Read it and weep

How many times have you heard someone, usually on talk radio or a news channel, imploring you to write to or call your congressperson? I have done just that with one senator, several times now, only to be left more frustrated than before I ever composed my email. I will call this man Senator C (wink-wink, nudge-nudge).

This past November, while reading Senator C's newsletter, I learned that C and another senator were cosponsoring a bill that would extend the Cobra subsidy program for six months. This was welcome news for me, since my subsidy was ending in December, and I really could not afford for my health insurance premiums to triple. So I checked C's website a few times over the next two weeks, and when I found no updates, I emailed him. I explained that I had been out of work for eight months and even though it bothered me to accept this subsidy, which is really, or will be soon, taxpayer assistance, paying the full Cobra premium would be nearly impossible for me right now.

A couple days later, I received a canned response, saying my email had been received. In early December, I again emailed C, telling him I was still waiting for a status update of the bill. A few days later I received a response that clearly indicated C (or whoever penned the response email) did not ready my email. C's email explained the ins and outs of Cobra as well as detailed the subsidy extension bill. All things I already knew about. Of course, there was no mention of what I asked: the status of the bill.

In any event, at the beginning of January, I went on Brian's crappy, crappy insurance. I assumed the bill was not going to pass and staying on the Cobra with the increased premiums just would not work for us. Well, lo and behold, last week, I received another email from Senator C, which once again explained Cobra and the subsidy extension. But this time, there was new information: The subsidy extension passed. On December 19!

While I appreciated that someone from C's office followed up with me, unsolicited (hey, maybe someone really did read my email!), it was too little, too late. And, I have no doubt that delayed action was completely on purpose. Responsible people and/or those who could not afford triple the premium most likely had to find other insurance, which is probably what the government was hoping.

In the end, although I am mad about the situation, I can take solace in that I am no longer taking money that is not mine. Of course, when I get my bill for blood work from this week, I will probably be singing a much different tune. Stay tuned for that rant! Sigh.


chris h. said…
I get similar canned responses from Mssrs. C and S. However, I always get a thoughtful, pointed response from our Rep, Tim Murphy's, office. That's a shame about the COBRA. Was there no info to be found online about it? There were probably many others in the same boat as you, now stuck.

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