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This Election Results and What It Means to Social Security Claims

We did it! We are done with the election. It’s going to be a relief seeing something other than election news on TV or social media. But last night’s events cannot be ignored. While for some it’s a victory, for others, the sky has fallen.

It’s democracy at its best and worst. It’s the price of our freedom. And life will continue and the birds will sing again.

However, there is a reality that cannot be ignored: the results of this election will be front and center for a while. What will the new President-elect do? How will his win affect you or us?  We really don’t know!

But here’s what we know so far: part of the election campaign promises of the President-elect was that he plans to eliminate the Affordable Healthcare Law or “Obamacare. His idea is to go back to the free market system again in hopes that the competition will cause price reductions on premiums so people will be able to afford insurance.

While we agree that some competition is not bad for any business, if nothing is done about coverage of pre-existing conditions, there is no free market that will help those with chronic illnesses.

What happens if “Obamacare” is eliminated?

You may be thinking, if “Obamacare” is eliminated “I don’t have to worry about that because I get coverage from my employer“. Sure, and that’s great. But have you considered the possibility that you may get sick and you may not have that job forever? Have you checked prices for private insurance for yourself and your family outside of the exchange?

No one can predict when we are going to get hurt or become seriously ill. Has anyone been able to predict a car accident, a heart attack or cancer?

What if that happened and you suddenly lost your job? Have you made the calculations or looked at your income and expenses to know if you could pay for healthcare outside of your job? Or worse, have you considered the possibility that even if you could afford to pay for insurance you may not be able to get it because of a pre-existing condition?

This is not a partisan issue. It is possibly what is going to happen if “Obamacare” is eliminated, or we go back to the free market and nothing is done about pre-existing condition coverage exclusions.

My concern is for those who voted in this election thinking about their various issues with the current government or the flaws of the opposing candidate. They cast their vote but forgot that after the balloons drop and the celebrations are over and “their team” won, reality is very different.

What seemed like a good idea in theory may turn out to be very different in reality and in everyday life.

I’m talking about the disabled here. Those who did not plan to get sick. Those who, like you had a good paying job and who never “imagined” they would be in “this” situation (i.e. chronically ill).

How will the elimination of “Obamacare” affect your Social Security claim? 

If you have read any of my previous posts like Medical Records and Why They Matter in a Social Security Claim or 4 Proven Reasons Disability Claims are Denied you will see that I almost sound like a broken record. Over and over again, I talk about the importance of getting medical treatment. Without medical treatment you will not be able to prove you meet the disability rules and regulations. Simple as that!

Medical treatment is so important that if you have not had treatment no attorney, nor the Social Security “decision maker”(lower levels) nor the disability judge will be on your side or will believe you are disabled. Medical records are THAT important, and because of that, ongoing medical treatment is key.

Before “Obamacare” it wasn’t uncommon for us attorneys to turn down cases because the claimant lacked treatment. After “Obamacare” you only did not have treatment if you could not afford the medical copays, or didn’t bother to enroll through the exchanges.  Even then, people were finally able to get at least “some” treatment. And the poorest claimants were often able to get free treatment. Flawed or not, the real result is that Obamacare helped the people who needed it the most: people who were unable to work because of sickness and who would never be able to afford their medical treatment.

If “Obamacare” is eliminated or Congress cannot find a way to at least keep the “pre-existing condition” coverage we are in a for a lot of trouble.

If people are not able to get insurance because of pre-existing conditions we will be seeing a lot more sick people going on welfare because they can’t get disability. We will see chronic patients not getting any treatment at all.

Before “Obamacare” there was discussion about “death squads”

Not having a solution for pre-existing conditions could be pretty close to choosing who dies and who lives.

Yes, it is a consequence of free market: “May the strong win”. But what if you are not part of “the strong” after getting sick? What if your spouse or parent gets sick? How are they going to get insurance if they can’t afford one? Or worse, even if they could pay for insurance, will the insurance company cover further cancer treatment or an additional operation to replace a “stent”?

This is not a game or a team sport. Yes, the election results are out and “The People” has spoken. But let’s not forget the weak, the sick and those who cannot defend themselves from corporate greed. It may not be you today, but do you know what your tomorrow brings?

Congress Needs to Hear from You

So you don’t like “Obamacare”. You think it’s broken. I get it.

Yes, a lot of insurance companies are pulling out of the healthcare system. Some are staying in and pretty much doubling their premiums.

Can we fix it? Can we replace it with something better?

Your congressman should know your opinion. If you have a better idea, let them know! What we cannot do is sit idle.

We are both healthy today but what if we are not tomorrow? Your loved one may be covered today. But what if “Obamacare” is eliminated and you find yourself or your loved one scrambling to find coverage for a pre-existing condition?

What would you do? Where would you go?

The reason I say this is because I was a Bankruptcy attorney a while ago before becoming a disability attorney. Guess what the biggest reason people filed for Bankruptcy in the old days before Obamacare? If you said medical bills, you’re right!

If we don’t find a solution for this problem we will see another surge in Bankruptcies due to medical bills

We heard that the President-elect has filed for bankruptcy in various occasions to get rid of debt or failed businesses. He made it sound like it’s a good deal. While it’s the law of the land, filing for bankruptcy is not something anyone should take lightly. Also understand that a personal bankruptcy is a whole different game. It’s not something you can file all the time like he was able to do.

Were you aware that if you file for a liquidation Chapter 7 bankruptcy today you cannot file another one for 8 years?!

You will get a discharge of your debts today, no problem. But if you have a chronic illness and still no insurance coverage after the filing the bills will continue to pile up. You will be in debt again. How do you expect to deal with all those bills for another 8 years before you can file again? 

I said it before and I will say it again: This is not a partisan issue in this election. It affects us all!

My disability clients are from both sides of the aisle and I promise you they all need medical coverage. Something needs to be done now before it’s too late. Think about that very seriously. We are healthy today but life likes to throw a curve ball at us all the time.

Wasn’t yesterday’s results a classic curve ball? Did you see it coming?

If you would like to comment, feel free to do so. Please keep it civil as this is a touchy subject that requires everyone’s attention. Any great ideas should be forwarded to your congressman. Let’s begin healing from this election. We can all use a break.

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Until next time,

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