How is Obamacare Doing So Far?

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Traffic surges and glitches are causing slowdowns on the healthcare.gov website.

Obamacare has faced a number of challenges since President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law. There’s been 50 votes in Congress to defund or repeal it, a Supreme Court challenge and as of today, a government shutdown.

But how does Obamacare, which became operational today, stand up to the Bill Moyers Facebook audience?

We asked our fans who visited the new health insurance marketplace online to share their experiences with us. Here’s what they found.

Insurance … finally

A number of users had said they had already signed up and were grateful to be on their way to having health care coverage for the first time in years.

Here’s what Dolores Rogers wrote on our wall: “It was easy, fast and impressive. I actually made the experience longer than it needed to be just so I could savor the fact that I was making history…and I am going to have health care insurance for the first time since March of 2009.”

Malinda J Bills wrote: “My mom (who is 62) hasn’t had health insurance in 15 years because her work option would be 50 percent of her take home pay – just not affordable. I’m so excited for her to finally be insured. She hasn’t had a mammogram and can’t even see a doctor for her most basic preventative care. Finally – options!!!”

Nancy M. Knapp wrote: “Loving it. When I checked prices back in April, the only thing I could maybe afford had a $10,000 deductible and covered very, very little, for about $424 a month. Now it appears that I can get a really good plan for about $218 a month.”

Frustrations

For many, signing onto the website was a problem, as it was slow given high traffic volume. We received dozens of comments similar to this one by David Corriveau: “Tried to sign on, but site was too busy. Will try later.” Or as Kevin Maness put it: “Hard for me to understand how the website can be so busy when ‘everyone in America wants Obamacare repealed,’ as I keep hearing.”

Others wanted to learn more about the types of plans available but were frustrated that they needed to create an account and share personal information to do so.

“I did go there as I heard conflicting stories about how affordable it really is. Unfortunately, you cannot find out the cost without creating an account and applying. I don’t want to apply or give personal information without knowing what the cost will be,” Kathy Reames said.

A similar sentiment was shared by Peter Young: “Wanted to see it, but it requires a person to log in and establish an account with email. What, just to look! No thanks.”

The “navigators”

Some of our fans had contact with people who worked for the online marketplace, healthcare.gov.
John Lippincott of New York had met with a “navigator,” an outreach worker that educates people about Obamacare and helps them sign up.

He said that his navigator had trouble getting onto the New York state website to compare his current insurance to Obamacare, but still the experience was positive.

“She was helpful. Surprisingly, I was the only client there. I’d just missed a workshop which had more people attending … She thought I could get the info I needed in about a week, maybe even by Thursday so I am impressed,” Lippincott said.

Another fan, John Monarchi, called the 24/7 information number (1-800-318-2596) for the health insurance marketplace and had this to say: “I got a helpful representative in less than 15 minutes. He spent 20 minutes on the phone to answer my questions. Was a positive experience. First step is looking good!”

Single payer

Still, others said that a single payer system, like Medicare, is a better option than Obamacare.

Dave Townsend, who works for Monroe Plan for Medical Care, a health care services organization in New York, had this to say: “Speaking as someone who has worked in healthcare for the past 30 years, we pay much higher prices because of our for profit system. No system is perfect but single payer works well in other countries — overall lower costs and better health outcomes — and everyone is covered.”

Kate Moylan added: “As a Canadian and someone who as a child lived in the US, I completely agree! I’ve never understood the paranoia that Americans feel around this issue. Without equal health care, a nation cannot be a civilization! Every citizen has the right to good health, and at the very least, everyone should pay.

Do you have comments on Obamacare? Share your thoughts below.

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  • Elizabeth

    I’m an American – a Texan no less – and do not have paranoia about a single payer system! I yearn for it as do many many of my friends. We aren’t the majority in Texas but we will be soon. As for the rest of the country, I do believe most of the population would be happy to have single payer (“Medicare for all”). It’s the politicians that resist it. A lot of them resist it because their serious funding comes from industries (like health insurance) that would be hurt by single payer. A lot of the resistance that there is among people – and it’s pretty fierce in a state like Texas – is because people do not understand. They think single payer means giving up a lot of freedoms. Someday we’ll get to where most of the rest of the developed world is on this subject – sooner rather than later i hope. In the meantime, the Affordable Care Act (Obamacares) is a vast improvement over what we’ve had. I’m tremendously excited about it’s debut.

  • j mac

    I havent been able to log on, or create an alternate account. I am unable to view information I need. I work and am unable to visit a drugstore during the times navigators are there, not even sure when they are there. There is no information on this anywhere. I am in Florida. Our governor has forbidden our libraries and government centers from helping. I wonder what he hopes to hide from us this time that taking the fifth on medicare fraud did not already cover up. Our public state workers who serve us and who work in our communities are FORBIDDEN to help us. Is Florida seceding from the union? Wow, what did I miss?

    I managed to get through to the phone number this evening – couldnt this morning – and got a phone number for a non profit which is some kind of base for the navigators. I will call tomorrow and find out where and when I can meet with someone who can finally put all my options in front of me so that I can make an informed choice – something that this formerly self employed 58 year old diabetic cancer survivor never thought she would live long enough to do. I work – as a temporary contractor – and I have limited insurance through my agency. Limited. Yet it is better and more affordable than what I was offered as a self employed person with a pre existing condition. $600-800 a month for a bare bones policy on the private market before this – if I could get it. I now pay about $300 a month, but the coverage is more limited than I would like at my age. And the co pays are ridiculous for lab work and diagnostic tests. Supposedly I should get mammograms and colonoscopy covered as preventive care but it hasnt happened yet.

    Our politicians would rather that people like me hurry up and die.

    Not gonna happen. We are ENTITLED to this information. Give us ALL the news, good and bad. Are they afraid what we will do with real meaningful information in the information age?

    Right now I cannot even get log in assistance. The website is broken and it is so stupid because they had YEARS to put this in place and now they are just SO SURPRISED that everyone wants to access it. Whaddaya expect? We have been waiting for YEARS for this to finally be available and our politicians want to take it away so we better check it out NOW before it is gone so that we know what they are trying to deprive us of.

  • Susan

    Covered California gave me a “404″ when I tried to look at actual plans offered.

  • Lynn Landry

    for those not wanting to give info, npr had a great calculator for that

  • Lynn Landry

    considering i was once denied health care because pregnancy was a pre-existing condition, this is great.

  • Viva

    I love it! I’m going to save about $600 per month and still get all my medical care needs met. Truly fantastic.

  • C Aubrey McWatt

    Health care ought to be at the very base of Mazlow’s heirarchy of needs, even more primary to food and shelter. Without health, everything else becomes unimportant to survival. Kudos to Obama for the vision to institute a law that provides affordable health care to those who need but cannot otherwise afford it.

  • Chris Hartnett

    I don’t think it is too much to ask, regarding personal information input, to establish the cost of healthcare.

  • Paula Meyer

    Keep trying. the response has been so overwhelming that the computers haven’t been able to keep up with it. Today was the first day, not the deadline.

  • Jonathan Yaeger

    My small business provides insurance for my employees and their families, but I don’t qualify for a dime of ACA subsidy. Nice.

  • William Prince

    I agree, but we have to crawl before we can walk.

  • Rosalie Ruff

    There is a way to calculate your premium without signing up. Here’s the simple online tool. http://kff.org/interactive/subsidy-calculator/

  • Barry Pither

    As a followup ask two questions – would you pay $7/day for medical insurance, and would you pay $2,555/year for insurance? Chances are you would get many more negative answers for the latter

  • Anonymous

    You can find at an average price for your area without applying. It is the Kaiser subsidy calculator. It told me our copay for the bronze plan in Florida for 2 would be 145! Not bad, when my husband’s work wants 500! here is the site to get an average price: http://kff.org/interactive/subsidy-calculator/

  • Anonymous

    Sorry, see someone already posted this..

  • Anonymous

    Patricia, your mammogram is covered for free, no co-pay on preventative care, and no deductible. There are a lot of free services like this covered under preventative care. How about that? :)

  • Anonymous

    How can it have gone up when no one is covered yet? Your employer is expecting problems and using this as an excuse. Research to make sure they are giving you a fair deal..I use to work in insurance. often the premium s go up because the get a contract with a different company or the plan is different.. say your copay goes down or your deductible goes down. You will pay more for that too. Just check your facts and I am sorry it went up. We haven’t had insurance in 2 years and we are both professionals and I am sick. so I for one am glad I will now have insurance. But I really believe they have been lying to you about why it went up. :)

  • Anonymous

    The pool of people pay for it. Only 25 percent of people who have insurance ever use it. That is why hour insurance is cheaper if you work for a larger company. That is why the government can offer it so cheap.. there is a larger pool of people. We will pay 145 a month for a family of two while my husband’s work wants 500! We have been without insurance for 2 years now because of this. HE paid 180 with a large company with a pool of 40,000 people. When he changed to the company with 100 people, his insurance went up to 500.. not as many people in the pool of those insured. Oh by the way, i was middle class. We made 80,000 2 years ago. I am very ill so can’t work and our governor cut state jobs and the oldest goes.. so my hubby lost his job of 20 years.. they let anyone with 18 and over go. So we lost our insurance. All he could get was a job making much less than before. Hopefully now, with a masters degree, he can get a better job.. after he does his two year internship. Things are looking up again.. but all middle class are a step away from being us.. just saying.. One year of unemployment ruined us. Our savings is gone, we lost our car and almost our home.. Thanks God Obama helped with: 1) the Hamp loan’ 2) More unemployment money, 3) the insurance we are now getting and 4). help in making our monthly home payment till we get back on our feet. We are not users, just down on our lucik. He is truly a President of the middle class.

  • MG

    I’d love to see a single-payer system, but with a twist. To keep costs down, it should be a catastrophic insurance plan, with options for supplementing it with private insurance.
    And there should always be co-pays and deductibles, but not so high. One of the problems with our health-care now is that when it’s covered by insurance, the patient thinks only of getting the most care, not the best or most appropriate care. With some skin in the game, patients would be more inclined to choose more wisely.

    However, Obamacare is a good step in the right direction. Once we’re all covered, then
    we can make adjustments, and work toward lower costs overall. Hooray—it’s finally here!

  • Christina Berg

    I am one of the folks out in the self-insured market (17% of the population) that the ACA seems likely to be balanced on. I had insurance for me and my daughter for $433/month with checkup ob/gyn visit and well-child visit paid each year, $5500 deductible after that, then 0% coinsurance after that was met. The only thing that it did not cover out of the 10 basic health insurance standards under the ACA was maternity care. It was a decent HDHP that met our non-going-to-the-doctor needs. That plan is now gone. I have been put into a bronze plan that is $474/month, with a $12,000 family deductible/out of pocket (more than twice what we had before), 50% coinsurance after that, so not even close to what I previously had. That is the BEST plan I can get at this point. If I wanted to get a little closer to what I had before (which is not available because of the ACA), it would run me $675/month+. Blue Cross is the only provider in North Carolina that signed up for the exchange. I am all for universal health care–but a 42% increase in a self-employed self-insured marketplace rate hike is, well, disappointing to say the least. The ACA does absolutely nothing to address the high cost of health CARE in this country. Like the entire rest of the industrialized world does…..the US thinks it can do it “better” without negotiating for medical device costs, drug costs, and our insane fee for service only model will not get better and more affordable until we take some lessons from other countries and radically change the way health CARE is delivered in this country.

  • Jonathan Yaeger

    Suffice it to say that there is a “qualifying equation.” We had to hire our accountants to decipher it, and they concluded that we did not qualify. The fact that we don’t qualify when we go to the mat for our employees while others do (who provide less), then we are being penalized by comparison.

    I see I got a negative vote for not being an enthusiastic fellow sycophant. Sorry.

  • Anonymous

    These comments reflect where I expect the majority to come out on the ACA after it really goes into effect. The problem is that while they are signing up this week, the coverage doesn’t start until January. There is plenty of time between now and then for republicans to do serious damage to the economy.
    These comments also seem to reflect the real reason that republicans are so strongly against the ACA, because they are afraid that it will succeed. If they were really worried about its impact on the economy, or it being a failure, there would be no reason not to let it go into effect and then point out all the shortcomings. If it turns out to be as bad as they claim it will be, democrats would be among the first to support eliminating it or changing it.

  • Sue Em

    As a German living in America for a decade now I first could not believe the astronomical cost to have a baby. Even though I had insurance our part still added up to over $ 6500. I further was surprised how you get all these separate bills. In Germany you go to the doctor, show your chip card and that’s all.
    Even though I prefer state run healthcare with a private option if you want to, I can’t wait to get insurance in January. I can get my first check up in 8 years. My husband would have had to pay $ 900 for insurance because of diabetes risk (even though he never had diabetes and is top fit). With badly paying jobs we now can get healthcare for $60 a month.
    The security that comes with it is priceless!

  • Anonymous

    Your experience is indicative of the reason why relying on the private insurance marketplace for healthcare is not a viable long term approach. Unfortunately for you, you are in a “red” state where the State government has done everything they can to make it harder for the ACA to work effectively. You are also apparently among that small percentage who see their costs go under the new plan. This is clearly something that needs to be addressed. On the other hand, for every person like you there are 10 people who can now get health insurance who either couldn’t get it or couldn’t afford it in the past.

  • http://ouchimoo.blogspot.com/ Ouchimoo

    Okay as far as I understand, children under the age 26 should be covered under their parents plan. In some cases the parents may qualify for new plans while the children will be enrolled into Medicaid. Also Medicaid is available to people either at 133% or 138% above the poverty level depending on the state.

    I would say call the number at the bottom of this page. You might get better answers from a person vs the website. https://www.healthcare.gov/can-i-keep-my-child-on-my-insurance-until-age-26/

    Good luck.

  • defender of equality

    SINGLE PAYER!!! “No system is perfect but single payer works well in other countries —
    overall lower costs and better health outcomes — and everyone is covered”

  • Anonymous

    Jonathan, You got my negative vote for being less informed than you should be as an employer. You are to be lauded for your concern for your employees…many are not. You should also have been paying more attention as the ACA was being discussed and its benefits revealed. You can get a tax credit for your benevolence to your employees. I am led to believe by your immediate name calling attack (sycophant…really, Jonathan) that you are likely a “Fox Watcher”. Broaden your horizons and view more than one news network. You may be surprised by what you learn. Yes, I DO watch Fox News regularly. Just the news and not most of the “opinion shows” unless it is on a topic they haven’t beaten to death yet.
    Good job with your help to your employees.

  • Anonymous

    I certainly agree that a well crafted single payer plan would be the ideal. I have no faith that in today’s political environment it could have any remote possibility of passing. Seriously, the Republicans want to reduce medicare and medicaid benefits and you think it would approve an even bigger single payer plan? Not yet but, hopefully, sooner rather than later. The ACA is a good start.

  • Jonathan Yaeger

    So many wrong, arrogant assumptions on your part, RobRex2010. First of all, I don’t watch Fox news. Secondly, I am not a Republican. Thirdly, my accountants must be “misinformed” as I relied upon their PROFESSIONAL opinion. And lastly, I was responding simply to the tenor of the posted comments here, nothing more, in my use of the term “sycophant.”

    I could make my own assumptions about your obvious biases, but I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt, Sir.

  • David Freiman

    Insurance companies have been jacking up fates for the past 10 years in anticipation of healthcare reform. They saw the writing on the wall. Prices will go down in a short time.

  • David Freiman

    You are already paying through the nose now because the federal government reimburses hospitals for care and treatment that was provided by law and for which poor people couldn’t afford to pay. This will SAVE the taxpayers money.

  • Anonymous

    My current BCBS insurance is $550 per month with a 1500 deductible. It does not include meds. I take only one med for allergies. That costs $145 per month. Plus I have dental insurance because I need it — that is another $50 per month. If I have a physical every year, that usually costs me another $400 per year. That makes my total medical costs per month almost $700. As a digital consultant and social journalist, my field has severe wage deflation and my earnings are lower than they need to be. I have pivoted my career many times to find a job and to date have been unsuccessful. I have been paying for my own health insurance since 1998 or so. My health insurance costs are the GREATEST FINANCIAL STRESS in my life. Yet, I have kept health insurance all these years and paid for much of it out of my savings because it made me feel like a “normal” American to have this coverage. And if something went wrong I did not want to be a burden on my family. As a self-supporting woman I will be signing up as soon as I can find the time to go through the process.

  • Greg Evans

    I’m looking forward to the bean counters behind the ACA deciding who is worthy of care and who isn’t. According to Ezekiel Emanuel, one of Obama’s advisors for the health care law, my handicapped wife is worth only half an able bodied person. He suggests rating lives based on their economic productivity or their worth to the state. He calls it “Promoting and rewarding social usefulness”.

  • Anonymous

    No one from our government will be involved in approving or denying treatments or care, that will be the business of the insurance companies who are selling the plans. Purchasing through the exchanges is NOT buying insurance from the government (like Medicare), it’s buying from an insurance company just as you already do. So what you’ve said it pure BS.

  • Anonymous

    Those of us who understand the ACA completely agree–once Americans sign up and start using their insurance they’ll be completely won over and grateful that our President fought so hard for this. Wal Mart and the other scum who routinely screw over their employees will have a hard time trying to get out of the 50+ mandate next year (but of course they’ll try) as Americans demand businesses shoulder their fair share of costs and stop passing them on to taxpayers as they do now.

  • Anonymous

    Your union is screwing you–they chose to use the threat of the ACA as an excuse to cut back on your benefits. There is no justification for this.

  • James Haygood

    Yeah Greg, you really need to get more reliable sources of info, ’cause that’s nonsense.

  • Anonymous

    “sycophant…one who seeks favor by flattering people of wealth or influence…”
    Do you really anyone commenting in this forum is trying to do that, Sir? Again, I think you are an honorable person for your willingness to supply health care for your employees. Were I you I might have some serious questions for my accountants.
    Regardless of your political affiliation( upon which I never speculated) a wide variety of news sources increases, if not your answers, the questions you may ask to reach your conclusions.

  • moderator

    Hi Jonathan and Rob,

    You have both made your points quite clearly. Perhaps it is time to move on before you break our comment policy.

    Thanks
    Sean @ Moyers

  • moderator

    Hi Rob and Jonathan,

    You have both made your points quite clearly. Perhaps it is time to move on before you break our comment policy.

    Thanks

    Sean @ Moyers

  • Anonymous

    Remember further back when President Nixon, based a national healthcare program on a Heritage Foundation study (think Massachusetts plan). Unfortunately it was not “pure” enough for T. Kennedy who fought it off. Kennedy later acknowledged that his move had been a mistake.

    Two missed opportunities is enough!!

  • Anonymous

    Maslaw took some of his key ideas from Aristotle who asserted that people could never move on to higher level.activities if they were lacking or insecure about food, housing, clothing – basics of life (like heslth care). The concept of badic necessities goes back away.

  • Anonymous

    My retiree medical (which turned into a medicare supplement) had 2275 in deductible & copays and drug co-pays on top. As a retiree (pre medicare) my cost was 267.00/mo + those deductibles & copays. With medicare (99.50/mo) it is a supplement at 85.00/mo with the same 2275 in out of pocket plus drug co pays. But with one knee replacement, hip replacement, two shoulder rotator cuff repairs – it is a great deal.

  • Anonymous

    They now have to spend 80% or is it 85% of premiums on actual health care and return excess to premium payer. If you have employer co-funded insurance you should get a proportional share of refunds.

  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous

    He gets his health care as the spouse of a highly paid Goldman-Sachs executive – no he cares about his ambitions and his donors are the vehicle.

  • Anonymous

    https://www.facebook.com/Sweeney.Mary.A/media_set?set=a.678829832128904.1073741832.100000056795212&type=1
    I am on Medicare plus the above. So, the first was paid for by my work and the second from my pocketbook. Note that the costs are going down in Massachusetts with “Romneycare”.

  • Christina Berg

    I’ll raise you one–get all money out of politics and have a fully publicly financed election system. As it stands now, none of our legislators, state or federal (and soon judges here in NC–our last bastion of freedom from private donors–bravo, NC General Assembly) have any incentive whatsoever to abide by “by the people, of the people and for the people”. I think then we might actually see productive decisions made with respect to the true welfare of our country rather than bowing to the whims of big banks, big pharma, big insurance, big medical, big corporations, big agriculture, big unions, you name it. As long it takes millions to get elected, those “bigs” will get what they’ve paid for.

  • Christina Berg

    We’re talking as loudly as we can down here–so much wrong happened in just the last few months in our wonderful state. Hopefully all of our dialogue will turn into action.

  • Steven Podvoll

    Greg, I highly recommend reading Emanuel’s comments *in* context. That aside, do you honestly believe bean counters at private insurance companies which must not only turn a profit but must also fund seven-figure executive compensation packages would be *more* magnanimous in allocating services given laissez-faire latitude? Really?

  • Anonymous

    This doesn’t sound like an AFFORDABLE health care act to me. I’ll post a link to British Columbia’s medical premiums + there are no deductibles. Of course Canada’s health care system is a half century old by now and started when the country had about 10 million people. A wealthy country too, wealthy in natural resources. I’m an American born dual citizen. In 2002 I bailed out and moved back here to Canada. And not a moment to soon given my health issues. Our system up here is under strain, but it is light years ahead of anything the States can or will ever come up with.

    http://www.health.gov.bc.ca/msp/infoben/premium.html

  • Bea

    Why is it that in Healthcare.gov we cannot find out about the plans first before applying? That isn’t fair and doesn’t make any sense. It’s like they’re pushing us. The process they have is Create-An-Account, Apply, Pick-a-Plan, Enroll.

  • Anonymous

    Are you not eligible for a subsidy? And are you aware that many families of 4 prior to the ACA are paying $1600.00 per month for health insurance? What were you paying before?

  • Anonymous

    What absolutely utter nonesense. This is part of the disinformation being dessiminated to frighten people away from supporting the ACA.

  • peg

    I am just cracking up regarding people complaining about having to create an account in order to comparison shop. What did they have to do for this site? Or for any site where they post comments? Give me a break!

  • Anonymous

    I don’t understand some of the gripes with the term “affordable.” How is the standard, “Either it is 100 percent affordable to everyone or it doesn’t count”? If 20 million or 10 million or 5 million people can afford something who previously couldn’t, then Affordable Care Act is an appropriate name.

  • imme

    I’m 38 and live in NYC. Looking at the Obamacare plan, the cheapest that the state is offering is $4500 deductible and $383 premium – now while the premium isn’t bad, I don’t normally spend more than $4500 on health care during the year so basically since I have to go out of pocket for the first $4500, it’s like not having health care at all. Also, my income isn’t low enough to get the subsidies and not high enough to afford Obamacare. Perhaps I should stop working and then I can get basically get free health care. I am totally against a single payer system (for reasons too long to get into here) but at least people advocating that are honest about it being “free”. This Obamacare is not free and for the middle class, highly unaffordable. Also, to say more people will sign up and the rates will go down is a fallacy. Because insurers cannot refuse pre-existing conditions, rates will reflect that a large number of people in the insurance pool are already sick. Now, I don’t think people with pre-existing conditions should be denied health care (that’s the only thing I like about the ACA) but this is not the answer. The ACA is helping the few at the expense of the many. My personal doctor isn’t even accepting the ACA – he says it would basically put him out of business. I currently get freelancers insurance, so I will stick with that even though the premiums are a little higher.

  • imme

    Perhaps they are getting thrown out of their existing plan – it’s happened to several of my friends with family. Just like I’ve been saying, any plan that only helps people who qualify for subsidies at the expense of the middle class is totally wrong. I’m all for helping out people who can’t afford health insurance, but robbing Peter to pay Paul is not the answer.

  • Gene Ogorodov

    The Federal Government should re-allocate tax money it already receives towards an NHS, period. The United States needs hospitals, doctors and nurses not bureaucrats and profiteers. Obamacare is designed to line the pockets of the wealthiest in our country; that is unacceptable.

    Furthermore, the series of fiascoes over the ACA suggest that there are insurmountable ideological differences in this country. There needs to be an honest open public debate over these issues to see if they are truly irreconcilable. If they are insurmountable then the question should not be to have health care or not, but whether the US should break up into two or three different countries.

    A long term inability for government to do the business of government is far more dangerous than devolution or dissolution. If the Federal Government cannot get its act in gear and provide this country with order, justice, and facilitate the basic necessities of life (which includes affordable food, education, and health care), then I believe that there will be no choice but to dissolve the Federal Government and establish regional governments that can.

    For the record I do not want a dissolution of the Union, but we need good government–something that has been lacking for the last 20 or 30 years. The vital statistics of the US are abominable and getting worse every day; all the while Congress bickers, the Presidency dreams up more foreign wars to entangle us, and the Supreme Court devises new ways to disenfranchise the population. Like Nero Washington fiddles while the country burns.

    If someone doesn’t put out these fires, there won’t be anything left to govern. The once mighty United States will be nothing more than several handfuls of ash scraped from the bare earth by the greedy fingers of latter-day feudal lords mascaraing as CEOs and CFOs. The name of Empire may remain, but the Republic of the People and for the People will have a hollow ring in its empty shell. To our leaders I say–Put out the fires of chaos, give us justice, and give us freedom, or give us people who will.

  • Anonymous

    Perhaps because to give you the most accurate information as to a “premium” they need your age, your address( yes, Margaret, where you live is pertinent to your insurance premium)…. so you Create-An-Account, Apply, Pick-a-Plan see the cost …and don’t enroll if you don’t wish to.

  • Valerie Etter

    We are all paying for one another’s health care. Whether it is the uninsured running to ER’s for health care (Romney’s great idea), or collectively paying our fees and taxes. You’ve worked hard your entire life? Well, you will be getting Medicare soon, won’t you? I get mine in 9 years and I have been working since the age of 14. That’s what civilized societies look like.

  • Valerie Etter

    Watch how you vote!

  • clare Hedin

    I grew up in UK and have lived in USA half my life so I’ve had equal opportunity to witness the difference that shared health care costs have on a country’s sense of community.

    When people don’t feel like they are part of something, part of a country, watched over by the collective for their wellbeing, you end up with a system of selfishness based on the fear for survival. It invites, in fact insists, on a ‘look after number 1′ mentality – especially in a materialistic capitalist society like USA.

    To me this is a sad way to live amongst peers, elders and dependents, and we lose something important because of it.

    You even see the difference in the way people drive their cars… in the UK if you meet someone coming down a narrow country lane both drivers look to see who can make way for the other first. Over here, in USA, that is less likely to happen – people are rushed in the urgency to make money for basic survival issues and it affects their judgment, their ability to be compassionate, to be civilized in all the little ways that come so much easier to countries that live with a more nationalised system of operating and managing basic needs.

    I am SO pro shared health care costs because humans cannot thrive when their attention is on issues that are fundamental to their wellbeing. It costs us our creativity, our sense of freedom, our joy and our kindness.