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Obamacare and My Daughter

“In two years, the surgery will cease to be available for the insured due to Obamacare.”

by
Justin Binik-Thomas

Bio

December 16, 2012 - 12:06 am

Elections have consequences. The president signed a law which forces citizens to purchase a product simply on the virtue that they are alive. Our Supreme Court upheld the law, giving the government the power to tax inactivity. When the law is fully implemented, we may see a shift from our role as citizens to subjects. Instead of “pay for play,” it will become “pay, if you play our way.” We are moving slowly down this path, and can begin to see the cliff before us. Still, there is time to slow the process and change course.

Knowing the risk and the history of government healthcare in places such as wartime Germany and peacetime United Kingdom, I was opposed to the implementation of a similar system in the United States. While our government mocked the concept of death panels, we read of “death pathways” for sick children and seniors in England today. I worked with conservatives across the country to battle the health bill prior to passage. Though the bill ultimately was signed into law, we were successful in passing a Healthcare Freedom Amendment to the constitution of the state of Ohio.

The healthcare amendment has allowed our state to avoid setting up the state health exchange.

Healthcare has noticeably changed since passage, and it is only partially implemented. Costs are up and service quality is down. We experienced this first-hand during my wife’s pregnancy with our second child, when for me this fight changed from political to personal. This is Zoe’s story.

The doctors examining the ultrasounds consistently made unwelcome suggestions during the pregnancy. They would find something “abnormal” on a test, and request another scan. At the rescan, they would rule out the first concern, but find another. Each ultrasound yielded several thousand dollars for the hospital, and some yielded (several thousand) tears for our family.

Despite being at a Catholic hospital and being clear with our beliefs about life, each visit ended with “you know, you have options.” This language is code for abortion.

In Judaism, it is said that “if you save a life, you save the world.” It is true we had options, more than the ones they suggested. Had we been less grounded or less educated, we could have been scared into risking this world.

In May, we were blessed with a beautiful baby girl. Three of her fingers were fused together.  We understand that it will become an issue later as she grows if untreated, but there is no pain or concern in the short term. She has full control of both hands, and is able to manipulate objects and feed herself, just as any six month old would do.

There will certainly be appointments before and after treatment that include the specialist and the primary care physician. Both offices are reporting that access to doctors is becoming more difficult. Both offices are reporting decreased options for medical services and for drug therapies. There is now a two-week wait for the doctor, because most patients require two appointment slots — one for discussing existing problems and one for discussing new problems. There is a six-month wait for non-urgent visits at the specialist. Since laws do not become simpler with time, it is a certainty that wait time for medical staff will increase as new regulations are rolled out.

We have met with various medical professionals to discuss treatment options. There were several possibilities discussed, and we were able to weigh these options for the best fit: Zoe’s surgery is scheduled for the day after Christmas.

We knew that surgery was likely in the near future and chose to select a top-notch full coverage insurance plan this year.

The hospital informed us that this is a fairly new operation perfected over just the last five years. However: this surgery will “cease to be available in two years for insurance patients due to ObamaCare.” This is a quote from the flustered nurse at the hospital.

This plan pays all costs incurred after the deductible, provided the services are provided in-network. The plan goes away in 2014 as a result of the health law. The best new plans to replace this will pay for 90% after deductible, and will cost more. If our daughter was born just two years later we would pay more for insurance, have inferior treatment options, and be triaged (meaning delayed) for treatment. That, in my mind, is regressive.  It is not progressive as many would have us believe.

Justin Binik-Thomas works in the medical research industry, and specializes in media relations and communications as owner of Conservative Media Group.
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