After years of struggling to pay our health insurance premiums – which always go up, by the way – I am thrilled that Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Washington has introduced a new Medicare-for-All bill in the U.S. House of Representatives. The United States has another chance to get health care right! You can bet I’ll be contacting my legislators to express support for this bill.
Why? Because like thousands of other Angelenos, my husband and I work in the entertainment industry. We own and operate a small, independent production company. It’s a two-man operation. We work project-to-project. It’s truly feast or famine. Every penny counts. I know, because I pay the bills.
Through the years, both before Obamacare and after, we’ve had to cough up those premiums no matter how little money we had. There were years we had to choose which one of us would go uninsured so we could afford to pay the premiums for our only daughter. We always managed to keep her covered, but it was scary.
Once, when my husband didn’t have insurance and got a really bad flu, he had to go to urgent care. They prescribed him medicine that cost $300! There was no way we could pay that, but the doctor insisted he needed it. My stomach was in knots. People die from not being able to afford care and it could have been my husband. In the end, she gave us some samples.
Even after Covered California, costs keep going up. It’s supposed to be the Affordable Care Act but the year before last, I had a 47 percent premium increase. How is that affordable?
It affects us in many ways. Our business, for example, requires us to keep up with the latest technology. If we can’t invest in ourselves, we can’t compete. We won’t have the technology our customers need. We have to rent equipment, at a cost, instead of owning it ourselves, as an investment.
But premiums have to be paid no matter what. They come first – before investing in our business, before saving for our daughter’s education, before saving for retirement. Oh, yeah, forget about retirement.