Affordable health insurance? Really? I’m not buying it …

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I believe in Obama Care. I believe in affordable medical care for all. Even moreso, I believe that the path to affordable medical care is through universal Medicare and Medicaid – not through commercial insurance companies.

In other words, Obama Care simply does not go far enough. (And, yes, I blame Republicans for screwing up what might have been a decent start to universal health care.)

As an American soon to be living outside the country I will still be on the hook for U.S. health insurance because I – we, Rose and I – will not be out of the country long enough in 2014 to qualify for an exemption.

Here’s the thing though, I’m not buying it.

I lived without medical insurance for two years after the San Diego Union-Tribune made me a part-time employee, so they could drop me from the company plan – this after 28 years.  It was a gamble and eventually the roll of the dice turned against me. I developed an enlarged prostate – what insurance companies call a pre-existing condition.

After that, applying for medical coverage became an enormously expensive joke, until my son Ryan pointed out the Pre-existing Condition Insurance Program (PCIP) which, at $505 a month became a godsend and put me on the path to full recovery.

PCIP was a state and federally subsidized insurance policy and it goes away on December 31st under the assumption that we will all be covered under the Affordable Care Act.

Well, I tried.

I dutifully filled out all the data points in the Covered California website and let their algorithms plug me into the world of affordable health care.

Oddly enough, I found it all extremely unaffordable.

Even the lowest-cost policy offered – one that requires enormous out-of-pocket payments before the insurance kicks in – would eat up a third of my monthly income. One-third … plus co-payments, plus deductibles.

The idea of spending one-third of my retirement (fixed) income on an insurance policy I am most unlikely to collect on from my home in Belize strikes me as … what’s the word I’m looking for? …. oh, yes: insane.

So we, or at least I, am moving to Belize uninsured. Rose may still carry an insurance policy.

For this I will take the $95 tax penalty at the end of 2014 and an even higher penalty in 2015, if we don’t meet the out-of-country standard.

I will gladly take my chances with the Belize medical system, which for most needs, I understand from expats with first-hand experience, is more than adequate and quite affordable.

For the rest, I shall continue to live as healthy a lifestyle as I can filled with exercise, healthy food and ice cold beer.

We all know that the U.S. medical system is jacked up. There is no country in the world with a system so unaffordable and which delivers such poor outcomes for the price.

For me, the party is over. I won’t contribute another dime to the billions of dollars in insurance company and medical-care megacorporation profits.

I’d rather die first. And that may be the outcome … but that would make me no different from the many many thousands who die already in the richest nation in the world because they simply cannot afford health care.

6 thoughts on “Affordable health insurance? Really? I’m not buying it …

    lifeagain said:
    December 20, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    Thanks Bob….you reminded me to go on line and sign up for the affordable care act ACA/Obama Care right now…i will keep you posted…


      robertjhawkins1 responded:
      December 20, 2013 at 1:02 pm

      Let me know how you make out, Don. I was shocked at the prices — I apparently don’t qualify for the subsidies they talk about — and by how little coverage those prices afford me. Maybe I’ve been going about it wrong.


    Cookie said:
    December 20, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    As, they say, there is no free lunch. Socialism is paid for, by those that pay taxes.


      robertjhawkins1 responded:
      December 20, 2013 at 4:18 pm

      Not looking for a free lunch, Cookie. Just a fairly priced one. We’re already paying the taxes! Let’s have them pay for something other than a bloated defense industry!
      Most industrial nations which we consider allies have universal health insurance in one form or another. I’m sure if the U.S. resolved to ensure minimum health care for all its citizens its stature in the world would probably rise back what it once was just after World War II.
      Unfettered capitalism hasn’t been such a great deal for most Americans. A judicious application of socialism (or at least the re-introduction of government regulation/oversight) might strike a balance — in the airline, finance, communications and energy industries, for example.


    J.Z. said:
    December 23, 2013 at 11:44 am

    Why of course, because the US government so efficiently handles all other duties it performs. Makes perfect sense to give them full control of the healthcare system. Shame, nice blog you have here too. Sorry you had to go political with your blog about moving to Belize. Signing out now and forever but I really do wish you nothing but the very best in Belize and in the move. Perhaps someday we will meet up in Belize and can enjoy some time together (just no political conversation please).


      robertjhawkins1 responded:
      December 23, 2013 at 11:58 am

      Hi J.Z., thanks for commenting. And thanks for the good wishes. Sometimes I can’t help myself. I believe strongly in the US government and I believe that the American people would be far worse off with a weak federal system. The government eventually gets things right when the American people hold it accountable and contribute to the solution. But there. That’s enough politics. I long ago learned that if I wanted to enjoy the company of my father I’d have to set aside politics. I can do it! Looking forward to meeting you, J.Z.


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