Affordable Care Act: Talk Does Not Cook Rice

Affordable Care Act

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!

16 thoughts on “Affordable Care Act: Talk Does Not Cook Rice

  1. I will keep it simple…….NO. Less Govt is best. I think that I will look at the ballot and if I have heard of the politician that is running…..I will vote for the other one.

  2. Do I trust that our government has our best interests at heart when it comes to healthcare? Fairness requires us to ask a similar question of the private sector. Do you trust that a profit maximizing insurance company has our best interests at heart when it comes to our healthcare? Thousands of Americans with denied claims or families that have gone bankrupt due to medical costs would surely ask for a better system. Which is what the ACA is: an attempt to improve a woefully broken healthcare system. I agree the public sector often lacks the necessary incentives to create efficient processes, which can be maddening. But it’s my responsibility to elect a government and politicians that do have my best interests in mind. I’ve seen and experienced what a private market can do to healthcare. I’m willing to give someone else a shot.
    Here’s to a civil debate.

    • Good points Keith. I agree with many of them. Health care is a mess. I’m willing to give someone else a shot too. However, when the government steps in and takes away our options it is scary. When the government is screwing up right and left from Afghanistan to the NSA to Cole’s SS benefits (yes it’s personal) and then says hey we are going to mandate your health care too-it makes me stop and think. Why not a slow roll out, why no choice, why not try it on a smaller scale first? Why not build trust? What are they scared of? I think this goes well beyond political sides. I don’t have the answers, I’m willing to listen, learn, and watch but I’m not willing to do a happy dance, yet. Show me.

  3. Since this president came into office, the promise of CHANGE he made has done nothing but confuse and cause Mis trust in our government. We are being sold down the river without a paddle. He has done everything to cause us shame and I don’t see this getting any better soon. When it comes election time we all better follow Kathy’s lead. We need to get rid of that whole bunch and start living by the constitution and bring God back to the forefront . If we don’t we are finished. God Bless America!

  4. What a nightmare you have been through with the SS issue. It just seems like it is so difficult to navigate through issues like this and it makes me wonder how people who are either elderly or have limited understanding and patience can make it through the system. I do not know what the answer to healthcare is—-what I do know is that it is expensive any way it is offered. And to offer the new ACA and not have a functioning website is ridiculous. Another fail in my humble opinion. A huge fail. Your comparison to Amazon was right on. We trust them. They deliver time after time successfully and have earned respect and trust.
    It is definitely a hot topic right now and it will be very interesting to see how it all plays out. I just self edited what I wrote because I didn’t want to start a heated discussion but just let me say I was not impressed with the last presidential news conference.
    Good luck with the SS—–keep fighting the good fight.

    • Just navigating the phone system makes you want to pull your hair out. And nothing is simple. If you express frustration, they talk over you and rings around you explaining how it is not their fault–show frustration and they will “terminate the call.”
      I’m not impressed either, I’m letting others make excuses for the web site, and jump on early enrollment–I’ll wait and see.
      LOL–It’s a mostly civil group unless you are talking cup holders. . .

  5. I feel for you DN. Nothing worse than trying to get a straight answer from a government agency. Have you also noted that whomever you talked to one day is not available the next so you go through the whole rigamarole ONE MORE time The only advice I can offer is, if something is working for God’s sake don’t make ANY changes in it. No different banks, no different days, etc.etc. Also agree that whoever is in office currently should not be voted back in. From the president to the janitor.

  6. Outstanding, Kb! No, I don’t trust the government to handle my health care. The government, in my opinion, is far too involved in the average person’s day-to-day life as it is, without the confusing mess the ACA is making.
    I’m truly sorry for your problems with Coles’s SS benefits. That’s just one more indication that problems with the government abound.
    Does health care need to be fixed? Definitely, but not this way. Not by force. Not so fast. If this had been a good piece of legislation, it wouldn’t have soured if our elected leaders had allowed it to simmer a bit — rather than demanding it be done RIGHT NOW, or pay fines.
    And when they shove all the blame for the snafu on the web designers, well, let’s just say it starts to get personal!

    • Thank you. The speed, early disorganization, the lack of choice does not bode well. Health care demands efficiency and the ability to communicate between different branches of government effectively and for someone to step up and take responsibility. It won’t be the Pres–in three years he’s gone. . .

  7. i, also, had ss benefits as a youngster. of course, that was years ago when times were much simpler. i’m sorry to hear about your troubles getting cole’s benefits routed correctly. it’s so frustrating when it’s an important matter to you yet the person on the other end of it doesn’t give a flip.
    hear, hear to the above posts ^.
    an email i received the other day:
    The Question Of The Year!
    We are always hearing about how Social Security is going to run out of money.
    How come we never hear about Welfare running out of money?

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