moment today to think of Casey Austin Sheehan, son of Cindy and Patrick, who was murdered by U.S. foreign policy in Sadr City, Baghdad ten years...

Apr 4th
2:00 PM
Read More

ICYMI - I've joined this "thunderclap" to support the Connecticut legislators who voted yes on last year's Act Concerning Gun Violence...

Apr 3rd
7:38 PM
Read More

I've joined this "thunderclap" to support the Connecticut legislators who voted yes on last year's Act Concerning Gun Violence Prevention...

Apr 2nd
8:27 PM
Read More

I am opposed to the death penalty, but to every rule there is usually an exception, and in this case I hope the criminals at General Motors will be arrested...

Apr 1st
3:55 PM
Read More

How Long Some in the US Will Survive Under New Health Law Donna Smith Those who must access care to live and can afford it are not...

Mar 31st
10:13 PM
Read More

Last night, The Good Wife on the East Coast started 40 minutes late due to the overrun of the NCAA basketball game. If you had your DVR set for the show, you...

Mar 24th
5:41 PM
Read More

Watching films today, looking for the ones I'm going to pick for my film festival this summer. I (and a whole bunch of others!) have this thing we put on...

Mar 23rd
4:48 PM
Read More

When the U.S. Health Care System Keeps Killing, Who Cares Enough to Fight? Donna Smith We have largely forgotten that people are at...

Mar 21st
5:56 PM
Read More

Tell the White House not to give up on Dr. Vivek Murthy's nomination as Surgeon General despite the ferocious opposition from the NRA: Don't give...

Mar 21st
5:38 PM
Read More

This criminal would never see a jail cell, nor would his cronies. In fact, they'd later be rewarded with re-election: Presidential Address on War with...

Mar 19th
9:40 PM
Read More

The crime of the century -- our invasion & slaughter in Iraq -- started 11 years ago tonite in this 7pm (ET) hour, March 19th, 2003: CNN Coverage of...

Mar 19th
9:08 PM
Read More

Washington’s Back-to-the-Future Military Policies in Africa Nick Turse Nick Turse is an award-winning journalist, historian,...

Mar 17th
4:59 PM
Read More

"I think democracy is the most revolutionary thing in the world." -- Tony Benn, 1925-2014 Tony Benn in 'Sicko'

Mar 14th
10:07 AM
Read More

RIP Tony Benn, one of the UK's greatest leaders: Tony Benn, veteran Labour politician, dies aged 88 Former cabinet minister died at...

Mar 14th
9:53 AM
Read More

Please read this important story from K. Ford K.: Am I the Face of the New American Middle Class? I began to feel I had slipped so low...

Mar 13th
2:24 PM
Read More

Yesterday Dianne Feinstein revealed that the CIA has been spying on the Senate Intelligence Committee. This is all about the report the committee has produced...

Mar 12th
6:48 PM
Read More

Health Care for All Colorado has brought Mercy Killers, a show written and performed by Michael Milligan about our murderous for-profit healthcare system, to...

Mar 10th
1:08 PM
Read More

Health Care Dramas that Sting and Why We Have to Watch Donna Smith The realities Milligan has written into the show cut deep into...

Mar 10th
1:02 PM
Read More

Did you know the Lehrer Newshour on PBS has been produced for 20 years by a company owned by conservative cable billionaire John Malone? Me neither. After...

Mar 7th
8:39 PM
Read More

Mr. Obama, if int’l law is so damn crucial . . . | The Russian intervention deserves criticism. But let’s be clear. The...

Mar 6th
1:21 PM
Read More

Subscribe to Mike's Blog RSS

Click here to suggest an article

Mike's Blog

See More Blogs

Vew the archives

View older articles