No Thank you…..
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) became a topic of conversation last night while I was chatting with friends. It’s a conversation that makes me antsy, as I wonder how we can trust a government with our health care system when it shuts down for 16 days because its members cannot work together. A government that left our soldiers’ families to suffer because of death benefit delays, closed our national parks and monuments, and let programs that benefit the American people languish while our elected officials continued to refuse to negotiate. Don’t even get me started on the ACA rollout, which lacked a working web site, followed by “Well, Apple has the same problem.” Has it really come down to comparing an Apple iPhone to our health care benefits? Elected officials speak of caring, with each side declaring they want only the best for the American people. I call bullshit. Talk does not cook rice.
Each month, I write a sizable check for health insurance for Cole and me. My brother-in-law is my health insurance agent: He has guided me toward the best health care plan, calls me with changes and makes adjustments as necessary. If I have a question, I call him. I trust him; it works. While I would love to believe the ACA will save me money and offer me more benefits, I have no reason to trust that it will—and, in fact, my recent dealing with another arm of the government leads me to believe that allowing the government to mandate health benefits will only lead to disappointment and rage.
Cole receives Social Security benefits from his dad’s death. They are deposited directly into my checking account each month…more or less. There have been a lot of glitches along the way, but for the last six weeks the Social Security Administration has outdone itself. I called and spoke to a Social Security representative about changing the bank into which the benefits are deposited. The call took about an hour, but the person I finally spoke to was polite, professional and seemed knowledgeable. I confirmed the information she was giving me and wrote down her name. What comes next is a series of errors that is so complicated that I cannot even begin to explain them. Suffice to say, countless hours on the phone and several trips to the Social Security office have not yet solved the problem. Two checks have been routed to the wrong bank account, returned and lost. Each person I speak to is certain I have misunderstood the person I spoke to the day before. When I produce detailed notes, times and names, they blame it on the government shutdown. Taking responsibility seems to be a foreign concept.
My mantra has become, I’m not blaming you; I’m just trying to find out how to fix the problem. I’m lying. I do blame them; they represent the system, and until someone takes responsibility to find the checks and correct the direct deposit account number, Cole will continue to be without his benefits.
I support a better and more inclusive health care system but before I clap my hands and believe in the ACA I need to be confident that their web site is reliable, accountable people have been hired, and I’m being given accurate information. Amazon is a good model – 79 million Americans flock to buy from Amazon; their prime membership has 10 million members. No one was forced to sign-up. They are the most trusted brand in America.
Mr President, senators, and congressmen: If ACA earns the trust of the American people, they will come.
Do you trust that our government has our best interests at heart when it comes to our health care? Do you believe our representatives will deliver what they promise? Have you ever stood in line at the driver’s license bureau? Or tried to fix a government snafu?
Odd Loves Company!