Today, June 20, I stared at Obama’s face for a couple of minutes.
His face looked tired and pained and certainly unclear about its presence at the Fairmont Hotel, in San Hose, California, where the president was trying to sell his view on health care as an affordable reality.
From where I stand, I doubt that obamacare is anything but a campaign abstraction whose small-font content makes it highly unaffordable. But, as I said, that is because I am not one of the 7 million Americans who are expecting to join the ranks of health-card carriers and become from mere forgotten people a bankable profit for insurance companies.
I already provide business to one insurance company, CIGNA, and I can say that it’s been a privilege. Making numerous calls to inquire why payment has been refused, has allowed me to practice my English even when people’s advice has been to curse in my native tongue.
Have you thought about paying upfront the doctor for medical services provided? A young male voice inquired when I complained that CIGNA refused to pay for those services and the doctor sent me the bill, at home.
Isn’t that what CIGNA does? I replied as if a piece of Godiva-covered strawberries melted in my mouth, and not the four-letter destination I had in mind for him.
Continuing to stare at the president’s face and especially at the way he uses his left hand, I gather that the 7 million he has in mind right now is a small fraction of the number of uninsured Americans he heard his staff talk about. Uncomfortable a bit with this discrepancy I am sure he will recover, because this is all a memory game. Few remember Medicaid and CHIP extensions and the fact that people under the age of 26 who are more likely to be in school than have a paying job are covered by their parents’ employer’s plan, unless their parents lose their job, so the president can easily forget mentioning them and say instead that his plan worked and Eureka! it reduced the number of uninsured Americans. Furthermore, the young who lose their parents’ coverage can go abroad and teach English and get emergency care in some other country and become an administrative burden there, unless they stay at home and hope for the obamacare to work.
Of course, they can also join the military. In fact, everybody should join the military and be deployed. Abroad.
Either way, insurance companies are playing it cool. They don’t loose anything. They may even gain something. Dollars. I could almost hear the CEOs of United Health and CIGNA and BlueCross sharing a conference call on speaker phones and conversing healthily:
Man, it’s not going to be as easy to get these dollars as we’ve hoped. Stupid people cannot even figure out how to sign up for it. Obamacare reminds me of the clusterfuck in Vietnam. [embarrassed coughing] That’s based on what I saw on TV, says the grandpa CEO.
Oh, if you mention clusterfucks why not the one in Afghanistan?! jumps in a younger CEO.
Sure, but what about the next one in Syria? adds the youngest CEO.
I moved on to the NY Times, the president’s rag. Today, it run an article on the HPV vaccine and how the obamacare would cover its cost. I don’t know how those teenagers can get health care coverage other than through Medicaid or their parents’ coverage, but indeed, if this obamacare reaches them, then I hope they know how to go to a hospital and ask for this vaccine, because there is not too much else they can ask for and get under this plan.
Or maybe this is all too shortsighted of me?