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I hate the ACA


Janeway
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Here's the article from kff.org about WHY the Medicaid gap exists--the ACA's attempt to force states to expand Medicad was found unconstitutional.

 

http://kff.org/health-reform/issue-brief/a-guide-to-the-supreme-courts-decision/

 

 

The ACA is inherently flawed, and this is just one reason.

 

The gap exists because some states CHOSE not to expand Medicaid.  The majority of states did not have to be forced, because they knew that would hurt their citizens. 

 

Do you see the contradiction in your statement?  The court ruled it had to be left to the choice of the states. That means, it was the state's choice.  If your state chose not to do so, there is no one else to blame for that.

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I do not know anyone at all that benefitted from the ACA.

 

I did not benefit, but I do know many people that did, including my sister.  You can also see from the statements on this board that many people benefited.

 

I'm not a huge fan.  But it was a start.  It is flawed, but several features of it were valuable and shouldn't be trashed out of hand.  

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But gosh darn it folks, we shouldn't be fighting across political parties over implementing real healthcare reform in this country when we have real live people suffering every day from the status quo. Let's go ahead and do the decent thing and expand Medicare to everyone, unless the private insurance industry lobbyists want to personally foot the bill for all the current uninsured/underinsured/bleeding every penny for insurance folks in the country.

 

Amen. Especially the bolded.

Edited by goldberry
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The gap exists because some states CHOSE not to expand Medicaid.  The majority of states did not have to be forced, because they knew that would hurt their citizens. 

 

Do you see the contradiction in your statement?  The court ruled it had to be left to the choice of the states. That means, it was the state's choice.  If your state chose not to do so, there is no one else to blame for that.

 

Yeah, I'm saying that because the federal govt attempted to enact illegal legislation, and many states chose not to take that on anyway, the states chose that.

 

You can try to place blame on the states for making that choice, but they were put in that position when the federal government made the choice to act illegally--and then has done nothing to remedy that, "knowing it would hurt their citizens."

 

I don't expect we'll agree on this. I find your whole pass the buck blame game fascinating though.

 

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Yeah, I'm saying that because the federal govt attempted to enact illegal legislation, and many states chose not to take that on anyway, the states chose that.

 

You can try to place blame on the states for making that choice, but they were put in that position when the federal government made the choice to act illegally--and then has done nothing to remedy that, "knowing it would hurt their citizens."

 

I don't expect we'll agree on this. I find your whole pass the buck blame game fascinating though.

 

 

There was nothing for the federal govt to do at that time.  It was still up to the states.  As you mention, many states made the choice to continue with the plan, rather than screw their citizens by rejecting it.  19 states refused, the rest complied. It's that simple.

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Yeah, I'm saying that because the federal govt attempted to enact illegal legislation, and many states chose not to take that on anyway, the states chose that.

 

You can try to place blame on the states for making that choice, but they were put in that position when the federal government made the choice to act illegally--and then has done nothing to remedy that, "knowing it would hurt their citizens."

 

I don't expect we'll agree on this. I find your whole pass the buck blame game fascinating though.

 

I fully support the states choice to challenge the federal government on being forced into Medicaid expansiob. The federal government overstepped in its power and needed to be put back in its place. But after it was established that the federal government could not legally force expansion on states and states have to decide for themselves is when the blame shifts entirely to the individual states. 19 states chose to hurt their citizens by creating a gap in their coverage. The blame can't be put on anyone but the states that chose to go the route of continuing to stick it to the federal government over supporting their citizens healthcare needs.

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Yeah, I'm saying that because the federal govt attempted to enact illegal legislation, and many states chose not to take that on anyway, the states chose that.

 

You can try to place blame on the states for making that choice, but they were put in that position when the federal government made the choice to act illegally--and then has done nothing to remedy that, "knowing it would hurt their citizens."

 

I don't expect we'll agree on this. I find your whole pass the buck blame game fascinating though.

 

 

Or the states could have just done the right thing and expanded.  You are defending the states who fought AGAINST covering more of their citizens. 

 

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I fully support the states choice to challenge the federal government on being forced into Medicaid expansiob. The federal government overstepped in its power and needed to be put back in its place. But after it was established that the federal government could not legally force expansion on states and states have to decide for themselves is when the blame shifts entirely to the individual states. 19 states chose to hurt their citizens by creating a gap in their coverage. The blame can't be put on anyone but the states that chose to go the route of continuing to stick it to the federal government over supporting their citizens healthcare needs.

 

+1

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I do not know anyone at all that benefitted from the ACA. 

 

There's only the 20 million people who now have insurance and didn't before.

 

https://www.hhs.gov/about/news/2016/03/03/20-million-people-have-gained-health-insurance-coverage-because-affordable-care-act-new-estimates

 

If we could get our act together in this country and finally create a universal health care system, you would not have the bureaucratic nightmare.

I come from a place where nobody has to declare bankruptcy because they get sick. I consider that immensely more civilized and find it mind boggling how much opposition there is in this country. I guess it's because enough of the people who have insurance don't give a damn. The ACA is not perfect; it is a small bandaid on a huge problem - but if, instead of all the opposition, everybody had worked together, they might have finally come up with a viable solution.

 

ETA: I find the ACA bashing especially ironic because you are going to benefit from a "socialized" medical system for your kids. 

Edited by regentrude
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Aaaand, this is why I have never joined the clamor for single payer.  Because then we would have to trust them for it all, and they are so freaking incompetent, with no downside risk to remaining that way.

Well medicare and social security had worked very well for millions and millions including my parents who would be up a creek without them. 

 

Then there is the decades of incompetence I have experienced in dealing with non-government health insurance. I have had to make appeals over nonsense many times to get run of the mill things covered and which were not experimental in any way. I have also had many insurance reps give me the wrong information on a multitude of times. The there is the premium increases and decreases in coverage we have experienced for the past 30 years long before the ACA.

 

In regards to the OP's medicaid experiences, I believe each state has control over medicaid forms and application processes and over who is eligible.

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So, let me understand this. . . You are happy to have your kids on government funded Medicaid, and you go through the hoops to do this. You'd accept that same coverage, or government subsidies, for your own adult coverage if you qualified. But, you object to government funded health care, i.e., Medicaid and ACA subsidies.

 

Something does not compute.

 

(And, FWIW, the ACA penalty is NOT remotely criminal. It is explicitly not criminal, as a matter of fact. Failing to have insurance is not a criminal act. There is simply a "fee" that you pay if you are not covered and are not exempt. Additionally, the collection mechanisms for this fee are quite restricted. https://www.irs.gov/affordable-care-act/the-individual-shared-responsibility-payment-an-overview  )

 

I have an old friend/acquaintance whose kids were on CHIP medical coverage as well as getting free lunches through most of their schooling, for over a decade, while her husband was doing his decade+ long medical training for neurosurgery (at government subsidized public universities and receiving massive federal benefits via student loans, etc) as a low income family . . . Now that they make 500k+/yr, she's now voting for those who fight funding those sorts of things, and of course, her family is benefiting from being on the receiving end of high profit health care system . . . I can understand how the self-serving nature of high income folks leads many to become more "conservative" (i.e., anti-social-welfare programs) in their voting. It makes me mad, and although my family is on the high end of the income scale, I do NOT vote that way, as I believe there is both a moral and economic imperative to take care of all our citizens, but at least it makes sense in a short-sighted and self-serving way for those at the high end of the income scale to vote that way. 

 

What I can not comprehend is why so many advocate against their self interests. If your family makes too little to qualify for the ACA-subsidies, then your family is exactly who needs more critical help accessing health care and likely many other government services (i.e, if you have a special needs child, they may need expensive therapies/special education that should be available to you via public services . . . but often are not available . . . or if you had an adult family member with disabilities, they, too, would have difficulty accessing support and care they desperately need.) 

 

I live in WV -- a very poor, -- very, very poor -- struggling state, with many, many people on the "dole" (highest disability rate in the country . . . very high rate of free lunches, Medicaid, subsidized health care, etc. etc) . . . and yet, as a state, we've voted time and again for those who want to abolish or cut those services. I suppose the poor level of education in our state probably explains many of those choices, but I know there are plenty of intelligent people out there who make nonsensical choices, too. Maybe it is some sort of mass delusion that any change is a change for the better? 

 

Anyone who thinks that *any* ordinary people (outside of the top 1/10 of 1%) can actually afford to self-fund comprehensive medical care has never seen the real billing statements from any significant medical event or hospitalization -- those bills routinely hit 6 figures for a couple week hospitalization or for a MINOR cancer . . . for a major cancer (say year long treatment with one or two surgeries and a few months of chemo), we're looking at 7 figures more often than not. Here in WV, it is the very few who can even afford a $40/copay for frequently needed (say weekly therapy) services . . . there is no way any meaningful number of people can afford self pay for modern medicine throughout a lifetime. 

 

I know that there are many issues that drive voters and drive politicians . . . but I don't understand why ALL parts of the political spectrum cannot come together to fix our health care system. Perhaps now that one party controls all branches of the federal government (and most state governments), those leaders will listen to their "better angels" and implement a humane and sound system that provides universal health care. I can only hope. 

 

In any event, I hope your family is healthy, stays healthy, and can access high quality and affordable health care when you need it. Best wishes for all. 

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So, let me understand this. . . You are happy to have your kids on government funded Medicaid, and you go through the hoops to do this. You'd accept that same coverage, or government subsidies, for your own adult coverage if you qualified. But, you object to government funded health care, i.e., Medicaid and ACA subsidies.

 

Something does not compute.

 

Actually, no, I did not say I am happy to have my children on Medicaid. I am unhappy to be forced to have my children on Medicaid. AND, I do not think people should be put through this, regardless, just to have their children on Medicaid. It is not ok. The process should not be so complicated or strung out. And I never had to go through a 20 minute orientation per person with regular private insurance. Why is it that qualifying for medicaid means that somehow, I deserve to be forced through that?

 

OH, and get this, my husband is on unemployment. He just got notice that he has to drive 45 minutes away to go to a mandatory orientation to unemployment or have his "benefits" cut off. That is a big WTF. And they simply assigned him a date and time and he has no choice over the date and time. Theoretically, unemployment is temporary, yet, he has to go through this big huge orientation. Ridiculous!

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Actually, no, I did not say I am happy to have my children on Medicaid. I am unhappy to be forced to have my children on Medicaid. AND, I do not think people should be put through this, regardless, just to have their children on Medicaid. It is not ok. The process should not be so complicated or strung out. And I never had to go through a 20 minute orientation per person with regular private insurance. Why is it that qualifying for medicaid means that somehow, I deserve to be forced through that?

 

OH, and get this, my husband is on unemployment. He just got notice that he has to drive 45 minutes away to go to a mandatory orientation to unemployment or have his "benefits" cut off. That is a big WTF. And they simply assigned him a date and time and he has no choice over the date and time. Theoretically, unemployment is temporary, yet, he has to go through this big huge orientation. Ridiculous!

Would you rather there were no Medicaid available?

 

I get that the bureaucratic nonsense is frustrating and could be greatly simplified and improved, but would you really rather have nothing?

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Actually, no, I did not say I am happy to have my children on Medicaid. I am unhappy to be forced to have my children on Medicaid. AND, I do not think people should be put through this, regardless, just to have their children on Medicaid. It is not ok. The process should not be so complicated or strung out. And I never had to go through a 20 minute orientation per person with regular private insurance. Why is it that qualifying for medicaid means that somehow, I deserve to be forced through that?

 

OH, and get this, my husband is on unemployment. He just got notice that he has to drive 45 minutes away to go to a mandatory orientation to unemployment or have his "benefits" cut off. That is a big WTF. And they simply assigned him a date and time and he has no choice over the date and time. Theoretically, unemployment is temporary, yet, he has to go through this big huge orientation. Ridiculous!

I'm sorry you're having such a problem getting assistance that you qualify for. I wish it was easier. As horrible as it is to have to go through all of these hoops, I am glad it is available. 

Edited by beckyjo
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Would you rather there were no Medicaid available?

 

I get that the bureaucratic nonsense is frustrating and could be greatly simplified and improved, but would you really rather have nothing?

No, I would rather the bureaucratic nonsense were reasonable. Just because someone has a low enough income to qualify for Medicaid does not mean it is ok to put them through this. I think it is very incomist. The paperwork and requirements go beyond what is reasonable. 

 

And also, I would rather that medicaid participation were an option, not a legal requirement punishable through fines (and prison time if you don't pay the fines) for not participating. 

Edited by Janeway
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No, I would rather the bureaucratic nonsense were reasonable. Just because someone has a low enough income to qualify for Medicaid does not mean it is ok to put them through this. I think it is very incomist. The paperwork and requirements go beyond what is reasonable.

 

And also, I would rather that medicaid participation were an option, not a legal requirement punishable through fines (and prison time if you don't pay the fines) for not participating.

Well Jane.....your first worldness is showing. Getting free stuff from the government requires some hoop jumping. Yes I agree some of it is ridiculous.....but aren't you glad your children are insured for free during your husband's unemployment? Unemployment is also a benefit that most are grateful for......an in face meeting to make sure alll is on the up and up and to see if they can hel him find a job isn't that intrusive is it?

 

And you are wrong about the jail time for not having insurance.

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I think pretty much everyone here would be glad to cut back on the paperwork nonsense.

 

Which could be a huge benefit of just making healthcare available to everyone. You're a human living in this country? Congratulations, you qualify! No need to "prove" your eligibility through intrusive forms and interviews.

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I think pretty much everyone here would be glad to cut back on the paperwork nonsense.

 

Which could be a huge benefit of just making healthcare available to everyone. You're a human living in this country? Congratulations, you qualify! No need to "prove" your eligibility through intrusive forms and interviews.

Yes. My new colleague moved to the UK from the US with his family. He walked into a Doctor's practice with his rental agreement and passports. Job done.

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I think pretty much everyone here would be glad to cut back on the paperwork nonsense.

 

Which could be a huge benefit of just making healthcare available to everyone. You're a human living in this country? Congratulations, you qualify! No need to "prove" your eligibility through intrusive forms and interviews.

 

YES!!

 

FWIW, we administered our small group health insurance plan for nearly a decade pre-ACA. The paperwork each year was MUCH MUCH MUCH worse prior to the ACA. Every employee had to complete a life-time health history form. You actually had to report EVERY TIME YOU'VE SEEN A DOCTOR for your lifetime, or at least a decade or two. It was insane. Date/DR name/what seen for/what procedures/meds. . . really, who remembers that? The ACA drastically reduced health insurance paperwork. :) 

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YES!!

 

FWIW, we administered our small group health insurance plan for nearly a decade pre-ACA. The paperwork each year was MUCH MUCH MUCH worse prior to the ACA. Every employee had to complete a life-time health history form. You actually had to report EVERY TIME YOU'VE SEEN A DOCTOR for your lifetime, or at least a decade or two. It was insane. Date/DR name/what seen for/what procedures/meds. . . really, who remembers that? The ACA drastically reduced health insurance paperwork. :)

No pre existing conditions. Yay

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ETA: I find the ACA bashing especially ironic because you are going to benefit from a "socialized" medical system for your kids.

This.

 

OP is also upset about the hoop jumping to qualify, but people who are not in need and are against social programs often claim it's too easy to qualify and there must be fraud because it's so easy.

 

It's not easy being poor or in need of assistance in this country. It is a lot of work to get assistance. One cannot think they are different simply because they are in need of assistance for the first time.

 

As someone who has never needed to apply for assistance or been without insurance, I think single payer insurance would be great. In many countries that have this private insurance is also available for those who wish to access doctors outside of government programs. There would still be choice for those who have money to pay for choice. Which is not much different than now. Only those who gave extra money have choice in healthcare anyway.

 

I studied the Canadian program 25 years ago extensively. I also had friends in the UK and a couple European countries back then. It really seemed the way to go back then and it still does today.

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Actually, no, I did not say I am happy to have my children on Medicaid. I am unhappy to be forced to have my children on Medicaid. AND, I do not think people should be put through this, regardless, just to have their children on Medicaid. It is not ok. The process should not be so complicated or strung out. And I never had to go through a 20 minute orientation per person with regular private insurance. Why is it that qualifying for medicaid means that somehow, I deserve to be forced through that?

 

OH, and get this, my husband is on unemployment. He just got notice that he has to drive 45 minutes away to go to a mandatory orientation to unemployment or have his "benefits" cut off. That is a big WTF. And they simply assigned him a date and time and he has no choice over the date and time. Theoretically, unemployment is temporary, yet, he has to go through this big huge orientation. Ridiculous!

Wow. Well, you're certainly welcome to keep your children uninsured. If your income is virtually zero except for unemployment, I'm pretty sure you're exempt from the fine. And no one is forcing your husband to collect unemployment, either. He's welcome to opt out if attending the orientation is too onerous.

 

First time I've ever heard someone complain about her children getting free health care. Now I've seen it all.

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No, I would rather the bureaucratic nonsense were reasonable. Just because someone has a low enough income to qualify for Medicaid does not mean it is ok to put them through this. I think it is very incomist. The paperwork and requirements go beyond what is reasonable. 

 

And also, I would rather that medicaid participation were an option, not a legal requirement punishable through fines (and prison time if you don't pay the fines) for not participating. 

 

The paperwork you went through seems really disorganized and redundant.  But please understand that it is not ACA paperwork per se, it is your state's paperwork.  It's not the federal government that built that bureaucracy, it's your state.  It is sad that it is not working well in your state, but the folks that deserve the blame and your feedback are your state politicians.  Make sure they know that their decisions as to how to handle health care in your state are not working for you.  Write some letters, describe your experience, and ask if they are working on some kind of solution to the current situation.  

 

Be aware that one proposal on the table is to repeal the ACA in favor of "universal access" to health insurance.  THIS DOES NOT MEAN UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE.  It seems to mean that anyone is eligible to buy health insurance.  How much that insurance will cost, and whether it will be affordable, is unclear, as it seems likely that it will not include a mandate to have insurance, nor is it likely that there will be subsidies.  Ask hard questions about what that might look like in your state, for someone in your income bracket and family size.  Specifically, it is going to be any more affordable than what you have now?

 

To address some other issues:

 

As a taxpayer, I personally favor research-based, practical solutions to various governmental issues.  Unless we have universal health care (which England has had since 1948), I expect my neighbors to have to do a certain amount of paperwork to show eligibility for all of the various forms of healthcare and health insurance that I help to pay for.  Clearly, though, the paperwork you had to do was frustrating and redundant.  I don't pay taxes in your state but you do, so be sure to contact your state representatives and let them know that there is some waste in the system that can be streamlines for the good of the taxpayers and of the recipients of the aid.

 

As a citizen, I expect the unemployment folks to make an effort not just to pay eligible workers, but to try to help them find employment.  While I know these efforts are not geared to certain types of workers, and some folks may not benefit much from their services, I don't think an orientation to explain the ins and outs of the program, and the resources available to those who are out of work through no fault of their own, is, generally speaking a bad thing.  I do think it is not ideal to expect those who are out of work to be able to find transportation for a 45-minute trip.

Edited by justasque
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I would bet that most of the hoop jumping is due to complaints about how easy it is to get assistance, how lazy people on assistance are, how much fraud there is, how many people are just avoiding work, and so on.    It would be amazing if people didn't think this way and weren't demanding more hoops for people in need, but that's not the culture we have right now.  

 

I'm sorry your state decided to make getting coverage through the ACA so difficult, but I guess they think this is the best way.  My state is much, much easier AND they expanded Medicaid to help more people qualify for subsidies to make insurance affordable.  I wonder why our two states did things SO differently?

Edited by MrsBasil
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I would bet that most of the hoop jumping is due to complaints about how easy it is to get assistance, how lazy people on assistance are, how much fraud there is, how many people are just avoiding work, and so on. It would be amazing if people didn't think this way and weren't demanding more hoops for people in need, but that's not the culture we have right now.

 

I'm sorry your state decided to make getting coverage through the ACA so difficult, but I guess they think this is the best way. My state is much, much easier AND they expanded Medicaid to help more people qualify for subsidies to make insurance affordable. I wonder why our two states did things SO differently?

I guess it is different because of freedom of the states to do things, sort of....

 

I had to re-enter our address many many times on these forms. I was unsure about how to fill out some things and wanted to ask for help with it, but couldn't because there was no number for me to call. However, ok, so after I completed all this paperwork that had the same questions over and over again, and redid the paperwork a few times, I got huge packets of even more paperwork. There was a number in with that so I called. When I mentioned that I received 15 very large packets of paperwork and was overwhelmed with it, I got told that they were not the ones that sent me the paperwork. Remember, the number I was calling was in with the paperwork. But the people at that number said they had no idea about this paperwork and couldn't help me.

 

At this point, I had already put in a few hours online doing paperwork and then a couple hours being interviewed on the phone. I have lost count of the number of interviews I have done, but then I got a call yesterday stating that I have to do this orientation for Medicaid, 20 minutes per child. I actually have to listen to the same exact presentation five times, 20 minutes each. It feels like a population control punishment.

 

To top it off, short of a horrific accident, I do not intend to use Medicaid. I intend to take the children to a regular doctor if they get sick. Which means, I have to pay. So I am investing all this time and energy to be on a state program, which is not free as we all pay for it when we pay our taxes, when I do not want it, can't use it, and won't use it.

 

I think it is classist to have these programs how they are. What do homeless people do? What do working low income people do? How about people with disabilities? Everyone should have access to programs, no just those who have the time and money and energy to do hours of paperwork and orientations.

 

And to the person who claims you wouldn't go to jail for not doing all this to get on Medicaid, the fines are handled through the IRS. They are tacked on to your taxes. If you don't pay your taxes, you can go to jail.

Edited by Janeway
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What do you mean you do not intended uses insurance? Is it just a back up plan for you? I guess it's OK. But still and yet it is insurance that is provided to you for free

Hours of my time is not free. My cost for this is my tax money and my hours spent on it. My ONLY reason for getting on it is to avoid being fined. That is it. So if I have to put in 20 hours of work filing for this and then don't have to pay a $2000 fine, then it is like I earned $100 per hour post Tax. Except I didn't earn money, I am doing the work to avoid paying it in the form of a fine/punishment.

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I signed my oldest up for Medicaid in Texas when she was a baby. It was not difficult or onerous at all, and they paid retroactively for an ER visit from before I knew she was eligible.

Medicaid was much easier years ago. And the hospitals could and would do the paperwork for you. A lot has changed in recent times.
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No, I would rather the bureaucratic nonsense were reasonable. Just because someone has a low enough income to qualify for Medicaid does not mean it is ok to put them through this. I think it is very incomist. The paperwork and requirements go beyond what is reasonable. 

 

And also, I would rather that medicaid participation were an option, not a legal requirement punishable through fines (and prison time if you don't pay the fines) for not participating. 

 

What on earth are you talking about??? Who is telling you that you'd be fined or put in prison if you don't participate in Medicaid? 

 

Please understand that the paperwork and hoops are largely driven by anti-public-assistance politicians (and those who vote for them) who think poor people take advantage and that any public assistance must be very restricted . . . They want poor people to prove their poverty, prove their work-willingness, prove their drug-freeness, etc, etc . . . maybe work a bunch of volunteer hours . . . all to get needed services. I UNDERSTAND that this is cruel and abusive and makes NO SENSE whatsoever. I abhor these practices, and I know they lead to many families who need help not receiving it and/or simply adds steeply to the cost of being poor.

 

You could consult your political representatives about these problems, as *most* of them are state-level controlled. 

 

If we went to a universal health system like most modern economies, that would eliminate the hoops for health care . . . But, meanwhile, we have state legislatures advocating for drug-testing for food-stamps, requiring volunteer hours for welfare, etc, etc. More and more hoops, all for those who can least afford the time or money to jump through them. It's awful. It's wrong. 

 

Let's ALL FIX THIS. Left, right, middle . . . speak up, speak out, FIX THIS. Bring back compassion and treat others with dignity and respect. . . 

 

I'm not even a Christian, but I a big fan of Jesus, and I know for SURE the answer to "WWJD?" about health care . . . and I am quite sure it wouldn't require means testing or a lot of paperwork. I am quite, quite sure what the right thing to do is about health care. Let's hope we can get there in our lifetime. 

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...

To top it off, short of a horrific accident, I do not intend to use Medicaid. I intend to take the children to a regular doctor if they get sick. Which means, I have to pay. So I am investing all this time and energy to be on a state program, which is not free as we all pay for it when we pay our taxes, when I do not want it, can't use it, and won't use it.

 

...

 

Why are you assuming that you can't take the children to "a regular doctor" if they have Medicaid?  Have you called your regular doctor and explained your circumstances (temporary unemployment) to see if they will still see you?  Are you saying that you are getting Medicaid but you plan to pay out of pocket regardless?  

 

I would advise you to look carefully at the benefits you are purchasing, as there may be some things that will be worth doing while you have coverage. 

 

And remember - If you don't have that horrific accident or other serious medical event, you are the lucky one.  We are all the lucky ones when we use less in coverage $ than we pay for.  We are blessed when we are not one of the families who pay orders of magnitude less than the amount they use for health care.

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What on earth are you talking about??? Who is telling you that you'd be fined or put in prison if you don't participate in Medicaid?

 

Please understand that the paperwork and hoops are largely driven by anti-public-assistance politicians (and those who vote for them) who think poor people take advantage and that any public assistance must be very restricted . . . They want poor people to prove their poverty, prove their work-willingness, prove their drug-freeness, etc, etc . . . maybe work a bunch of volunteer hours . . . all to get needed services. I UNDERSTAND that this is cruel and abusive and makes NO SENSE whatsoever. I abhor these practices, and I know they lead to many families who need help not receiving it and/or simply adds steeply to the cost of being poor.

 

You could consult your political representatives about these problems, as *most* of them are state-level controlled.

 

If we went to a universal health system like most modern economies, that would eliminate the hoops for health care . . . But, meanwhile, we have state legislatures advocating for drug-testing for food-stamps, requiring volunteer hours for welfare, etc, etc. More and more hoops, all for those who can least afford the time or money to jump through them. It's awful. It's wrong.

 

Let's ALL FIX THIS. Left, right, middle . . . speak up, speak out, FIX THIS. Bring back compassion and treat others with dignity and respect. . .

 

I'm not even a Christian, but I a big fan of Jesus, and I know for SURE the answer to "WWJD?" about health care . . . and I am quite sure it wouldn't require means testing or a lot of paperwork. I am quite, quite sure what the right thing to do is about health care. Let's hope we can get there in our lifetime.

That is exactly what I have been trying to say!!!!!

 

The program is not set up to give fair access to those who need it. And it shouldn't be required of those who don't want it. I do not think it is ok to treat someone this way for being "low income." I cannot even stand terms like poor or needy. It just diminishes the human being.

 

There has got to be a better way to do this. I don't know the answers. I have no solutions. And maybe it is just this state. And it just seems wrong to me.

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Why are you assuming that you can't take the children to "a regular doctor" if they have Medicaid? Have you called your regular doctor and explained your circumstances (temporary unemployment) to see if they will still see you? Are you saying that you are getting Medicaid but you plan to pay out of pocket regardless?

 

I would advise you to look carefully at the benefits you are purchasing, as there may be some things that will be worth doing while you have coverage.

 

And remember - If you don't have that horrific accident or other serious medical event, you are the lucky one. We are all the lucky ones when we use less in coverage $ than we pay for. We are blessed when we are not one of the families who pay orders of magnitude less than the amount they use for health care.

Yes, I did call around. Even our own pediatrician is listed but doesn't take it. Oddly, I paid for the doctor the other day and then tried to use the Medicaid card at the pharmacy and they didn't take it. I had assumed all pharmacies would take it. Then get this, I Googled the local ER and called and even they didn't take it. I called a few urgent cares. I found a place an hour away that would take it, but they have a long wait list.
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Hours of my time is not free. My cost for this is my tax money and my hours spent on it. My ONLY reason for getting on it is to avoid being fined. That is it. So if I have to put in 20 hours of work filing for this and then don't have to pay a $2000 fine, then it is like I earned $100 per hour post Tax. Except I didn't earn money, I am doing the work to avoid paying it in the form of a fine/punishment.

Jane you do not work for pay right? And your husband is currently out of work right? So hours of your time is free. This is how you are spending your time....acquiring insurance for your family.

 

Good God.

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Jane you are sounding very elitist.

 

I assure you If something bad happens to one of your children you will be very glad you have insurance. Inferior though it may be.

I do not know why you would say someone is being elitist for saying people who qualify for medicaid should not be forced in to it and also, should not be put through all this. Even if someone has a lower income, or no income, they should still be allowed dignity. And their time is not suddenly worthless. 

 

It is incredibly elitist to say that just because someone would qualify for medicaid their time is worthless. My time has value, even if I am not paid. Everyone's time has value. It is very rude to claim my time is worthless based on income level.

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Jane you do not work for pay right? And your husband is currently out of work right? So hours of your time is free. This is how you are spending your time....acquiring insurance for your family.

 

Good God.

 

Wow, a real kick in the groan for all at home parents. And really, everyone who does not work for pay. 

 

I assume you are a working parent then? Or your time is worthless too?

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Wow, a real kick in the groan for all at home parents. And really, everyone who does not work for pay.

 

I assume you are a working parent then? Or your time is worthless too?

Oh Good God.

 

No I am mostly a SAHM. And I do many many Un paid things. Getting insurance FOR FREE is just one more of those things.

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Jane you are sounding very elitist.

 

I assure you If something bad happens to one of your children you will be very glad you have insurance. Inferior though it may be.

 

One of the advantages of a National Health system is that, in most countries, *everyone* uses it.  Which means that there isn't a disconnect between people with "Cadillac plans" and those with the bare basics from a completely different system of providers.  So when issues come up about how the system should work, it is more likely the powers that be will find a way for it to work better for everyone.  When the people who are voting on how the system should work have an utterly different system than those who need assistance, they simply don't have that first-hand awareness of what's working and what isn't, and how to change it.  

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I do not know why you would say someone is being elitist for saying people who qualify for medicaid should not be forced in to it and also, should not be put through all this. Even if someone has a lower income, or no income, they should still be allowed dignity. And their time is not suddenly worthless.

 

It is incredibly elitist to say that just because someone would qualify for medicaid their time is worthless. My time has value, even if I am not paid. Everyone's time has value. It is very rude to claim my time is worthless based on income level.

You are not forced into it. You can decline free insurance and pay the fine.

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I do not know why you would say someone is being elitist for saying people who qualify for medicaid should not be forced in to it ...

 

I think there's an argument to be made that requiring parents to carry health insurance for their children is a good thing, in the big picture at least.  While you personally have the resources to go out of network right now, most parents in your shoes do not, and without insurance, their kids won't have access to medical care.  

 

I *do* think the particular bureaucracy you describe is inefficient at best, especially since other states seem to manage it much, much better.  Getting government benefits does take time, though, as a general rule.  I've watched several people move rapidly from relative comfort to a lower-income status, due to job loss or divorce, and there is sometimes a steep learning curve, often involving much frustration and even shock at how very much work it really is to be without an adequate income in this country.        

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Jane, I'm sorry for your troubles. The system is meant to be this way in Texas. It's a feature, not a bug. Every time you hear how low our taxes are and how business friendly Texas is, remember that this is the flip side of that. State taxes pay for state services. Since you're thinking of moving, you might want to consider how states treat their citizens when they fall on hard times. As you can see in this thread, it varies widely.

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Jane, I'm sorry for your troubles. The system is meant to be this way in Texas. It's a feature, not a bug. Every time you hear how low our taxes are and how business friendly Texas is, remember that this is the flip side of that. State taxes pay for state services. Since you're thinking of moving, you might want to consider how states treat their citizens when they fall on hard times. As you can see in this thread, it varies widely.

Yes. I worked for over a decade at the department now known as HHSC in Texas. Every 2 years The Ledge dreams up new cruel and unusual ways to punish the poor in Texas. It's an intentional and horrifying sport they play with people's lives. By design.

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And to the person who claims you wouldn't go to jail for not doing all this to get on Medicaid, the fines are handled through the IRS. They are tacked on to your taxes. If you don't pay your taxes, you can go to jail.

 

The penalty is processed by the IRS, but it is not tacked on to your taxes and has its own rules.  The penalty basically has no enforcement mechanism.  

 

From Forbes:  http://www.forbes.com/sites/kellyphillipserb/2015/02/26/opting-out-of-the-obamacare-tax/#6cd1b3414424

 

So what would the penalty for noncompliance be? Jail time? Nope. The language in the Act specifically rules out jail time, saying at Section 500A(g)(2)(A):In the case of any failure by a taxpayer to timely pay any penalty imposed by this section, such taxpayer shall not be subject to any criminal prosecution or penalty with respect to such failure.

 

So, no jail time.

 

But that means that the IRS will chase you and lien your property if you don't pay, right?

Nope. That's not allowed under the Act. At 500A(g)(2)(B)(i), the Treasury cannot "file notice of lien with respect to any property of a taxpayer by reason of any failure to pay the penalty imposed by this section."

 

So, no liens.

 

Then, clearly there will be levies or seizures on your wages and account, right?

Nope. Not that either. Under 500A(g)(2)(B)(ii), the Treasury cannot "levy on any such property with respect to such failure."

 

To recap then, by law, you have to pay the penalty. But if you don't, you won't go to jail, you won't be liened and you won't be levied for collection.

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I do not know why you would say someone is being elitist for saying people who qualify for medicaid should not be forced in to it and also, should not be put through all this. Even if someone has a lower income, or no income, they should still be allowed dignity. And their time is not suddenly worthless. 

 

It is incredibly elitist to say that just because someone would qualify for medicaid their time is worthless. My time has value, even if I am not paid. Everyone's time has value. It is very rude to claim my time is worthless based on income level.

 

It seems to me the more reasonable complaint would be "people who qualify for medicaid should not be burdened by spending hours and hours on copious amounts of unnecessary paperwork to satisfy the superstitious behavior of legislators who want to assign the blame of poverty to people who suffer from it." But throughout this thread, I don't see you responding to the comments that explain how this paperwork is not a consequence of the ACA but of legislation designed to make public assistance undesirable, as if people very simply choose poverty, and a negative experience will make them think twice about keeping that choice. I'm curious what you would think if it were only a ten minute phone call that assured the medical expenses of your family were paid, including a horrific (or not so horrific) accident, or something as unpreventable and random as appendicitis.

 

 

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Hours of my time is not free. My cost for this is my tax money and my hours spent on it. My ONLY reason for getting on it is to avoid being fined. That is it. So if I have to put in 20 hours of work filing for this and then don't have to pay a $2000 fine, then it is like I earned $100 per hour post Tax. Except I didn't earn money, I am doing the work to avoid paying it in the form of a fine/punishment.

 

Oh my god. Are you even reading what we post? You aren't going to have a fine even if you turn your nose up at the free health insurance. There are about a million exemptions. Seriously, read them.

 

https://www.healthcare.gov/2015-exemptions/

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