On Privilege and the Affordable Care Act

Yes, I know, two back to back posts about the ACA. But I wanted to make one last point before going into the weekend and being away from the blog.

Here's my observation. It's sort of easy being against the ACA and rooting for its failure when you're sitting in a job that's giving you decent health insurance. 

I think that's what bugs me the most. How people with insurance--with no skin in the game where their healthcare is concerned or the healthcare for their spouses and children--are wanting the ACA to go away. So that what? So that other people don't have access to the same privilege you currently have?

I mean, what's so awful about letting the under- and unemployed bundle themselves together to get a decent rate from an insurance provider? Why wouldn't you want that to work? Especially since it doesn't involve governmental meddling in medicine?

I mean, I get the political stuff and the spitball fights. But I wish there was a little more compassion in the objections of those currently enjoying health insurance.

Think of the kids, millions of them, right now in this great nation. Without any healthcare. What about them? Flu season is about to start. What about them?

Okay, end of rant. Ya'll have a good weekend. And BTW, I pray for everyone, everyday, who I disagree strongly with on this blog.

I hope you pray for me as well.

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16 thoughts on “On Privilege and the Affordable Care Act”

  1. I want the ACA to go away so that more people have access to the same privilege (read "affordable healthcare") that I have. I know you're focusing on a few that have benefited from this plan, I'm seeing a whole lot of people who have lost not only their access to affordable healthcare, but have also seen their hours needed to pay for their rising healthcare costs cut back. You want ACA+1? A full repeal of the ACA is ACA+1.

    Dear God, bless Richard, and thank you for his thoughtful blog, Bless his family, his church and all the good people in his fine community of Abilene, and give him a great weekend.

  2. Richard -- I agree. For those of us in the Individual Marketplace, the ones most affected by this law, this could be a great improvement -- if allowed to be implemented. We hear a lot about those satisfied with their policies. They would be those who receive it either through Medicare or through employers or have access to effective group policies.


    No, NOT "so that other people don't have access to the same [privilege? Please.] [we] currently have."

    Precisely so that we can accomplish that more efficiently and better but without immolating the constitutional basis of our nation, its laws, and its institutions, and without putting an out-of-control, imperial, self-exalting, narcissistic, solipsistic pseudo-executive and his cronies in charge of 16-18% of an erstwhile prosperous economy. D@mn, is it seriously THAT hard to understand?

    I want everyone to have access to great health care. There are better ways to do it. (Incrementally! Just as with immigration reform.) BOcare is accomplishing the OPPOSITE (as was predicted -- and infinitely predictable). For every person who has signed up for Medicaid through these exchanges, umpteen quadrillion have been or are currently being booted off their existing, satisfactory coverages, forced to pay much, much more for coverages that they don't need but that make it easier for Sandra Fluke to get [ ] without the inconvenience of a [ ] or an [ ]. The net change is appallingly negative, for the love of Barack, and we're just getting started!

    C:\> SET RANT = OFF




    C:\> SET BEER = 16OZ

  4. Thank you, and I don't see it as a rant at all :-)
    I think it's true that some people seem not to care about others, which is pretty discouraging when its people who claim to follow Jesus.
    ACA has been good for some people, and bad for others. For example, I have to buy insurance independently, and so I get catastrophic because its the only one I can afford. Which I will no longer be able to do cause that type of insurance doesn't fit the new guidelines. Which means I have to pay $150+ a month more to have insurance. Yes, admittedly it's better insurance in a number of ways but unfortunately not very affordable.
    Personally I feel pretty ripped off in the sense that with a Democrat controlled congress and President we should have been able to get single payer. Instead we have what appears to be a financial windfall for insurance companies. Sigh...

  5. So the health care act is not a panacea nor a total failure.....there are some problems that need worked out, but Is the ideal of affordable health care for all just a bad idea that "won't work" under any circumstances? Do we need another threat from Hitler to force the nation to see a larger picture and compromise enough to get the job done? There's too much at stake politically and ideologically apparently for that to get accomplished. It's just sad that Richard and many more's concerns are being shouted down by people whose "enlightened pragmatism" and thinly veiled glee at administratiive short falls are keeping what could be a real advance in care for the marginalized and forgotten (or secretly despised as mooches) beaten down in the name of concern for the nation's health! Shame on you!

  6. Somethin's got to give, procedures have to improve, attitudes have to soften....before enlightened Christian values come to truly impact this nation's posture on health care. Despite all the rhetoric, we're still pretty selfish people as a whole. Admit it, all you "concerned" patriotic pragmatists! Richard, keep up your gentle testimony on behalf of the poor and forgotten. One thing's a cinch....we're no Christian nation. Is invigorated self-interest the best we can muster as a whole!
    The testimony of the martyrs, that great cloud of witnesses urge you on. Dear Brother. Jesus was no pragmatist...He identified with and fought for the poor. His way still makes a whole lo of us really uncomfortable!u

  7. We're self-employed farmers. We have a high-deductible policy because that's what we want. We believe insurance should be to insure against catastrophic expense, which we couldn't afford without the insurance. We don't believe we should pay insurance premiums for a policy that pays for doctor visits, for example. We think the state of our medical system would be improved is everyone treated insurance that way. We're waiting for the notification, but it looks like won't be allowed to keep our policy because the high-deductible makes it "substandard." We'll be forced to buy a more expensive policy with a lower deductible--even though we don't want it. Because our income is low, we would qualify for a subsidy, but we don't want that either. This is all great for insurance company revenue, but not so great for us. Health care and health insurance are not the same thing. I appreciate you sentiment for those who are unable to afford health care and I share it. But funneling more money to insurance companies seems to me a wrongheaded way to deal with it. peace

  8. "I mean, what's so awful about letting the under- and unemployed bundle themselves together to get a decent rate from an insurance provider?"

    What do you mean "letting?" The ACA is not "letting"...it is forcing participation under pain of financial penalty and on that principle alone, should be rejected or altered.

    My family and I are "poor" by IRS standards (and we don't have health insurance at this time) and we want the ACA to go away. I am not the only "poor" family who feels exactly the same.

    Love the blog by the way...

  9. Very good post and your sincere compassion makes the Experimental Theology blog a pleasure to read. I hope some day to be able to share how much of a blessing the various topics you have covered have been in my life. Richard, I appreciate you and your readers' comments very much.

    There are a few things I would like to offer in this discussion:

    1. The moral aspect of the Health and Human Services Mandate of the ACA.

    2. The assumption that the Federal government is, or should be, in a position to manage seemingly all aspects of the individual and the employer.

    3. The areas which the government is currently directing, whether it be war or welfare, are financed by deficit spending.

    The ACA is not optional. One has insurance which complies with the ACA, buys into a personal plan, or is to be subject to fines and/or criminal charges for failing to do so. The HHS mandate requires the insurance to include coverage for abortion, contraceptives, and sterilization. Further, an employer is required to provide these through employee insurance.


    Is practicing one's religion limited to worship at a facility at a particular time of the week, or is it living out the faith daily through the choices big and small that uphold deeply held convictions? We can have an honest debate about the morality of what you or I choose to do. But compelling someone to contribute to or engage in an activity in which the person has a clear moral objection to is wrong.

    The regard a person of faith should have for his fellow man should be evidenced by the manner in which such deeply held convictions are also put into practice. Charity is not charity if it is enacted by force. Reliance on an immense bureaucracy and the accompanying political machinations do not foster charitable works of mercy of the faithful, but instead serve as a means of excusing the individual, the congregation, and the community from direct involvement.

    The principle of subsidiarity is clearly outlined in the following link, should you be interested.

    At some point or another the government will just not be able to afford to provide everything it has already promised to its citizens. What entitlement programs are being financed with money the government actually has and which of them fall into the 'unfunded liabilities' category? Is it moral to leave as an inheritance to generations to come a debt that is unable to be paid, the interest payments of which are barely manageable now?

    Finally, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq should serve as sober reminders that the government is not likely to be a wise and honest steward of the nation's resources and treasures.

    If, as I understand it, the need for health care coverage for all Americans is a direct outcome of compassion, I shudder to think that one of the justifications for implementing it at all costs was because the moral and financial expenses were small compared to over a decade of immoral warfare.

  10. I completely agree with you, Bill!!!!!! Health insurance should be for catastrophes! Our family does have health insurance through my husbands work but since I use natural/home remedies for our family we rarely go to the doctor for anything other than a true emergency (ie: broken bones, stitches). Notice I didn't say "we go to the emergency room"...that is even more rare. We would save so much money if we didn't have to pay a monthly premium for general health insurance. Our family of 7 could easily pay out of pocket for the few times we go to the doctor in any given year and still be in the black. Health "insurance" is not all its cracked up to be...I get so frustrated over all the different little rules that each policy has. It takes more time and energy to call and talk to the insurance company about each and every procedure (this was for maternity care) or if this or that Dr. is "prefered" and to try to understand all the jargon and rules...AAAAHHH!!! My head is spinning just thinking about it! We have payed out of pocket so many times because we missed some rule that our policy required for payment...the insurance company ALWAYS comes out on top. They have all the power :-P

  11. In Canada I thank God for the universal mandatory health coverage we have. No over-the-top insurance company administrative costs allowing more benefits to be covered. No worries about catastrophic live events sapping my life savings. If permitted I would even be prepared to pay a small monthly premium to improve accessibility to those in greater need of specialized services but our coverage is so efficient administratively we don't have to go there yet.The so-called "moral quandry" of government involvement is called, in Canada, good citizenship-something right wing Americans decry.

  12. The official name of the law is Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Why are those first two words so important? Because when I did not have a job last year and tried to get insurance with a recent history of cancer (still see the oncologist twice a year), I was rejected by every insurance company. It is no longer legal for them to do that thanks go this law. I do not wish the horror of cancer on anyone, but I wish everyone could feel the panic I did, knowing that if/when my cancer returns and this law did not exist, I would not be able to afford to survive. In that case, cancer would not be my killer, the insurance companies, the health care system would be my death panel.

  13. Problem I see here, Richard, is that everyone you are claiming did not have access to affordable healthcare before the ACA actually did.

    No one can be turned away from a hospital that needs healthcare, whether they have insurance or not. The cost to people who had not insurance and could not pay was exactly $0.00 for healthcare.

    Healthcare was available to everyone without insurance, and hospitals and insurance companies hated it because it was costing them money. This cost, in turn, was passed on to people who actually had insurance - the very people you seem to think are so heartless that they do not want to see other people have access to healthcare - a position you wrongly posited as being fact.

    In the system before the ACA, healthcare cost the patient without insurance and without money nothing. Everyone was covered by this defacto "program" of healthcare. Anyone who did not have insurance could not be turned away.

    The only benefit the ACA provided was more money for insurance companies and the government. Those who have insurance now must pay more for it (more money for insurance companies) because of its expanded coverage many do not want. Those who cannot pay for healthcare will now pay a penalty enforced by the IRS (more money for government).

    All those people without insurance and without money who had access to free healthcare just lost it because of the ACA.

  14. Good point extremely well said. There actually isn't a country in the world that behaves in a Christian way. All are led by greed. We will have to wait until we see God face to face.

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