September 24, 2012 | Back to: Columns

Affordable health care — no one’s on the outside

One of my best friends is in trouble. She is sick and unable to get a proper diagnosis and the follow-up medical attention she needs.

When unusual pain and illness struck she went to a gynecologist for help and was told she needed to see a gastrointestinal doctor. She made an appointment with him and he told her he couldn’t help her, she needed to go back to the gynecologist.

She went back and forth a couple more times, preliminary tests were made and she was then told they couldn’t help her since what she really needed was an MRI. An MRI would show what was really going on.

My dear friend is in her 30s, works full time, eats well, exercises, takes care of her doggie and tries to live a good healthy life. She’s a hard worker, not a lay-about. Yet her income does not allow her to afford health insurance. She has been paying for her medical attention out of pocket.

Now she is still sick, unable to afford the MRI, doesn’t know what’s wrong with her, physically able to only work part-time and she’s in debt. Even county medical assistance (CMSP) for low-income residents has a deductible of five or six hundred dollars a month, if you can qualify.

The only ray of hope I can see for her is the Affordable Care Act that will be in place in 2014. She will be able to purchase a health care plan that she can actually afford. She will pay a premium and a deductible based on her income and the particular plan she chooses. She will be to get medical attention when she needs it. The Affordable Care Act provides an inroad to health care for those of us who don’t make more than $43,000 a year. All insurance plans are based on shared costs and shared benefits. The difference with the Affordable Care Act is that more people are being included and the costs will be shouldered by more people. As a nation we all benefit when our citizens are healthy.

So don’t be persuaded that the Affordable Health Care Act, aka “Obamacare” is a government takeover of the health insurance industry. It simply makes it possible for millions more of our working families to buy health care. And personally, I won’t be voting for the guys who vow to get rid of it. My friend means too much to me.

Patricia Sharp lives in Grass Valley.

The only ray of hope I can see for her is the Affordable Care Act that will be in place in 2014.

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Patricia Sharp


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The Union Updated Nov 16, 2012 12:01PM Published Oct 10, 2012 08:13AM Copyright 2012 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.