The $23,800 Bug Bite

Greg Knauss describes his son’s $23,800 bug bite, and why Obamacare (and thus this coming election) is important.

This is how medicine is supposed to work. Everybody has been kind and patient and our stay has been nothing but reassuring and comfortable. Alerts were raised when they should have been, and professionals acted accordingly. Score one for the American medical establishment.

The bill is $23,800.

I’ll have to have to pay less than 6% of that, because I’m lucky enough to still have insurance.

Two years ago, the company I worked for up and skedaddled — that’s how you say it, right? — to Texas, for a “better business environment” than you can apparently find in California. I think that means that the CEO doesn’t have to pay state taxes and is allowed to hunt low-level employees for sport. I’ve been working as an independent contractor since — and having a good time doing it — but I haven’t been able to find private insurance. Everybody loves the small businessman, the fabled self-sufficient entrepreneur, unless he’s got a history of kidney stones and a ruptured disc and, delicately put, a “problematic height/weight ratio.” They didn’t say which way it was problematic, but I think it’s insurance industry jargon for “Tubby McLardass.”

But California — in an effort, no doubt, to discourage business — lets former employes extend their COBRA coverage for an additional 18 months after the federal limit runs out. I’m paying the full premium, but I and my family have insurance.

It’s good, I suppose, to be reminded that although President Obama has been so disappointing in so many things I care about — torture, drone killings, Guantanamo, stimulus, bank fraud, immigration (until election pressure got to him) — things could be even worse.

But the Republican convention just finished up, and tens of thousands of people gathered in Tampa to cheer every mention of reversing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The PPACA is how literally tens of millions of Americans can avoid having a bug bite wipe them out financially.

Uniformed troops are out of Iraq, although that has at least as much to do with the Iraqis kicking us out as it does with the Administration’s determination to leave. We did get almost a quarter loaf on health care, and the cause of gay rights has advanced.

Spotted via rc3.

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4 Responses to The $23,800 Bug Bite

  1. Rick says:

    I cringe every time I hear a Democrat use the Fox-produced “Obamacare.” It’s convenient, I know, but it also seems to validate some kind of perception that can only be conjured up in the little minds of a conservative.


  2. I agree with you Rick. I don’t like buying into their language. As George Lakoff says, language is so important and pubs understand that. They know how to talk in sound bytes and as Lakoff said:

    “Liberals have the idea that if you just tell people the facts, people will be rational, and reach the right conclusion. The facts unframed — if not framed properly in the appropriate moral way, won’t set you free! People won’t reach the appropriate conclusions. It is very important that the facts be understood in some moral framework. The conservatives have understood that, and they frame everything they have in a moral framework….”

  3. Vic says:

    I doubt he got a good deal having COBRA extended for him by CA. COBRA is expensive and often far more expensive than what is required. It is entirely possible that his 18 months of COBRA, for a family, cost him almost what the bug bite did. (The wiser choice for most people is to honestly evaluate your current insurance risk and get a high deductable or catostrophic policy where possible – which he obviously did not do. But we just don’t have enough facts to really make this part of the argument matter.)

    The PROBLEM here is not insurance or lack of it. The PROBLEM is the way health care systems are setup, and how health “insurance” (it’s not really insurance) is setup and often purposely hobbled by the Government. You will never address the cost problems inherent in medical care so long as you only address the problem of the “uninsured.” Obamacare is a bandaid; quite possibly one that won’t work. If the systemic problems were properly addressed we might find that most problems we assiciate with healthcare now would go away or dimminish significantly on their own. But it is in no politician’s interest to ever do so, so here we are… with a wacked health care scheme that will likely be repealed after the elections in 2012 or 2014, and/or challenged again on Constitutional grounds (starting with it not being enacted properly as the tax that it now is (thanks Justice Roberts), and moving on from there to its other remaining vulnerabilities).

    Fix the problem! Don’t just keep applying plaster and paint to the giant hole in the wall and pretending it’s as strong as ever.

    The problem with Liberals thinking they can just explain things and people will act rationally is that Liberals are never happy with rationality if the action taken is not to their liking. These kinds of Liberals don’t like the idea that rational people can actually disagree with them for their own, equally rational, reasons. It’s really just soft tyranny.

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