If you follow me on social media, you probably have seen that I tweet a lot about politics. I’m a Democrat, and I don’t always agree 100% with what Democrats say. But in a political climate like what we are in now, I feel more in line with my political party than ever.
It seems like politics are in the news more than ever now. That may be because things seem to be crazier than they ever have been. Also, the president seems to like to tweet out ridiculous things every now and then to make sure that he’s still in the news. Some of these tweets I feel are just to cover up something else that isn’t going to be reported, but I also feel like he just wants to make sure that there isn’t a lag in his press coverage.
I’ve become more politically active in the past year. Partially this is due to the last election, but I also feel more involved to the issues that are being discussed. I think some of feeling more involved is just being more educated by listening to a lot of political podcasts. But also it seems like so many things are personally affecting me in a way that they haven’t before.
When Republicans tried to repeal the Affordable Care Act, I was terrified. It’s because of the ACA that I have health insurance that is 1/3 of the cost that it was before. Before the ACA, I was only eligible for insurance that was created for people with pre-existed conditions. Now that pre-existing conditions can’t be used to turn you away from insurance, I’m getting normal insurance that has better benefits and lower monthly premiums. I do still miss when I was on my dad’s insurance because everything was free then, but what I have now is much better than what I had when I started to have to pay for it.
I was so relieved when the repeal of the ACA didn’t pass. I know how important my health insurance is for me. I don’t have the simplest health issues and I need insurance. If I didn’t have insurance, I can’t imagine where I’d be now. If I hadn’t found out about my tumors and continued to take hormonal birth control, the tumors would have continued to grow and they could have ruptured. And I know I wouldn’t have gone to the doctor when I did if I had to pay thousands of dollars to be seen. But because I had insurance, it was $50 for that appointment.
I’m aware that there are problems in the healthcare system and I’m not denying it. But so many problems were solved when the ACA passed and I’m so grateful for that. But with the recent tax bill that will likely be signed by the president, the ACA might not exist the way it has. The president seemed pretty pleased to announce that the tax bill pretty much ended the ACA. And that’s not false. They removed the mandate that required people to have health insurance in this bill. And if people aren’t required to have insurance, healthy people won’t necessarily get it. And that only leaves sicker people (like me) using it and that makes everything more expensive. If there aren’t people paying monthly premiums who don’t use their insurance that often, there’s nobody to offset the costs of those who use it a lot.
As far as healthcare goes for next year, I think I should be ok. I already have the letter from my insurance saying what my monthly premium will be and my benefits are pretty similar as they were this year. Some of my benefits are actually going to be better. But I’m worried about what will happen in 2019 when there is a chance that fewer people will have insurance. I don’t want to think about how expensive things can get. I’m lucky because my parents help me pay my insurance (it’s still too expensive for me to afford on my own right now) so if the price goes up they will still help me. But it still is making me think about trying to prepare for having worse insurance again.
Fortunately, my IUD is still good for another 9 years so I don’t have to worry about that for a while. And hopefully my tumors will continue to shrink so I don’t need surgery. But the idea of having bad insurance again has made me wonder if I should have surgery to remove the tumors next year. I don’t think I would do that because I’d rather not have surgery, but it’s still a thought in my head. If I needed it no matter what, I would do it without thinking too much about it. But since it’s still a gray area, I don’t know what the right move would be for me. I won’t be making a decision until I see my surgeon again in October unless something crazy happens to me, but I know I’ll be thinking about it until then.
I’m really hoping that my fears about my health insurance don’t come true. Maybe a lot of people are going to be so happy that they have any insurance when they didn’t have it before that they will keep it. The enrollment numbers are showing that healthcare enrollment is close to what it was last time despite the enrollment period being cut in half and almost all the advertising money to tell people to sign up was taken away. People have been pretty good about sharing online to remind others to sign up and that seems to be working. I don’t know if the president really wanted people to forget to sign up so he could say that people don’t like insurance or what, but if the numbers are almost the same as the last year they won’t be able to say that people are unhappy.
I know that this is a bit of a rambling post. I think I’m still in shock about a lot of what is happening in politics now. There are some people who didn’t understand that there was something in the new tax bill designed to take down the ACA until the president was sharing how happy he was about that. The new tax bill hasn’t been signed by the president so maybe there is still hope that things can change. But no matter what happens, I know that I have to continue to be political and to share my voice. If someone wants to tell me that healthcare doesn’t matter, I want them to know my story and why it matters to me. I won’t stay silent on an issue that I feel is important. I know I have done that for far too long and I can’t keep doing it.