A Millennial and His Obamacare
Did we just experience a Waterloo on healthcare, or will we be able to fix it? That is a question I leave for the savvier pundits. The debate about the Freedom Caucus, the Tuesday Group, “Is the plan reborn?” “Is tax reform now first?” — all of it is getting very uninteresting to me.
I’m a Millennial, and thus, like many in my generation, feel I’ve been given a raw deal by my elders. But I’m also a conservative, so I don’t believe in handouts. That said, here is my experience with Obamacare, lest we forget the catastrophic consequences this law is exacting on people.
My Obamacare Ordeal
When Obamacare passed, I was in my early 20’s (I am now 29). Before Obamacare kicked in, I had a $60/month major medical insurance plan with a $5,000 deductible. It covered me, a healthy single male, in the event of a true emergency. I used the ER once, and had about an $800 bill, and the hospital was fine with me paying a whopping $10/month. So I knew that if an emergency happened, I could fall back, in the short term, on: (1) hospitals being willing to help; (2) savings (which, at the time, was maybe about $1,000); (3) credit cards (which I had no debt on); and in the worst case scenario, (4) friends and family.
Before this monstrosity of a law, I could pay for myself, and I had a plan that worked for me. Under this law, I was forced to not only get a plan that was unaffordable, but my fellow citizens were forced to pay for it.
After Obamacare kicked in, the plan and doctor that I liked — both of which President Obama promised I could keep — I lost. My plan was cancelled, because it no longer complied with the law. In its wisdom, the Federal government decided that it was “essential” that my plan have, among other things I did not need, mental health provisions, and maternity coverage.
The lowest available option on the Obamacare exchanges that I could get was about $170/month. That was nearly triple what I paid before, and this plan didn’t have nearly as good coverage, and a higher deductible.
I looked for other options. I found a “supplemental” plan that I could get for $120/month. The deductible was higher, and it still didn’t have as good of coverage as I had before, and it was still twice as expensive as my previous plan. So I thought, “Okay, still stinks, but this can work, even if I struggle to pay for it.” It turned out that the “supplemental” was another way of saying “Not Obamacare compliant,” and thus, even with this plan, I would pay tax penalties.
So that was what I, a young, healthy, single male in his mid-20’s, the beginning of his career, and hardly making any money, had to go through, because my government cared more about “compassion” than reality.
The myth of the Left is that there are free lunches. It seems the myth of the Right is there are perfect deals.
My Rebellion, My Stand
At that point, I was furious. I decided to take a risk: I refused to go on the Obamacare exchanges. Why? Because for me, it was matter of principle. Given the income bracket I was in, I would have qualified for a subsidy from the government. Thus, it was in my financial interest to go on the exchange. So why didn’t I? Quite frankly, because of my values. Before this monstrosity of a law, I could pay for myself, and I had a plan that worked for me. Under this law, I was forced to not only get a plan that was unaffordable, but my fellow citizens were forced to pay for it. How anyone could call this “moral” is beyond me. Again, reality far exceeds “compassion” when it comes to framing government policy.
Fortunately, nothing happened in those 9-12 months I didn’t have coverage, because as I said, I’m a healthy, single male, who doesn’t use drugs, doesn’t smoke, and wasn’t sleeping around, and didn’t plan to get pregnant.
But that is why I hate this law. What good it does for the very few it achieves at the cost of fleecing the very many. It “covers” people at the expense of plans they cannot even afford, whose deductibles they often can’t even pay. And the moral exemplar who requires this of us? The $20 trillion indebted federal government, whose edicts are apparently meant for my good, no matter how much bad they put me in.
That’s why I stand for repeal, even if it’s the imperfect repeal currently knocking around Congress and the White House. In a fallen world such as ours, I’m open to any good deal. The myth of the Left is that there are free lunches. It seems the myth of the Right is there are perfect deals. I reject both — as most traditional conservatives have for centuries.
Hearing the modern Left, you’d honestly wonder how American civilization ever made it, for centuries, without Obamacare, and other sclerotic attempts of a bankrupt government at “compassion.”
I’ll tell you how, as summed up by Churchill: “We have not journeyed all this way across the centuries, across the oceans, across the mountains, across the prairies, because we are made of sugar candy.”
Traditional, time-tested, yes “old-fashioned” values that built this country, that built this civilization, are made of deeper, hardier material than the sugar candy which the modern Left thinks is the solution to every human problem under the sun.
We’ll see where our civilization goes from here, whether it will build on solid rock, or sugar candy.
“The State is the great fiction through which everyone endeavors to live at the expense of everyone else.”
So said the French economist and statesman Frederic Bastiat.
Until we Americans reject this great fiction, this ultimate “sugar candy,” we will never again be financially sound, or free, nation.