Aimee Patton

A pleasantly eccentric take on politics

“Obamacare” is being decided this week.  Is it constitutional?  If so, is all of it constitutional? If it’s not constitutional, then what?  How many people lose their insurance?  Where does that leave this country and the uninsured?  There are so many unanswered questions and such anticipation over this ruling that I have a stomach ache.  But wait, I can’t go to the doctor because I have terrible insurance.

Just kidding…well kind of.  The decision this week is huge politically.  That is obvious.  If Obamacare is upheld, Obama wins in November.  Romney just isn’t that good to overcome a win like that.  If Obamacare is overturned, we have a race on our hands for the presidency and Romney is a solid contender.  Either way, neither campaign headquarters will be sleeping from now until the ruling and probably days after.  They have spin set up to react to the ruling at the ready.  Legal analysts at the news stations are high on life from all of the air time they are receiving this week.

Politics aside, why is this decision so important to me?  I am not one of those Americans that goes to the doctor once a year for a physical and then only when I suffer from the yearly flu.  I am an American who has medical conditions that require regular care.  I have made career decisions solely on medical insurance.  I started my own business, but abruptly had to stop it when a divorce suddenly found me with my medical insurance benefits stopping.  I had to go to work for an employer where I could get benefits.  So much for the entrepreneurial, American spirit.  I love my job, but it’s unfortunate that I had to make a career decision based on benefits.

From 8/30/2011 to 6/20/12 I spent $3,433.77 in medical costs on myself.  This amount doesn’t count my child or my ex-husband  That is just in doctor visits, medications and a few copays to a hospital.  This is with good medical insurance coverage.  I am not disclosing what my conditions are, because I don’t have to.  What I will tell you is that one of my medications is $121/month for a 30 day supply.  I am on 5 medications per month.  Now, I am a single woman, with a single income with joint custody of my child with medical insurance that has a big deductible to meet before my benefits kick in.  I am very worried about where I am going to get the money to even meet my deductible.  This keeps me up at night.  Just maintaining my health will have me pushing my budget to the limit, God forbid should I get really sick or need surgery.

This ruling doesn’t affect me directly, but if I lose my job I could easily become uninsured in America.  I need benefits or I could easily become one of those Americans that seek out our nation’s emergency rooms as my source of healthcare.  I am already researching ways to save on my medications and I make decent money.  Without my medications I probably couldn’t work.  Without benefits I have no medications.  Leave it to the states to decide?  Really?  What if by the luck of the draw I am in the wrong state just like I ended up the wrong DNA that caused me to need the medications I currently am on?

I will keep my fingers crossed, not only because I think Obama is a better candidate than Romney, but because my health depends on it. The direct impact of this ruling may not be about me at this time, but the long term impact of this ruling could very much be about me and everyone in this nation at some point.  Maybe I disclosed too much in this blog, but I feel if we don’t start telling our personal stories about our nation’s healthcare crisis, our candidates, media, insurance companies, Supreme Court, President, etc. won’t really understand that these aren’t just statistics, there are people behind the numbers.

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