Skip to main content

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.

Popular posts from this blog


Lately, I have had some anxiety. I have been waking up within an hour of when I fall asleep (partially because my bladder has its own timetable). And then I lie awake, worrying about various things. Mostly I worry that I am failing as a parent. I worry that I allow my child to be disrespectful to me more than she should. I worry that I am not forcing my shy child to do more things. And I worry that the few things I am pushing her to do will make her resent me. I worry that she gets stressed about school. I worry that she is bothered because she does not have a lot of friends. I worry because I don't know why that is.

I worry that we will be stuck in our house in our bad school district, a place where we would not send our child to high school when she graduates in two years (two years!). Then I worry that our somewhat introverted child will have to go to cyber school. Because there is just no way that we could afford to send her to Catholic high school, for which tuition is curren…

Why I am an "Other"

Last month while I was getting my driver's license picture taken, I tried to change my political party affiliation. For whatever reason, my choices were Democrat, Republican, Other, and None. But first, how I got there.

I registered as a Democrat when I first registered to vote, just before the '92 election. At that time, I was "kind of" liberal (for growing up in a somewhat rural area in western PA), and pretty much all of my relatives were registered that way, so it made sense. I was not really into politics at that young age, however.

As I got into my late 20s, I started to realize I was becoming more conservative, so a few years later, when it was time to renew my driver's license, I changed to Republican. I still remember the day at work when I told my coworker Anne that I was really a Republican. She told me she had known it for years. During the 2008 election, I was on board with John McCain running for president, mostly because I thought he was a good pe…

My first and hopefully my last biposy (or I would rather be at the beach)

This past Monday afternoon I had my biopsy. Up until Sunday night, I was not worried. In fact, I was never really concerned about having cancer; it was the needle part that bothered me. As it turns out, there is more than a needle; there is an actual incision. So it was not surprising that I only got a few hours of sleep. But on a positive note, I cruised right down the Parkway that morning, being the Monday before the 4th, so there was that.

I got there at the prescribed 30 minutes ahead of time; in fact, it was probably close to 35 minutes! I had to wait about 10 minutes, during which I could feel my seat vibrate (still not sure about that; I was tired but I don't think I was imaging it). Then I went back, changed, and waited in the "gowned waiting area" for no more than 5 minutes. Not even enough time to find out whose twins Jennifer Garner was pregnant with! WARNING: What follows will be detailed, though not too graphic.

Then I went back to a room, where someone as…