Should I Lie About My Beliefs to Get Health Insurance?

Dec 11, 2016

By Hillary Rosner

Boulder, Colo. — HERE’S an ethical dilemma. If you could save your family more than $8,000 next year simply by signing a statement affirming belief in principles you find repugnant, would you?

It sounds absurd. But in fact that’s the position I’m in this week, thanks to a loophole in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare. My health insurance poses a financial hardship to my family. All I have to do to lower my yearly bills by thousands of dollars is use my John Hancock to denounce gay marriage and a woman’s right to control her reproductive destiny.

By Dec. 15, like many Americans, I need to choose a new health insurance plan for 2017. I am a freelance journalist and editor. My husband runs a small business that pays him a salary but no benefits. We are among the millions of Americans who, under the Affordable Care Act, buy individual insurance through an increasingly expensive and inadequate marketplace. Since the law went into effect, monthly premiums for my family of three have already more than doubled, from $450 a month to $930. (In Colorado, my home state, 2017 rates are on average 20 percent higher than they were in 2016; in some counties that number is 40 percent.) On top of that, high deductibles mean we pay for nearly everything ourselves. In 2016, between monthly premiums and out-of-pocket costs, we’ve spent roughly $20,000 on health care.


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3 comments on “Should I Lie About My Beliefs to Get Health Insurance?

  • Wayne, seriously? That’s no kind of answer to the depressing problem that the author of the article has described. Our health insurance system in this country is, no surprise, based on good decent medical care for the privilege class and limited to no access for the middle and lower economic classes. Profit is priority in the medical insurance business and human suffering is irrelevant and bothersome.

    Do you think that the very people who are suffering from this cruel, predatory system can just get up one day and announce that they are moving to Canada, France, UK, or any other country that creates a health system based on rational, ethical principles?

    As far as I know, there is a daunting process of aggravating paperwork to gain citizenship to any of these places. But if you have any knowledge or connections that can get me a fast easy citizenship to these places please let me know immediately!!

    Not only is the paperwork daunting, there are aspects of life that hold people solidly right where they are. Don’t people have families and extended families that depend on them? One young ambitious person could possibly make the break and power through the difficulties of relocation but the older one gets, the obligations become much more complicated.

    I have ranted and blustered here about picking up and moving to Canada and to the South of France but when push comes to shove, I know that except for some very wealthy individuals, the American people are absolutely stuck with whatever the future will bring. I just hope that Trump and co. don’t do any massive damage that can’t be put right in the future. No guarantees. He can really fuck it up badly very quickly. If the stock market crashes and the bottom falls out of the real estate market then the middle class will bottom out with it. It takes a long time for an individual family to recover from financial losses like these and that includes bankruptcy from medical dept.

    I’m so sorry that the American public has bought the lies that were told to them about the universal single payer systems of Canada and the EU. Another example of people voting directly against their own best interests. We need a revolution to topple this predatory system. What will it take?

    The fact that Bernie Sanders with his progressive ethical ideas did so well and attracted such a large following is the only thing that gives me hope.

    Wayne, I’m not saying that you support this effed up system in any way, but saying that we should just go shopping for a new citizenship is trite. Not only that, but it immediately brings to mind something that enrages me – the ultraconservatives love to throw that statement at progressives when we criticize anything about the US. They always come back at us with saying – If you don’t love America then just Get out!. This is intolerable. I have to answer them with – You have no right to kick me or anyone out! I ain’t going nowhere! And I won’t shut up either.



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  • Uptick for Laurie

    I am though fascinated by how international American Corporations will react, oh goody, front trotters back in the trough or a possible laying off the bets and expanding preferentially in other countries….?

    In the meantime I will point to Requiem for an American Dream with Noam Chomsky.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWD8Wksx_zI

    Available on Netflix. This attack on inequality (which perversely is why the left lost to Trump…they didn’t offer the needful redress of a progressing iniquity that they still presided over) is bang on. The film tells you why neither Trump nor Penn Jillette can magic any improvement.

    Taken together with a collection of facts about unequal societies in Wilkinson and Pickets “The Spirit Level” for background, you will have a template for your new political journey. Oh and Sanders “Our Revolution” (bit cringy title as Dan says) is full of practical un-dogmatic solutions.



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