I've asked myself that question (as well as shouted it) so many times in the last 24 hours, and now I'm going to rant about why.
Quick note: I couldn't care less if you support the president's healthcare act. It's stupid and unconstitutional.
So, as all Americans know, you are now forced to obtain medical insurance, whether you want it or not. If you don't have insurance, you are penalized in the form of a fine that is 2% of your yearly income and $325 (or so) for every child under 18. To avoid the fines, you have three options:
- get private health insurance which can cost $500+ per month, per person
- get obama-care (which you must make at least $11,500 per year to even qualify for)
- get state-funded Medicaid (if your state has any openings and you qualify)
Since I work part-time and can neither afford private insurance nor qualify for obama-care, I had to apply for Medicaid. I had to apply three times before the application was even accepted and could begin review. Then there was the five month runaround. "Do this. Get that. Go there." All the while, missing the December 31 deadline to avoid a fine for being uninsured for 2014.
Now for the fun part: Not every doctor on my list of providers accepting Medicaid will actually accept it.
I don't know about the rest of the country, but in Utah, Medicaid is not just Medicaid. You have to sign up with a plan as you would any private insurance. There were four options, and I chose the one that had the most names I recognized in the providers.
Excited to finally see real doctors, I began calling to set up appointments. I was able to get my usual ophthalmologist (eye doctor) and an allergist that my mother goes to, but when it came to a primary care, I hit wall after wall. "I'm sorry, we're not accepting new Medicaid right now." "Oh, well, we only accept Medicaid for children." I finally found the one office accepting new Medicaid for adults within (no joke) ten miles, and the wait time for an appointment was two weeks. Yeah, okay. I'll just feel better now and plan on being sick in two weeks. No problem.
My favorite part, however, was the one psychiatrist listed. She requires a referral from your primary care doctor that she also requires to be in the same clinic as she's in.
And people wonder why "the land of the free" has so much illness...
Here's a random song that's running through my head...
"Love Like Woe"~ The Ready Set