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Columns

October 3, 2013

WILLIAMS: Obamacare a barrier between security and disaster

When I lost my job at the sheriff’s department at age 58, there was no way I could afford to keep my COBRA health insurance. I looked for a catastrophic care policy that would at least protect me from total financial disaster should I experience a serious illness or accident while I was unemployed. Even those plans would have taken nearly all my unemployment income.

So I went without any health insurance for nine months. I quit taking my prescriptions. I didn’t go to the doctor. Luckily, I made it through.

If you’ve always received your health insurance through your job, as I had, you may tend to take it for granted.

You complain because co-pays keep going up and coverage keep going down.

But, still, it was there – so that your kids could get treatment if they fell off their bike and broke bones, so you wouldn’t be heading to bankruptcy court if you had a heart attack.

There are people who voluntarily choose not to pay for health insurance. They are most likely young and healthy and believe themselves to be invincible. And who pays their medical costs if they prove not to be invincible after all? Well, that would be the rest of us.

Because we let people go without healthcare in the U.S. but we don’t usually let them go without treatment.

And now there is the Affordable Care Act better known as Obamacare. Who could imagine that this would be the issue over which they would be willing to bring down the entire United States economy, maybe even the world economy, if they actually let us go into default?

Of course, our very own Republican leadership in Indianapolis requested an exemption for a year and got it. That means we won’t expand our current Medicaid program, which covers 37,000 Hoosiers and has a waiting list of 53,000. (Obamacare would cover 400,000). Yep, that makes perfect sense. Let’s shaft the poorest people.

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