April 1, 2014 Leave a comment
As the deadline for ACA signup loomed, I was reading articles from all kinds of news sites with all sorts of opinions on why Millenials and the “Young Invincibles” were avoiding the healthcare sign up. I learned that we were “uninformed” about healthcare and how we would all benefit so greatly from it.
Well, my dear pundits and writers, the sad truth is: we can’t afford Affordable Healthcare.
To be fair, I have insurance through school. And it is really wonderful. I actually got to go to Urgent Care guilt-free when I couldn’t walk. I don’t have to worry about how I’m going to scrounge up money for the lady doctor. Even seeing a therapist is covered. So insurance is wonderful.
Boyfriend, however, does not have insurance. Through his work, it is about $250. Even through the ACA, it’s $145 a month. Now, we do not make much money, even though we both work full time. I’m on intern pay, meaning shit. And we live in Chicago, meaning we pay outrageous amounts for everyday things and rent is out of control. We’re homebodies and rarely go out. I cook most nights. I grew up in a big family, so I’m well versed in making cheap ingredients into big delicious things. We’ve never taken a vacation together. I get my hair cut 2-3 times a year and have never had my nails done. We drive a 12 year-old car. Point being: We’re simple folk. There isn’t much for us to cut back on.
We know that it would be a good thing for boyfriend to get insurance. He’s in really good health, but accidents happen and insurance is happy! When we got the quote, however, we had to wrestle back and forth with our budget. Could we cut anything and where. And believe me, we have spreadsheet of our expenses down to our dog’s denta-bones. We wrestled with this for weeks, until the deadline for sign up. And when it came down to it, we can’t carve out $145 a month.
This is the reality that the news coverage is not recognizing. I talk to our friends, most of which are in the same situation. The plans that are affordable don’t really cover anything, or only kick in after you spend several thousands of dollars. So pretty much, stay in killer health or approach death are the plans that are offered that are affordable.
We want health insurance. We know that we would be better off with it. However, we also need to eat and pay rent. Many of us are stuck working low paying jobs, without the hope of a raise or promotion. Job searches go on forever with no hope.
So boyfriend is forced to opt out. Not because he doesn’t want insurance. Not because we hate Obamacare. But because, not matter how much we work and how much we try to cut back, we can’t afford this. Sorry, Obama. Sorry, media. But we’re not obstinate. We don’t think we’re invincible. We don’t think you’re an evil socialist. We’re just broke.
And it may sound stupid. And we know that we’re rolling the dice here. But we have been for awhile, and there’s no other choice right now.