Readers- In all likelihood, there won't be any new content here until Monday the 28th. A very close friend (who was also the family physician who steered us through a very rough year in 2013) passed away unexpectedly, and neither my head nor my heart are in politics just now. I'm going to take just a few personal days to regroup. -Stilton
PS: I will mention that for reasons vaguely related to the above, today I tested the waters to see how possible it is to change health insurance plans between open enrollment periods. I knew the situation would be bad - but it's a lot worse than I thought (and I daresay worse than has been advertised).
Here's the deal: the ONLY health insurance you can buy outside of the open enrollment periods (the next one is in mid-November) is expensive, short-term insurance. Remember all the rhetoric about "pre-existing conditions" being a thing of the past thanks to Obamacare? Nope- if you buy one of these policies (again, the only ones legal to sell right now) none of your pre-existing conditions will be covered.
Obamacare also assures that everyone will get "free-ish" preventive care included as part of their plan; check-ups, tests, office visits, colonoscopies, etc. Unless, of course, you buy outside of the open enrollment period. Then, your still-pricey policy will cover no preventive care whatsoever.
But the fun doesn't stop there! Even though these health insurance polices are legal to sell (and the only policies legal to sell) they don't meet ACA standards for basic coverage - which means that these policies, with premiums up to $1000+ per month - won't qualify to show that you've got health insurance...so you'll still be fined by the government/IRS for not being covered.
All of which makes me wish I had a tranquilizer I could take to reduce my anger about all of this - and makes me miss the good man and good friend who could have actually written that prescription for me.