Thursday, October 6, 2016

It's official: Obamacare improves healthcare quality

I was sorely disappointed when the Affordable Care Act passed, since it didn't even go as far as President Obama wanted. But now I'm fully prepared to have a big, goopy humble pie smashed in my face, because Obamacare has been an absolute godsend. I know single payer would be better. I'm not a fan of Obamacare's insurance mandate, and I can respect those who don't like the mandate. But there's no comparison between American healthcare today and the insufferable medical system of a decade or two ago.

The ACA has improved accessibility, cost, scope, and even quality of healthcare. I can attest firsthand to the improvement in quality.

As a teenager in the 1980s and 1990s, my family had junk insurance. It paid for quack "treatments" for nonexistent conditions, but I had to go for ages without seeing a doctor for a couple of almost unbearable health conditions I chronically suffered from, because insurance wouldn't cover it. Yet this insurance covered a psychiatrist who anybody could see was an absolute quack after 30 seconds with her. For years after, as an adult, I had to bite the bullet and accept whatever healthcare I could find. In the 1990s and 2000s, I was forced to visit a medical practice that was miles away and was incompetent. My main doctor there was very evasive at answering my medical questions and gave incomplete instructions. During one visit, one of the other doctors there performed only half of a medical procedure I needed - and it was the half I needed less.

Now, since Obamacare passed, I've been visiting a medical practice right down the street from me that has been very, very competent - so far. On my first visit several years ago, I explained my objections to psychotropic drugs. The doc was very understanding and agreed they would not resort to that "treatment." When I visited this same practice a few days ago, I had a different doctor, who said pretty much the same thing - and seemed understanding about my battle with post-traumatic stress disorder, which I've dealt with for 26 years. This medical practice has also successfully treated some physical ailments I'd suffered from for decades.

Throughout my life, most dentists I've had have been competent. Maybe that's because I very rarely even got to see a dentist when American healthcare was at its worst. I had to go 11 years between dental visits. The only bad dentist I ever remember seeing was one I saw only once when I was about 9 as part of a wider checkup and only vaguely remember. That was before Obamacare.

The long and short of it is that the quality of American healthcare today is absolutely incredible compared to what it was before the ACA. I'm utterly floored that it's gotten so good. It'll never be perfect, but it's amazing compared to what we were forced to tolerate earlier. If we had Obamacare in the '80s, it would have saved a lot of grief.

I hope this recent trend holds up. I have a couple more appointments coming up, so I'll find out. If we have to return to the earlier broken health system, I can't deal with it. I just can't.


  1. This is so true..I think..

    It sounds like the dentist you had at age 9 was the same idiot I had. I had another idiot when I was thirtysomething, right BEFORE Obamacare, who tried to send me to a psychiatrist when I disagreed with him.

    Also in the days BEFORE Obamacare, a doctor fucked up my back. Another doctor almost spilled chemicals on my skin. I had a lot of misdiagnosis. It HAS gotten better since we got Obamacare.

    The dentist I had when I was 10 kept interrupting my mom, and argued constantly. He gave me a Care Bears stuffed animal to "hug" when he was arguing. It was a cute stuffed animal for very small kids, but this was really condescending for me because I was too old for it..

    I have better doctors now, and alternative medicine now in case that doesn't work..Did you know the Affordable Care Act is required to cover alternative medicine?

    1. The dentist I regularly visited as a kid seemed to be pretty good. The one I visited once when I was about 9 was just a one-time thing. My parents probably don't even remember, but it was part of an overall medical checkup.

      The eye doctor I had growing up seemed to be a nice guy, but I absolutely hated going there. My grandmother said he was a very good eye surgeon, but I wasn't there for surgery.

      Psychiatrists always argue. Psychologists were always pretty cool, but psychiatrists did nothing but argue. The junk insurance we had when I was a teenager covered quack psychiatrists, but nothing useful.

      I briefly had a quack doctor as a teenager who tried to prescribe a very strong acne drug, but I refused. He also prescribed a very strong acne soap, but I took one whiff of it, and it smelled like shit, so I wouldn't go near it again.

      I will resort to alternative medicine if necessary, even though conventional medicine has improved lately.

    2. My friend got half her face fucked up by a dentist, back before Obamacare..

      I also got an antibiotic from a doctor who got the dosage wrong from a missing decimal point..

      Another friend got her glasses fucked up