By Michael Ritchie | The Save Jersey Blog
Overall, I very much enjoyed my time spent in Massachusetts; however, I did have the unfortunate experience of living through state-controlled Massachusetts Healthcare.
Fortunately, we are now living back in New Jersey, and we now have a unique perspective on what many of us can look forward to with the Affordable-Care Act.
I had my first run in with Mass-health almost immediately after arriving to my new home, when I was unable to obtain the same combination medication that I had previously been taking for years. So, instead of being prescribed a convenient and less expensive single pill combination for my prescription, I was forced to purchase two individual pills.
I chalked that one up to bad luck and moved on with my life…
After finishing my postdoctoral fellowship, I began searching for jobs and found that the healthcare coverage provided by a top and distinguished pharmaceutical company did not meet the Massachusetts healthcare requirement. While I would be provided with the same health insurance coverage as colleagues in a different state, I would also be forced to buy my own additional coverage out of pocket or pay a fine. Ultimately, I did not take this job and the loss of income incurred from the required purchase of additional coverage was a factor in my decision.
My disgruntlement with this healthcare law came to a peak when filing my 2012 tax returns.
Apparently at some point during my postdoctoral fellowship, my employer-provided insurance policy changed slightly and as a result failed to meet the Massachusetts state healthcare requirement. Let’s forget the fact that this was an insurance policy being provided by arguably the greatest medical institution in world, and focus on the fact that no notification was sent informing me that I was not meeting the state mandate. Thus, for a period of months, l was effectively and unknowingly breaking the law and racking up a series of fines.
These encounters may not seem like much, but keep in mind that all of this happened in a short two year period. Regardless of who implemented the Massachusetts Healthcare law, it is wrong for everyone. It cost me, a newly minted college graduate with massive student loan debt and a minuscule salary, unnecessary financial burden and that is exactly what we can likely expect from the Affordable Care Act.
The initial roll out has been a terrible, and provides a good indication of the mess that we face in the future.
We should not stand for it and need to all continue to voice our opposition and fight for its appeal.