42 Responses

  1. Mary Dexter
    Mary Dexter June 16, 2014 at 5:29 am | | Reply

    Very insightful.

  2. Steve Hadaway
    Steve Hadaway June 16, 2014 at 7:17 am | | Reply

    Ridiculous- To credit the ACA with saving this man’s life is a real stretch. He had been going to doctors all along, are you saying that they were incompetent, and somehow, just now after he has insurance the doctors are competent?

    I can’t believe that this website (or anyone) would publish your nonsense.

    Please let the rest of us be free from your propaganda, and be free in truth.

    Will Dubois, if you want socialism so bad, please just go over to the Soviet Union and see what it is like.

    1. chris
      chris June 18, 2014 at 7:16 am | | Reply

      Wow, you must be fun at parties. 1.The word socialism doesn’t mean what you think it does. 2. In no way does ACA even remotely resemble socialism. 3. The Soviet Union doesn’t exist. Other than that, awesome comment man.

  3. StephenS
    StephenS June 16, 2014 at 7:24 am | | Reply

    Well stated, Wil. And frankly: I don’t care if it would be more expensive. People dying and living with complications that could possibly have been avoided is not a valid trade-off for not implementing reforms to our screwed-up healthcare system here in the USA.

  4. J.
    J. June 16, 2014 at 8:37 am | | Reply

    What a shill. How about al the people that are going to die from cancer because the incentives are all against treating them?

  5. len
    len June 16, 2014 at 9:19 am | | Reply

    This is a bunch of crock. I’ve been diabetic for 18 years. I’m 34. I left my parents healthcare insurance at the ripe age of 17. A year after finding out I had diabetes. I’m a father of 4, a husband of 11 years. I’m in really really good health. Now, being I’m diabetic, and I drink, and do stupid things at times, i’m not in PERFECT health…but who is nowadays? I still live life, go to ball games, and remain very active! Also, I’ve been covered by insurance plans in the past. I’ve gone to doctors that have helped me acquire my insulin and saw me…without insurance too! Don’t feed me this line of BS about this guy (as awful as it may be due to his condition) didn’t take the time, or set aside a little money, to actively seek out a doctor. Because of this “ACA” “affordable” (HAHAH whatever) my insulin is through the roof, my insurance isn’t even worth the high dollar paper it’s written on, and I have to spend at least 5K at the doctor before it even picks up anything! They, the government bureaucrats should have fixed the system, NOT made everything worse. You know, as a member of society that DIDN’T have insurance (one of the 15million out of 300 million aint to shabby) I was still able to make ends meet, raise a family, work so my wife could stay at home with our children, and still didn’t die…or come remotely close!!! BS story, and a BS way to get people to buy into this!!

    1. Shannon
      Shannon June 16, 2014 at 9:45 am | | Reply

      If I could, I would “Like” you comment a thousand times. I’m also a type 1, and I’ve always made having medical coverage a priority. I took lower-paying jobs for which I was overqualified because the medical benefits were too good to pass up. I also married my husband (in secret at the courthouse) six months before our “wedding” so that I would be covered by his plan.

      If having medical coverage is a priority, you have it. If it’s not, you don’t. Clearly, for Jacob, it wasn’t.

      Thanks to the ACA, my beloved “Cadillac” plan is no more, and I pay more than three times the amount for less coverage. This is in addition to the HUGE deductible I must satisfy, higher copays, and prescriptions that cost more than double what I used to pay.

      The ACA might be great for some with chronic illness, but not all. Many of us were responsible diabetics who didn’t expect anyone else to take care of us! Sorry, Diabetes Mine, but on this, you’re way off.

    2. anonymous
      anonymous June 16, 2014 at 8:04 pm | | Reply

      It’s super impressive that you’ve managed to make it a whopping 16 years with diabetes. Tell us again how you are doing when you’ve had it for 30, 40, or 50 years.

      1. Lifelong type 1
        Lifelong type 1 July 18, 2014 at 12:37 pm | | Reply

        I have been a type 1 for over 50 years and have done amazingly well. (Diagnosed in 1958 at age 2) My parents made me well aware that managing my diabetes was one of the most important things I could do and that when I graduated from college I needed a career that would provide me with employer subsidized health insurance. I became a nurse and thus was covered by the group insurance provided by the hospital. Even after marrying I was the one who provided our health insurance. I don’t know if it has to do with the ACA but a few things have occurred that affected my health care since ACA was signed into law in March of 2010. First, the endocrinologist I’d gone to for over 20 years suddenly decided to retire, then the endocrinologist he referred me to retired after I’d been under her care for about 2 years. My most recent endocrinologist is really good and a type 1 with a pump himself, but he is so overloaded with patients that I mostly see his PA. Second, my insulin (Novolog and Lantus) and test strip copays have gone up dramatically for the first time in 20 years. The insurance group sent a letter stating that unless I could get generic insulin the payments would increase. I use a pump and use Novolog in it, but need the Lantus for backup in case something happens with my ability to use the pump (and it has happened.) These same cost increases have occurred for my sister (type 1 since age 4 or for 52 years) and her son (type 1 since age 16 or 8 years) I am glad that people are getting the health care they need to help control their diabetes, but I am not glad that it has, possibly, caused me to have to pay so much more to control mine.

  6. Kate
    Kate June 16, 2014 at 12:18 pm | | Reply

    I’m glad other people took the time to write detailed responses here. Find a job (even if you have to TRY VERY HARD FOR A LONG TIME) that includes health insurance.

    I’ve racked up several life insurance policies without medical exams this same way, taking them private when I move to the next job.

  7. Christina Patriarca
    Christina Patriarca June 16, 2014 at 1:51 pm | | Reply

    I totally agree with Len and Shannon. That sob story IS complete BS, and an insult to any diabetic who has struggled to stay healthy despite not having insurance. That guy would have wasted other people’s money one way or another. When I was diagnosed I had no insurance and wasn’t able to obtain it until I got married, and then they only allowed me on with a waiver that doesn’t pay for any diabetes related care. So, I HAD to take my own care seriously. After 21 years of being a diabetic (and all of them essentially uninsured) I have no complications, my last H1Ac was 5.7, (never been higher than 6.1). I’m not looking for any awards, but it’s all about motivation. I’d rather die in the streets than get on an Obamacare exchange. Sorry.

  8. Bernard Farrell
    Bernard Farrell June 16, 2014 at 4:14 pm | | Reply

    I truly don’t want to start a flame war. Maybe there are decisions Jacob could have made differently. But at the time perhaps he couldn’t see any alternatives. Tell me we all haven’t made mistakes that look dumb in the future.

    I’m kind of shocked at the vitriole. Living with type 1 is hard, even for those of us blessed with insurance. And yes I’ve taken many jobs just for the health insurance. It still doesn’t make T1 easier, just provides more treatment options.

    I’m extremely glad to see that ACA was passed. Yes insurance in the US is expensive probably more that it should be. But you can’t put this on folks who have kidney disease. I’ve heard of folks who get this despite all they do to avoid it. It just plain stinks.

    1. anonymous
      anonymous June 16, 2014 at 7:44 pm | | Reply


  9. Terry
    Terry June 16, 2014 at 6:57 pm | | Reply

    It’s so easy to take your personal experience and generalize it to the broader population. Not everyone is dealt the same hand of cards in life.

    I am tired of of folks that feel that they have the corner on “personal responsibility.” They are so concerned that one fragment of their productivity may get shared with one of their fellow human beings. And many of these people make a big deal of their heartfelt “Christianity.”

    What ever happened to the sentiment that, “there but for the grace of God, go I”? I prefer not to live in a society with needlessly desperate people.

    Wil, thanks for the report from the trenches. I only wish that this health care reform was simply passed as a Medicare for all. We can’t afford the fat cat parasitic intermediaries that take value from our current health care dollars. Why can’t critics like those here extend a bit of human kindness to those who are less fortunate?

    1. anonymous
      anonymous June 16, 2014 at 7:45 pm | | Reply

      double amen

    2. Bernard Farrell
      Bernard Farrell June 17, 2014 at 5:29 am | | Reply

      At the risk of repetition, amen.

  10. Jay
    Jay June 16, 2014 at 6:58 pm | | Reply

    I guess it’s not surprising that some people who’ve managed to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps within a system that has no compassion for them also have no compassion for those who didn’t manage that difficult task.

    But it’s disheartening and I always find it kind of shocking. Good on you for managing to do look out for yourself, work hard and manage to succeed in a system where the assumption is that it’s all about that–looking out only for yourself and those close to you.

    But this guy didn’t quite make out as well as you. And he’s not mad, for some reason. And yet, people take the time to essentially spit on his misfortune. Sorry, I’m not impressed by the level of humanity expressed here. It’s not all about you and the select few who were clever enough to game the system.

    It’s about all of us. It’s about questioning the assumption that a system like this is “normal,” a system that takes the form of a cruel game in which if you have an illness and you happen to be in the wrong demographic it takes all you can muster just to have a chance at the dignity of even minimal coverage. Stories like Jacobs are more common within our heartless system than are stories like yours.

    If we all assume that it’s got to about survival of the fittest then we’ll get that kind of system. We HAVE that kind of system. And we’ll feel self-congratulatory for being survivors and vindicated in looking down on those who didn’t reach our

    Meanwhile, this article has presented an extremely balanced and clear view of what Obamacare is about.

    The exchanges DO suck, that’s quite clear. And that’s because we continue to believe the myth that the somehow it’s possible to create a health system based on ideals of profit and selfishness.


  11. David
    David June 16, 2014 at 7:03 pm | | Reply

    Thumbs down, very disappointing comments. Jacob, hang in there!

  12. John
    John June 16, 2014 at 7:08 pm | | Reply

    The healthcare system is a runaway system because it is fundamentally flawed. It’s solely based upon symptomatic treatments; not a cure. Pharmaceutical companies advertise their drugs and the scales for when a prescription is given seems to be sliding in favor of big pharma.

    All the well educated Ivy League graduates that helped craft the ACA forgot about economics 100 and supply and demand and how it influences prices. Demand rises (more people using insurance) doctor pool dwindling or current levels can’t meet demand; rates will rise. Duh! We are all doomed to go broke trying to bring healthcare for all.

    How many have now been asked to leave a credit card on file so doctor can bill copayment or uncovered portion?

  13. anonymous
    anonymous June 16, 2014 at 8:02 pm | | Reply

    Thank you Will for your very insightful view from the trenches. As a side note, for those of you who think Will is biased here, you clearly missed his post which was fairly anti Obamacare when he was forced – for the first time – to have to cover his healthcare costs on his own.

    As to the other commenters…

    Life is full of judgment, just like diabetes. Somehow someone who finds themselves in a bad situation is always laid out as dumb (“I got low after yard work, and woke up to EMT’s” get responses of “duh, it’s exercise moron” instead of sympathy). They are somehow less than you. Less than your perfection at mastering the art of diabetes.

    The problem is that no matter how good you are at this game called life, shit happens. People with perfect a1c’s suddenly find themselves blind. People with a cgms pass out at the wheel of their car. We are not infallible, nor are we all extended the same privileges in life in terms of getting a job that even comes with medical.

    It’s one thing to argue that it costs too much, or that the implementation is poor. That I get. But to argue that someone’s medical woes are the result of their own behavior, and that woe would never land on you? Where exactly does that vitriol come from?

  14. Scott Powell
    Scott Powell June 16, 2014 at 10:17 pm | | Reply

    You know, a much better way than forcing everyone to buy insurance, would be to make doctors and pharmacies only charge their “negotiated rates” to everyone, whether or not they have insurance. For instance, my last set of bloodwork had a price tag of almost $1200. But the “negotiated rate” was more like $300. Insurance paid 80% of the 300, I paid the other 20%.

    Just thinking if the cost of most health care items was 20% of what it currently gets charged to non-insured people (because in general I see the “negotiated rates” are somewhere around 20 – 25% of the “list price”…maybe everyone could afford decent health care…WITHOUT having to get the government involved…

  15. Scott Powell
    Scott Powell June 16, 2014 at 10:20 pm | | Reply

    One other comment….at every place I’ve ever worked, “pre-existing conditions” have only denied you insurance for the first 12 months, after that they had to cover you. And once you’re on insurance, other places can’t deny you due to pre-existing conditions. I wonder why Jacob could never get insurance?

    1. MikeH
      MikeH June 18, 2014 at 10:08 am | | Reply

      Thanks for the comment, Scott. I have been fortunate enough to be in the same situation as you, as far as my employer-coverage. Of course, some did try to deny me at first and I provided the continuous coverage documentation. Not all insurance plans operated that way, and especially those who weren’t married to jobs for the insurance and tried to find their own insurance outside of the employer realm, that wasn’t the case — you just didn’t have options previously.

  16. AmyT
    AmyT June 16, 2014 at 11:58 pm | | Reply

    Wow, this post really stirred some tempers. I agree with Bernard and Jay that there are probably many people out there like Jacob… who just didn’t see any alternatives until it was too late.

    I think at the very least, we all need to consider how we might be able to catch the “Jacobs” of the Diabetes World and help them BEFORE they fall into a no-treatment hole like this.

  17. DiabetesMine – Obamacare, As Seen from the Diabetes Trenches

    [...] Read more [...]

  18. Kate
    Kate June 18, 2014 at 4:11 am | | Reply

    I think it’s wrong for you guys to judge this guy for the situation he was in, you guys don’t know his financial situation. I’m 24 now I was diagnosed with type one diabetes when I was 8 much younger then a lot of you when you were dianosged. I’ve always had health insurence up to 2010 when I lost for my job. I’m now working but my job dosent provide health insurence so I go to the community clnic to get my meds, just insulin,test strips, lancets come out of my pocket. I would love to have insurence and for people to say oh just get a better job is completely ridiculous and you must have never had to struggle for things in your life. Sometimes you have to do the best you can do. And to the person who said if you have been accepted on an insurence plain with a preesisting condition that you can get anywhere no problem after that, your a liar that’s was not the case.

  19. Zac
    Zac June 18, 2014 at 11:08 am | | Reply

    The ACA did not work for my 8 year old T1 son. They denied him coverage. With no reason. I called the help line and they could not give me an answer only to buy him private insurance, but the would cover myself.

    I live in Michigan and am required to have an adult on a private policy with a minor. I do have private insurance (COBRA at the moment), but it is just as expensive as private insurance with the same coverage. I do understand COBRA is private and am currently unemployed so the $500/month for insurance AND the $300 for prescriptions is quite unsustainable.

    I contacted my congresswoman and she was no help either. So when I run out of money, then I can file for Medicare and wait months for that coverage.


  20. Dawn
    Dawn June 18, 2014 at 1:59 pm | | Reply

    I must be missing something here. How does a doctor get away with such incompetence as not running labs or catching stage 4 kidney failure long before it reaches stage 4? It’s not like the guy could get insulin without seeing a doctor.

    1. Barb
      Barb June 20, 2014 at 7:13 am | | Reply

      Dawn I work at a clinic. We recently had a patient come in that has not seen a doctor in years despite being a Type 1. How does she get her insulin? Her mother gets insulin through the VA and passes some onto daughter.
      We also have had lots of people come in for insulin or some other medication they have to have but because they have no insurance or money they refuse to get labs. We have the choice to leave them without insulin or not. Of course we try our best to get them care and sometimes have to say “we can’t” but that is a difficult decision.

  21. Wayne
    Wayne June 19, 2014 at 1:34 am | | Reply

    Excellent article, Wil! These responses that target the subject of your post, rather than the society that forced him to barely exist in a profit-driven “health care” nightmarish netherworld make me sicker to my stomach than a high blood sugar. So keep up the good work, Wil. Too bad the ACA wasn’t three words in length: Medicare For All.

  22. Pete
    Pete June 19, 2014 at 8:17 pm | | Reply

    Too much rhetoric and as per govt not enuf facts. Any hospital worth it’s salt has a FREE diabetes clinic for anyone suspecting they are diabetic or just concerned. This was becoming available at the time Barry was smoking dope.

  23. Christine
    Christine June 20, 2014 at 12:15 am | | Reply

    I have seen the triumphs as well as the defeats with diabetic friends and family. Some have suffered with devastating complications and have lived with the guilt of not having cared for the diabetes. They have admonished me to continue to work hard at managing my diabetes. But for me my T2 diabetic father, who passed away a few years ago with congestive heart failure at the age of 81, was my great example of trying to do his best to manage this illness. I am vrry fortunate.
    But there are a couple of friends I know that can’t or won’t take care of diabetes. And they both struggle without the financial means to pay for their diabetic supplies. One is as she says “In denial” and waiting to be old enough in July to go on Medicare. The other is on Medicare but still unable to afford supplies.
    Diabetes requires money, discipline and support. Thanks for the articles Wil, thank you to my doctors, family, friends, husband, DOC and insurance.

  24. Diabetes News, Views and Announcements - 6/20/14 | War On Diabetes

    [...] Obamacare, As Seen from the Diabetes Trenches  “Longtime type 1 Jacob Padilla could be a case study on how healthcare reform is a two-sided coin with pros and cons, but how I think it’s more of a benefit to people with diabetes.”  Real life experience with Obama care and Diabetes. Very interesting. [...]

  25. Barb
    Barb June 20, 2014 at 7:03 am | | Reply

    So glad to see this story. In the last year I have had contact with 4 different type 2 diabetics who have not had insurance for the last 4-5 years. Due to the affordable care act they now do. A couple certainly have damage we can not repair but we can prevent more and slow the process. In the long run we could have saved money by simply caring for these folks all along but I am so thankful we now can.

    1. Christine
      Christine June 20, 2014 at 9:36 pm | | Reply

      Amen, Barb. I have always felt this way. If only the insurance companies could understand that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Complications are
      far more expensive than the day to day care of diabetes.

  26. Jay
    Jay June 20, 2014 at 8:03 am | | Reply

    I just want to excerpt part of this article that is important but being a bit ignored in the comments and by people on the left who want to ignore fact that Obamacare is not “Healthcare reform” but an extremely mild form of “Insurance Reform” that is really basically a handout to the insurance companies: the exchanges are not a good deal for most people. this is a truth that won’t go away no matter how hard we ignore it.
    “But that insurance, although finally available, can be breathtakingly expensive. The cost of premiums on an Exchange, after the various subsidies, ranges from a low of 4% of your income to a high of 9.5%, depending on how much you earn. That’s a percentage of your gross income, not your take-home pay, which for most Americans is about 25% less. The truth on the ground is that to purchase an Exchange plan costs between 6-12% of your take-home pay. Frankly, many people living paycheck-to-paycheck simply can’t afford the extra expense.
    Even if you can re-arrange your budget to purchase a plan, you don’t get much bang for the buck as far as coverage quality. Visit copays are high. Drug copays are steep, and the drug formularies are restrictive, in terms of medication choices. On the diabetes front, patients are being forced into low-quality blood glucose meters, and some make copays that are nearly half the cost of strips at retail. And don’t even get me started on durable medical equipment (DME), a category that most health plans use to cover insulin pumps, CGMs, and other diabetes gear. On all the Exchange plans in my state, the DME coverage is abysmal, at best covering 50% after the deductible.”

  27. Ted Wilson
    Ted Wilson June 20, 2014 at 11:08 am | | Reply

    Beautifully written republican propaganda.

  28. pat
    pat June 21, 2014 at 10:09 am | | Reply

    This is rubbish. I choice not to get obamacare and i might qualify for medicaid which i do not want i would have to see ARNP not a doctors and there are long waits because not many doctors are willing to to take the pittance the govt pays them to treat patience and i don’t blame them. Many of the insurance are allowing patients with pre-esxisting to get a policy but not covering the medication and services the patient needs which means having insurance is useless. we need to be able to buy insurance in the private sector and cross state lines and we need to be able to get the medications we need from Canada or other over seas place where they are cheapier so for every good story there are bad ones eliminate obamacare

  29. S P
    S P June 23, 2014 at 8:31 am | | Reply

    This is ridiculous… he could have gone in for a physical any time in the last 10 years for LESS than one month’s ACA premium.

  30. John Hamilton
    John Hamilton June 23, 2014 at 8:50 am | | Reply

    JACOB, OBAMACARE Dibetes and More

  31. Jay
    Jay June 23, 2014 at 11:20 am | | Reply

    as an addendum to my last comment, which someone seemed to interpret as “republican propaganda”
    I’m about as far “left” as they go. Whatever that means. Obamacare is mild insurance reform similar to that proposed in the past by the republican party, now painted as socialist by the same politicians.

    It’s a small, very small step in the direction we need, –other than medicaid expansion– but an extremely compromised one, because all it does is expand the market and leave profit as the main motive. If people on the “left” can’t be honest with themselves about how sorry an excuse this is for reform, there’s the chance that it will become the new norm as we sit on our laurels, and the overall system will simply find more and more ways around the reform laws set in place, leaving more and more everyday Americans with ever worsening insurance coverage.

    All things considered there are a lot of people who now have coverage of some kind that didn’t before but it’s still a nightmare of a system and grossly uneven and unfair

  32. Brandon
    Brandon July 11, 2014 at 7:51 am | | Reply

    Wow sorry to comment on an old post but this story is outrageous. I live in Canada (we have single-payer socialized medicine, as you might be aware of), and my son was diagnosed with diabetes a year ago. Our healthcare system does not cover his insulin, strips, needles, or anything else. Luckily I have insurance through my employer. I can only hope he understands his responsibilities in this matter as he grows up and goes out on his own.

    The idea that a government takeover of healthcare is somehow going to help people with T1D is absurd. All you’re going to end up with is people dying in waiting rooms and waiting 8 months for any sort of specialist appointment. I’ve learned to live with our Canadian healthcare system, but it might be a shock to a lot of you.

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