Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Jerome Christenson: We all need some assurance | Local | winonadailynews.com

Jerome Christenson: We all need some assurance | Local | winonadailynews.com

We all need some assurance
Jerome Christenson
3/29/17
Winona Daily News


The Minnesota Vikings have to be feeling just a bit of gratitude toward the House Republicans this week.
When it comes to choking on the big one, finally, they’re not alone.
Yup, after more than 60 times successfully landing a bill to put an end to Obamacare on
President Obama’s desk, when it came to the vote that would actually do the deed — they dropped the ball; gave up the ghost; faded in the clutch; missed the tag; wussed out; wimped out; wilted; whiffed ...
Good for them.
In spite of their worst intentions, they did a kindness to millions of their fellow citizens. More of a kindness than most of them will likely ever know.  Yeah, anybody who’s been following this serialized debacle knows that when they screwed the pooch on the president’s proposal they kept better than 20 million Americans insured against bankrupting medical bills — but they really did quite a bit more than that. For a few minutes at least, they put a couple hundred million minds at ease.
After all, isn’t that what insurance is really for?
Interesting enough, our friends to the north, down-under and across the pond refer to health insurance as life assurance — a contract that assures a degree of financial security to the beneficiary. It’s assurance we’re after when we pay those premiums ... assurance that when worse comes to worst the bottom won’t fall out of our lives.  Assurance that somewhere, someone or something has our back.
It’s one of those things none of us wants to be without.  And when it comes to matters of sickness and health, in this country there is precious little assurance for folks who don’t have jobs that schedule open-enrollment every November ... but who get sick, get hurt anyway, and who have kids who get sick. Kids who get hurt.
Been there. Lived that.
It’s been longer than I really care to think, but forget it — that’ll never happen.
We were both working — more hours than I ever have since — but if we wanted insurance,
well get on the phone, hunt down an agent, pay for a policy.
Well, my daddy raised me up right. Taught me that the wise, responsible thing to do is buy insurance against the bad things that just might happen.  Trouble is, when we went out to buy that insurance, even though we were young, healthy and solvent, after paying rent, buying food and having a car to drive, the coverage we could afford offered less protection than popcorn farts in a hurricane. But we paid the premiums, and we paid the bills that our coverage didn’t cover until the economy went south and took those jobs with it.  We got to choose between paying for groceries or paying for medical coverage that covered less than a string bikini. Well, the kids were hungry ...
And that was the worst part. Enough Sudafed, Benedryl, Ibuprofen and cheap 100-proof would get me through a raging sinus infection, and Gayle had her own roster of home remedies for adult ailments that would surely have benefited from a physician’s attention. But we were afflicted with
more pride than good sense and chose to tough it out, rather than run
up bills we realistically had no way to pay.
But toddlers don’t know about that stuff. When an ear hurts, they cry ... and keep on crying no matter what the balance reads at the bottom of the family checkbook. And all you want, as a mom or a dad, is to make the hurt go away, make the crying stop. See a smile again.
But ...
I guess there are folks in Congress, folks in the White House who would call that freedom.
... guess they’ve never had a sick kid.

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U.S. judge finds that Aetna deceived the public about its reasons for quitting Obamacare - LA Times

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Republicans’ dangerous health-care delusions - The Washington Post

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Maine Voices: The problem isn't Obamacare; it's the insurance companies - Portland Press Herald

Old but worth repeating -- Often