Canary in the Coalmine

Unless you have been living under a rock, you probably know about the Affordable Care Act (otherwise known as Obamacare). In very basic terms, it should provide health insurance for all Americans, regardless of any pre-existing conditions.

Before anybody jumps down my throat, yes, I said “should.” Because all rules have their exceptions, and I am very much used to being that exception. Yes, I know about all the talking points, and the projections, and the memes (hey, I do spend way too much time on Facebook). And if one takes them at face value, it looks to be a good deal for everyone.

Aside from the fact that I take very little at face value, I do so even less when it comes to health care. In short, I will believe it works when it works for me. Will I still be able to get the brand-name drug because the off-label one (to which my insurance company keeps trying to switch me) no longer works for me? Will I still be able to see my current primary care doctor with whom I have an established relationship?

This is the life of being the canary in the coalmine. If I can get ACA to work for me, odds are it will work just fine for most everyone else. The problem with that, of course, is that I end up as the experimental guinea pig for stress-testing the system: “Let’s see whether or not she breaks it!”

Here’s the truth of it — nobody knows for certain whether or not ACA will work as advertised in those endless talking points, graphics, and memes. And attempting to reassure me by waving them about as “proof” that I have nothing to worry about is just likely to make me feel even more like that canary that everybody side-eyes, waiting for it to keel over.

Do I want ACA to work for me? Of course. Do I trust it to? Not yet. And that’s all I have to tell you from the coalmines.

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