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We have averaged one new insurance policy every year since Obamacare became law. Occasionally we’ve had two policies per year when the insurance company abruptly ended one and we had to “choose” another.

I use the word “choose” loosely since the monthly price of policies increased dramatically each time. Of course, our out of pocket deductible also increased. Our 2019 policy included nearly $15000 deductible out of pocket for our family of three, with the monthly premiums increasing 300% over those years. We gave up family vacations and newer vehicles. Stopped eating out. We complained but went along with it.

And then it all ended.

The candles were barely out on my husband’s 65th birthday cake when we were notified by the insurance company that “your wife and child were off the policy the end of the year”. No COBRA, nothing.

After weeks of frantic phone calls to insurance agencies, working through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) website, and contacting the state insurance office, we’ve learned: ACA is not affordable with remarkably similar costs as mentioned above; and, that the insurance company followed Iowa state laws. Evidently small businesses (under 20 people on a plan) don’t have to offer COBRA. Who knew?!

The business entrepreneurs and farmers are the people who pay significantly higher premiums, get the privilege of the highest out of pocket expenses, and have little choices.

We don’t have a union making deals with elected officials. We are “living the American Dream” with entrepreneur businesses and paying dearly for the privilege.

Remember, when the government makes it awful enough, uncomfortable enough, and painfully unaffordable for long enough, then the public will clamor for Medicare for all.

My son and I signed up for a Christian health expense cooperative. Premiums are comparable, but the deductible for out of pocket is 10% of the Obamacare options. The cooperative isn’t required to follow ACA guidelines. I had an annual mammogram this month. A few hours later I got the dreaded call from the clinic to schedule another mammogram. “Something on the image”. “The radiologist wants more pictures”.

A week later I was given the all clear from the radiologist. The clinic can’t tell us the actual cost for my procedures because “it’s different for each insurance policy, but you get a discount for cash payment”. (Pricing transparency not required for medical clinics yet.) Bills will be forthcoming.

Instead of working on the issues of high premiums and out of pocket expenses, which are the direct result of forcing all insurance plans to include every possible “screening” test, many in Congress have become the ruling class, writing legislation to control our lives in ways never conceived by the founders. By the way, we are the working class. We won’t be clamoring for Medicare for all in our home. We believe in individual freedom and responsibility. All we ask is that the “ruling class” stay out of our business long enough for us to succeed.

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Author: Laura Carlson

Laura Carlson is a mom, wife, community volunteer, a founding member of Republican Women of Central Iowa, and a pebble making waves.