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Dear fellow citizens of SLO County 

Please, please, please enlighten me as to how our health care system is better with our new administration.

I am a middle-class retiree who makes too much to qualify for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and too little to afford the astronomical rates I have to pay to avoid annual tax penalties.

Blue Cross just dropped me because "they no longer serve SLO County." But my broker says that Blue Shield will pick me up for $112 more per month. (Aren't they the same company?) That will require me to pay $789 per month. And that is with a $5,000 deductible! This amount siphons one-fifth of my annual income! I still have to juggle food, housing, car, car insurance, home/life insurance, and the list goes on. How can one live?

These fees would get me the "Minimum Essential Coverage" to prevent me from paying the $1,875 fine for not having insurance—or I could get incarcerated to avoid having to pay the fine. All the options lead me to the same depressed feeling of hopelessness and downright outrage for how we got to this stage in our universal health "care." We can apply for an exemption to this fine, which will likely be denied.

Both political parties have failed us when it comes to health care. BOTH. So California ... what can we do about it? I'm all ears!

D. Albright

Atascadero

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