Sentinel Story: Michelle, Living With Kidney Failure Under the Shadow of Obamacare
Living With An Illness and the Hazard of Obamacare
For the past three years, Michelle Moore has been on a waiting list for a kidney transplant. She undergoes dialysis on a regular basis, just to stay alive in the interim. Waking up, she often wonders how she’ll feel that day. Some days, she doesn’t feel as well as she’d like. But she keeps on going, living her life, and waiting patiently.
But her patience is being tested by Obamacare. She told me:
I have the option of hopefully not dying. Think about the people who are in the middle of cancer treatment or those who need a heart transplant. What about them? Obamacare adds onto the stress they’re already having.
It’s frustrating and terrifying enough having an illness like Michelle’s. Many Americans can identify with her, while some are blessed with near perfect health. But illness is part of the human existence. Accordingly, quality health care is important to every American.
Every one of us can agree that health care is important, but we greatly diverge on the question of how best to achieve that.
Many liberals think a government takeover of health care is the best solution – sadly, that’s why we’re living with Obamacare. Conservatives know there are better solutions to health care reform, and Michelle knows firsthand why it matters.
Michelle expressed a great degree of dissatisfaction with Washington – with both political parties. Washington politicians and bureaucrats have proven themselves woefully inadequate to fulfill their most fundamental constitutional duties, evinced by the nearly $17 trillion debt, so one has to wonder why we should trust them to run health care.
Michelle has a doctor, a nephrologist, she likes, and more importantly, over the years she’s suffered from kidney disease, she’s built a relationship of trust with her physician.
That’s where Obamacare comes in and makes things dicey.
Michelle uses the BJC Health Care in Missouri through her husband’s insurance. She hasn’t lost insurance yet, but this is happening more and more frequently throughout the country. Think of the 15,000 spouses of UPS employees who will lose their coverage because of Obamacare.
Michelle is concerned she’ll be next.
Unfortunately, BJC Health Care, which is comprised of 13 hospitals and is one of Missouri’s top hospital systems, has been excluded from policies offered by the region’s biggest insurer under the Affordable Care Act, Anthem BlueCross BlueShield. The network for the Anthem BlueCross BlueShield plans will be sold through Missouri’s Obamacare marketplace.
If Michelle loses her coverage from her husband’s insurance, she could be stuck with Obamacare like millions of other Americans. If she buys an exchange plan, she may have to pay much more to keep her current doctor and hospital. Kaiser Health news recently reported that many others have similar concerns to Michelle.
Among BJC’s 13 hospitals is Barnes-Jewish Hospital, the area’s premier academic medical center, and it’s the hospital of Michelle’s choice. She said:
I picked the hospital because of proximity to my home, and the doctor who cares for me on a monthly basis, she recommended Barnes to me, and I want to go with the hospital that she likes because she’s my doctor and I trust her. Obama said I could keep my doctors and keep my care. I’m going to be angry if I have to start all over.
Michelle fears what could happen if high co-payments force her to change her hospital and doctor:
If I get off the waiting list at Wash U though BJC, I will have to start over, at the bottom of the list for transplant. And I have already waited almost three years. If I — and possibly thousands of others — have to move to the St. Louis University Hospital list, what does that not only do to my wait time and my care, but what does that do to my health? I will most likely wait over 8 years to get a transplant if that happens.
She is truly frustrated, like so many others across the country who are coming to find that they can’t keep their doctor.
The biggest frustration is no matter how you slice it with Obamacare, you cannot keep the insurance you have, you cannot keep your doctor, you cannot keep the care you previously received, or your insurance didn’t go down, it went up.
Refusing to Be Passive About Washington’s Incompetence
Michelle sees that one way or another, almost every American is going to eventually be adversely affected by Obamacare, and that with Obamacare, things haven’t stayed the same or gotten better – they’ve gotten worse.
But she isn’t standing by to watch it happen. She’s a Heritage Action Sentinel and the Executive Director of the St. Louis Tea Party. She’s taking a leadership role to help change what she sees as the major problem in Washington:
The majority of Democrats and Republicans are not making decisions that are benefitting Americans. They all seem to be beholden to big business or special interests. Even those that give me a glimmer of hope, I worry that they’re going to betray me at some point.
If Republicans don’t stick to the morals and principles that they claim their party has, what’s the point? They constantly give it up. We should have never been in this position with Obamacare. Limiting care is not real reform. There were real things that could have been done.
It’s so difficult to trust Washington today. Sadly, with Obamacare, now many of us cannot even keep the doctor we trust. Michelle’s story demonstrates just how badly Obamacare needs to be stopped and replaced with free market solutions that connect doctors with their patients.