Letter: Sen. Mary Landrieu’s vote appreciated

While it is unlikely, sometimes it appears I am the only person, besides U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, who is pleased with the passage of the Affordable Health Care Act. I am not speaking for Sen. Landrieu. However, I do have an aversion to facts being misrepresented.

Several recent political commercials claimed Landrieu cast the deciding vote to enact Obamacare.

Which vote do they mean — ending debate, withholding funding or approving the bill?

Even if she did cast the 51st vote, it was not the deciding vote.

If she had voted no, the bill would have still been enacted. It was all the senators who voted for the bill who cast the “deciding vote.”

I think Obamacare is excellent. Many disagree. That is their right. Everyone hears the horror stories.

For instance, people are allegedly being forced to buy coverage they may not want, such as pregnancy coverage. Most group policies include pregnancy coverage. Some exclude birth control pills.

When I was covered through a COBRA policy as part of a severance package, I had planned to convert that to an individual policy.

The group policy I had been covered with, which provided the COBRA coverage, did not write individual policies in Louisiana. Thus, conversion to a private policy was impossible.

Every major insurance company in this area denied me coverage because of my prior health conditions. All of those conditions are controlled with medication and diet.

I purchased a limited liability policy. It did not cover out-patient surgery. It did not include eye exams, lab tests, X-rays and paid virtually nothing for medication.

The rollout of Obamacare was horrible. The coverage is good. With the federal tax credit I received, I chose the best plan available. I had eight prescriptions filled, a one-month supply for each, with the required $5 co-pay for a total of $40. I saw my doctor, $10. I saw a specialist, $20. Yes, I like Obamacare.

Some companies may be dropping group policies. Some workers may be having their hours cut, so they do not qualify for group coverage. Policies are being canceled. I understand the issues. I believe Obamacare offers viable options.

When I was covered with a group policy, I was paying almost as much as I am now for my wife and me. The main difference is how the premium was paid. The company paid a portion, and the remainder was deducted from my paycheck.

Thus my net pay did not ever reflect the insurance cost. The deduction was an effective way to budget my health care expenses.

I sometimes disagree with Sen. Landrieu. However, I thank her for voting in favor of this bill, along with the other senators who cast their “deciding vote.”

Larry Wall

freelance writer

Baton Rouge