Loving Obamacare

Despite glitches, Houstonians flock to sign up to be covered by the new insurance plans.

Highlights from Hair Balls

Political Animals

Even as the United States government shut down over a deadlock in Congress regarding the continued funding of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, the insurance exchanges created by the law that allow private citizens to shop for plans that will cover them despite pre-existing conditions opened for business Monday morning. The online servers and even some phone operators themselves occasionally locked up under the flood of people seeking coverage, but many people in Houston were still able to secure new plans — some of them for the first time in years.

"Who benefits from Obamacare?" asked Martha Vasquez-Delgado on Facebook. "Me, I have a pre existence condition called Multiple Sclerosis, my medications are $4000 a month. Yes, a fucking month .And we just switched insurance. Thank you, President Obama. And forget you opposers."

One person who has been avidly waiting for this day for years is Alexis Kidd, the wife of legendary Houston punk rocker Christian Kidd of The Hates. Christian is retired from his day job working for the City of Houston, and receives a small healthcare package as part of his pension. Alexis, sadly, was never able to be added because of her history with mesothelioma, a rare cancer that attacks the protective lining of many of the body's internal organs.

Though Alexis's cancer has been in remission for years, they've been waiting in fear of its return while the years between the passage of the ACA and the day that she could no longer be denied affordable coverage to treat her disease passed slowly. Aid came from private sources, such as Wish Upon a Wedding, which provides financial help to couples seeking to marry but whose funds are tied up with treatments, and Dream Rooms Furniture, which donated $1,500 to the Kidds after a successful Facebook like campaign.

Alexis found the signup online glitchy. A section that asked her to pick security questions had no options. Even when she attempted to call and speak to a representative in person, she wasn't able to completely finish the process since the system continued to have issues, locking up from so many people signing up.

"I know that on the first day of anything new, there can and will be trouble," said Alexis. "Working for a software company taught me that. In a way, it is kind of a good thing that people are genuinely interested in looking to see for themselves what Obamacare can do to help them...at this point, almost any kind of insurance is better than the nothing many of us have now."

Author Joni Rodgers (Bald in the Land of Big Hair), a cancer survivor, is also among those who enthusiastically signed up for the ACA insurance exchanges. For years she'd either been turned down flat for coverage or offered coverage at $1,400 to $1,600 a month. Using the exchanges, she was able to find a plan for only $240 a month that can cover her when her husband retires.

"It was actually okay with them that before today, my choices were to die, leave the country or divorce my husband of 30 years to protect his retirement savings," said Rodgers. "That was not okay with Barack Obama. I am incredibly grateful to him for fighting this fight on my behalf."

The fight to defund or delay Obamacare continues to rage in Congress, with no signs of progress at the time of this writing. Despite the wrangling at the top, though, those who were targeted by the law to receive health care previously denied to them because of their conditions are rapidly signing up in a state that has topped the list of most uninsured Americans for five years running.

Political Animals

Government Shut Down
Five ways your life will be screwed.

Dianna Wray

With the Affordable Care Act tied to the federal budget, and the Senate and House of Representatives about as cooperative as a herd of sugared-up, nap-free toddlers, it seemed inevitable that the government would shut down at 12:01 a.m. on October1...and it did.

A government shutdown hasn't happened since way back in 1995 (or in 2003 if you're at all inclined to count The West Wing as "real"). Most of the services you're used to will still basically work (mail still gets delivered, military keeps on doing military things and the people in airports won't just walk off the job), but there are a few things government won't be doing until Congress figures out how to get out of this death grip and get the show funded again.

1. So you want to buy a gun.

You've always wanted a bang-bang. In fact, you've saved up all your pennies for the last five years and you've already got your gun-totin' outfit all picked out. You're gonna go get yourself that gun permit bright and early tomorrow? Think again. The shutdown affects the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, so, to translate, long as the shutdown lasts, your dream gun will have to wait, CNN reports.

2. You want to talk to the Internal Revenue Service about your taxes.

Tough luck. Government workers who are deemed "essential," like law enforcement, get to stay on, though they won't be getting paid for a while so they aren't likely in a good mood about it, but "non-essentials" will not be working. Go on and phone the IRS call center to ask why your taxes are too high or inquire if your dog needs to pay taxes — it'll ring and ring and they'll never answer because essential they are not, according to the LA Times. Also, that tax exemption you requested expires October 15, so if you're just now figuring out that whole tax thing, better find a buddy because there will be no help from the IRS hotline.

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Wow... they should stop calling this section "comments" and just call it arguments! All I know is everyone in health care (who had any kind of education to get there) hates this plan. Even my ultra liberal mom (though she hates Obama to begin with, so THERE it may not be a hatred based on education about the actual obamacare, but of Obama himself). Everyone who wanted healthcare without paying the price for the product they received (yeah, people forget that healthcare is a PRODUCT, something COMPANIES brought you, and NOT something you are entitled to) love it. For the uneducated... here is a little peice of information. Hospitals are not free. The equipment there is not free. Even with donations from the wealthy, and government subsidies, the fatties and smokers and lazies of the world are costing them a FORTUNE! Likewise, doctors go to school for 8 years and often get into debt over 200,000 and THEN go on to MORE school to get where they are! Nurses go through 2 to 4 years or more themselves! All of these people have to be paid! Insurance companies don't grow on trees either! They have to pay large portions of your bill, or all of it, as health care gets pricier, on your behalf. Where do you think THAT money is supposed to come from? Why does everyone think someone else should pay THEIR medical bills?! YOU are responsible for your medical bills! I hate people always trying to get something for free! Personally, I have health care brought to me by the lovely wallet rapers, the Union. In the end, I pay for my health care through them. I just hate paying for other people to get health care because they ate their way into a heart attack. Thanks folks! You all suck.


Thanks for last straw you ONE-SIDED liberal f**ks!  You say absolutely nothing about the heathy folks that this bullsh*t is raping!   Outrageous premiums for something that I don't use so that the lazy asses of this nation can suck something else dry!!!  Done with this rag and all that support it.  Ciao!


what a joke. the whole thing has been a disaster. they can't even come up with a website that works


This is the republican's nightmare.  Millions of people able to care for themselves and their families affordable health care for perhaps the first time in their lives.  That's millions of people who will not vote republican next year.


Insurance companies did not support this law for nothing.


Yeah, what's not to love about death panels, fewer doctors, healthcare rationing, higher costs, & 16,500 new IRS agents?


@alternateworld LOL you must be kidding, ace. The people this benefits are the scum suckers that are too blinded by news media to ever vote anything other than the Socialist Democratic Party.


So just where are those supposed death panels?

No, the pachyderms wanted a years extension on implementation so they could continue to ramp up more lies and propaganda against ACA.

JefWithOneF topcommenter

I just spit water out of my nose!

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