HAMPTON, ALABAMA — Janice Simpson is a 42 year old wife and mother of three children. She considers herself fiscally conservative, and socially tolerant.
Janice voted in last year’s election for Donald Trump, and not Hillary Clinton. She did so mostly because she believed that Trump would help put America and Americans first, and she believed that Obamacare was “literally worse than Hitler and socialism combined.” The Affordable Care Act though, Simpson actually liked.
When Janice found out that the Republican healthcare replacement plan — the American Health Care Act of 2017 — was being voted on this week, she was quite excited, as she felt Trump was helping to keep his promise, however, once she saw the details, she became a little “concerned” for her future.
“I found out at the end of last year that I have breast cancer,” Simpson told our reporter, “and we were happy because the Affordable Care Act made it so that my cancer would be fully treated and the insurance company couldn’t stop paying for it just because it got too expensive. It made them have to spend at least 80% of the money I give them on my cancer treatment or I get a refund every year. It made it so that if I lost my job, I could still have insurance and my cancer would be treated.”
Now, Janice sees that many of the protections for her in the Affordable Care Act could be stripped away by Republicans desperately trying to muster votes for the AHCA. She read that part of the details of the law include a massive tax break for the wealthiest families in America, of which Janice says she “is not now nor ever will be a member of.” That caused Ms. Simpson to pick up the phone, she says, and call her doctor. She wanted to ask about alternative forms of payment.
“I called them up and asked if I could pay for my cancer treatments with the rich’s tax break, “Janice said,”and they were really confused at first. They asked if I meant that rich families would give me some of the extra money they had, sort of trickling down on me. I told them that was the stupidest idea I’ve ever heard and that obviously when rich people get more money they just hoard it or stuff it into an offshore account.”
Simpson said she explained to the doctor’s office manager she meant to ask if she could go get treatment, and then when asked for payment, just tell them that the rich got a tax cut, and that would be enough. After all, Simpson argued, she wasn’t sure if she’d have the money she needed to pay for both her health care plan under the new law and its extremely high deductible for not covering anything she really needs. Simpson said she’s also worried that if her insurance lapses for any reason during her cancer treatments, she’d simply just die because the 30% premium increase she’d be subject to would bankrupt her.
“They really didn’t get my question,” Janice said, “so I get the feeling if this new law passes I’m kinda screwed if I lose this insurance, or if I just can’t afford the new a la carte pricing. I’m nervous as hell, but what can I do now?”
Janice says as nervous as she is, she’s glad that at least Obamacare should be gone soon.
“Ugh, God, not soon enough though,” Janice said, “that Obamacare sure wasn’t no Affordable Care Act.”
We broke the news to Janice.
“Oh,” Janice said, “shit.”
Follow James on Twitter @JamboSchlarmbo.