Dear Mr. President: I am a 40-year-old self-employed single mother. The Affordable Care Act has completely devastated my fragile financial ecosystem.
I live in Hilo, Hawaii, an outer island from the medical hub of Oahu. My daughter and I go to Oahu three times a year for her eye care.
She has strabismus and needs extra care to ensure her eyesight will not be compromised. Our previous health care, which will disappear as of Jan. 1, 2014, was affordable for me. Part of that affordable plan offered a refund for airfare for the three visits per year. That added up to a $900 savings for me.
Now, HMSA is doing away with that part of the plan. On top of that, the premium is increasing 100 percent and the deductible is going to go from zero to $6,350. Plus the co-pay goes from $7 to $20.
How is this helpful to a middle class, self-employed person?
This is completely devastating to me. I am actually considering taking the penalty and forfeiting my insurance just to focus on her upcoming mandatory bills (pre-deductible).
I’m crying as I write this.
In Hawaii, there are only two options for insurance companies. The other is Kaiser.
If I switch over to them, I have to forfeit her eye doctor, as he is not a Kaiser provider. This is another major blow as he is the best eye doctor in the state for pediatric ophthalmology. The hardest part about this is that for however smart, creative, hardworking and tenacious I may be, I can’t afford these plans. And yet it’s neglectful for me to not insure her … and now illegal.
How is this helpful? How is this improving my quality of life?
My profession is acupuncture and oriental medicine. I work hard to try to improve the health and wellness of everyone that comes into my office. I’m going to destroy my own health while trying to make the money to cover these expenses.
Again, as I have tears running down my cheeks literally, I’m scared, nervous and devastated by these changes.
Not long ago I wrote, and you published in these pages, about my disappointment in President Obama’s failure to keep his promise that citizens would be able to retain their existing health care plans “if they like them.”
A member of my own family had received a plan cancellation notice from HMSA and was informed that the replacement policy, which meets the terms of the Affordable Care Act, would be more expensive than the cancelled policy.
To my great surprise, it appeared for a while that Mr. Obama might actually be held accountable for his deception. However, in his apology, the president blamed the plan cancellations on “bad-apple insurers” who were peddling “substandard plans.” That was an insult to HMSA, which I think has served my family very well over the years.
Further, Obama says that insurers may allow their customers to keep the canceled plans if they so decide. So now, will those people in Hawaii who have received letters stating their existing plans would be replaced with more expensive plans get a second letter from HMSA instating a (less-expensive) option to stay with their current plans? Or is this just another deception on the president’s part? Just wondering.
Tsuji got it right
This letter is in response to Elaine Munro (Your Views, Tribune-Herald). You got this all wrong, woman. Rep. Clift Tsuji did the right thing (by voting no on the same-sex marriage bill), and God is pleased with him, and so am I.
What the so-called Gov. Abercrombie did was wrong in every way. We have rights, too, and also we voted on this — it was for one woman and one man to get married.
I know you don’t read your Bible, but this goes against God’s law, and it says all sinners will go to Hell. It’s not a nice place to go for all you same-sex people.
This God’s word, not mine; I don’t want to see anyone go to Hell. I pray for you all. May the lord show you the way to his heart and soul.
I concur with the letter from Spike Werner on Nov. 10 in this paper.
The police motto “to protect and serve” does not apply in this County of Hawaii. Visibility on main roads and at busy intersections would greatly reduce speeding and other driving errors. If you notice, while an officer is giving a citation to a traffic violator, probably speeding, there are 20 or more vehicles passing that point in excess of the speed limit.
I’m sure that most of the readers notice that most of the police vehicles, not in an emergency situation, are usually traveling in excess of the speed limits. Where are their citations?
Where is the audit of this department?