Today, I was going to post another greens’ recipe—my refrigerator is bulging with them—but instead I am going to celebrate the Supreme Court’s decision to allow nationwide health care subsidies.
The New York Times can explain it better than I can. “The question in the case, King v. Burwell…was what to make of a phrase in the law that seems to say the subsidies are available only to people buying insurance on ‘an exchange established by the state.’
“Four plaintiffs, all from Virginia, sued the Obama administration, saying the phrase meant that the law forbids the federal government to provide subsidies in states that do not have their own exchanges. Congress made the distinction, they said, to encourage states to create their own exchanges.”
To say that I am relieved doesn’t begin to describe how I feel about the Supreme Court’s decision. This October, Clif will be retiring. He is sixty-four, and I am fifty-seven. This means he is one year away from Medicare, and I am eight years away.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but Clif and I live on a very modest budget that will be even more modest when he retires. We have some sidelines planned—Clif will be doing compter consulting work, and I will be selling photo cards and calendars online—but until those sidelines get going, our income will be quite small.
All of June, I have been worrying about what we would do if the Supreme Court ruled against the Affordable Care Act. How in the world would we afford health insurance? We know from experience how expensive it is to buy private insurance without subsidies. We did so ten years ago when Clif worked solely as a consultant. It was $600 a month with very high deductables. Yearly physicals weren’t covered. Mammograms weren’t covered. It was catastrophic healh insurance only.
That was ten years ago, and premiums go up as you age. Since then, I have had breast cancer, which certainly qualifies as a prexisting condition. I worried that without the Affordable Health Care Act, we would we have to pay $800 a month or even more. How would we have managed?
Now, we don’t have to worry. We know that we can get good coverage at a price we can afford.
I feel as though I can breathe. Without good, affordable health care, especially as you age, you can’t be free.
Tonight there will be celebratory drinks on the patio. The weather is sunny and warm, and it will a perfect night to be outside.
What a happy, happy day at the little house in the big woods.
And tomorrow, I will post the recipe for a Summer Greens Quiche with a Cracker Crust.