Dear President Obama,
As author of "The Clear Parent" Blog, it is typically not my practice to write political posts. However, the following invoice chronicles the time spent away from my search for "clear parenting" while dealing with shopping for individual family health insurance. Our policy was cancelled in October 2013, due to changes resulting from the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or as our family affectionately refers to as the "Unaffordable Care Act."
Before I itemize my bill for the hours spent researching, discussing, meeting with our insurance agent, and actually spending time applying for my family's individual health care insurance, I need to make a few things perfectly clear.
1. I am neither a "right-wing Republican" nor a "bleeding-heart liberal." A political party that matches my personal stance on issues of federal government/vs. states' rights, social issues, national security, and the environment is non-existent in this country.
2. Having worked for several years in the very low paying profession of public education, I hope that it is obvious that I care about the education and welfare of all children.
3. My strong belief is that we have the means in this country for each and every person to have access to affordable health care, adequate shelter, a quality education, and productive employment. However, I do not profess to know the means to this end.
Given the aforementioned personal information, it is my hope that you will read the following with an open mind, foregoing the inclination to stereotype me as "for" or "against" the ACA based upon my political leanings.
I have spent countless hours dealing with our need to purchase a new, "more adequate" individual health care policy. A gross approximation of these hours is listed below:
My Expense Report for the Unaffordable Care Act
Description of Activity and Hours Spent on Task
1. Losing sleep due to worrying about health care changes 22.0
2. Researching health care plans and reading publications 17.0
about issues related to changes in health care
3. Website navigating and attempts to navigate covered.ca.com 6.0
4. Travel and meeting with health care insurance agent 2.0
5. Reading and writing email to insurance agent 2.0
6. Navigating insurance provider website to apply for new policy 3.0
7. Time spent baffled by the fact that my husband and I need to 0.5
purchase "Pediatric Dental Care"
8. Conversations with health care professionals concerned about 3.0
implementation of ACA in January 2014
9. Online chatting with insurance provider representative regarding 0.5
misinformation sent to me
56.0 TOTAL HOURS x $7.25* = GRAND TOTAL of $406.00
*Federal Minimum Wage as of 12/5/13
Unfortunately, this $406.00 will barely make a dent in our new monthly "adequate" insurance premium to replace a policy which had a lower monthly premium, a lower deductible and coverage that was more than appropriate for our family (although I was not covered for prostate care).
Finally, please keep in mind that I have not included "pain and suffering" due to our family experiences with the National Healthcare "improvements." I plan to be a plaintiff in the soon to be filed Class Action against the Federal Government for the pain and suffering endured during this period of time. Our compensatory non-economic damages include body and headaches, potential shortening of life due to depression and emotional scarring, as well as permanent vision damage due to computer overuse and possible CVS (Computer Vision Syndrome).
Should you choose to share my invoice with other constituents who may be feeling "smug" that they are not dealing with this issue, please remind them that small and large businesses may be giving employees a fixed amount of money to "shop the marketplace" for adequate health care during 2014.
I can speak from first hand experience; it's not like going to the mall.
"The Clear Parent"
Follow Cate Pane on Twitter: www.twitter.com/catepane