WINNERS: 10 more million Americans who have health insurance, large swaths of whom are “people between the ages of 18 and 34; blacks; Hispanics; and people who live in rural areas,” according to the New York Times. All groups who have been having a particularly hard time in this economic climate.
Young people have fared substantially worse in the job market than older people in recent years. Blacks and Hispanics have fared worse than whites and Asians. Rural areas have fallen further behind larger metropolitan areas.
WINNERS: The poor and people who sympathize with them. “People with the lowest incomes tended to benefit the most from the law.”
LOSERS: People who find any kind of redistribution of wealth distasteful. As Vox puts it,
Obamacare is becoming a huge weapon in the fight against inequality. … for those who live in low-income areas, Obamacare has made a world of difference. The uninsured rate for residents of poor counties fell by 9 percentage points, from 26.4 percent in 2013 to 17.5 percent now. … What we’re seeing now is Obamacare as an equalizer, giving lower-income Americans access to the benefits that have been held out of reach.
LOSERS: Democrats / people who like government, since the continued backlash against Obamacare means we’re going to wake up on November 5th to a Republican controlled House and Senate. I mean, on some level, sure, enjoy Congress, guys, it’s all yours! But it’s a definite setback to those of us who enjoyed getting the occasional progressive piece of legislation to the President’s desk. Like, you know, the ACA.
Thursday is a great day to do that 1 thing you don’t want to do but also don’t want to continue thinking about doing.
The most important “1 thing” I have to do is mail the first premium checks to Babygirl’s new health insurance, as well as Fella’s and mine, so that we will be all covered as of September 1st. Related 1 thing: don’t get hit by anything heavy in August. These days, Babygirl only leaves the house in bubble wrap.
Also I have so much reading to do it’s like being back in one of my history seminars! At least it’s fun reading I will probably enjoy, including Roxane Gay’s new essay collection Bad Feminist and Anya Ulinich’s new memoir-y graphic novel Lena Finkle’s Magic Barrel, both of which I got to pick up from a local bookstore. Yay, supporting small businesses! Yay, supporting living authors! Then I will generate income by writing reviews and use it to defray the cost of Babygirl’s health insurance. At my current rate, 3-4 reviews = 1 month of coverage. Everyone wins.
What’s your 1 thing?
There are lots of reasons you may have heard of Zoë Keating. She’s a prolific musician, turning her single cello into a thick, vibrant orchestra of sounds. She’s a social activist, lending her voice to causes such as Save the Post Office.
She’s also unafraid to write about money, and became the public face behind musician streaming revenue when she released her streaming revenue from Spotify, Pandora, and other sites online in a series of Google Docs. (The Atlantic helpfully summarized her data, if you like looking at charts.)
Last week, the internet learned about Zoë Keating in another, sadder way. Her husband, Jeffrey Rusch, has cancer, and Anthem Blue Cross sent the family a letter informing them that the health insurance company would not pay for any of his treatments.
Keating quotes from the letter on her Tumblr:
Our Medical Reviewer Layma Jarjour MD has determined we cannot approve your hospital stay for cancer. We do not have enough facts to show that it was medically necessary.
This came after Rusch’s primary care doctor ordered him to go to the hospital right away, after more than a pint of fluid was removed from his lungs, and after Rusch underwent a round of emergency chemotherapy.
Depending on what kind of health insurance plan you have, there are certain cases where it's just cheaper to "self-pay" without insurance to take advantage of the markdown given to patients who pay in cash. This is a story about one of those cases
, though it's a story that is politicized in the end.