I Like Affordable Care

I’m rooting for the Affordable Care Act – also known as Obamacare (for some reason I don’t understand – since Congress had more to do with it than the President did, and since its intellectual roots could reasonably be called both Romneycare and Gingrichcare).

When I was three years old, I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. This is not the kind of diabetes that correlates with lifestyle choices. Its causes are not fully known. And there’s pretty much nothing you can do about it. Now, I need an external source of insulin to survive. I need to monitor my blood glucose religiously to properly tune my insulin dosage. My choice is pretty stark: get insulin and glucose testing supplies, or die.

Well, maybe not die. Not right away. I’d be in for a lot of nasty complications and time at the hospital first.

This is one reason why health-related commerce does not take place in a free market, and why it would be completely inappropriate for it to do so. It’s also why the term “insurance” is a total misnomer in the phrase “health insurance.”

So: I’m a fan of Obamacare. It means that insurance companies cannot drop my coverage because I have this “preexisting condition.” It means they can’t jack up my rates because something random happened when I was 3. It means that I don’t have to worry that if I lose my job (for instance, let’s say our society stops investing in high-technology infrastructure…) that my savings will evaporate and my life will be at risk. I am 27, which means I should have a lot of life ahead of me – which means there’s a long time for things like those to happen. I’d like to prevent them, if possible – but the health insurance industry is set up to obfuscate and avoid paying out. If insurers had their way, they’d drop me in a moment. I think there’s a clear case that we need strong legislation to regulate health insurance providers.

To me, Obamacare means peace of mind. It also means that I don’t have to pay for people who rely on the ER for health care, which means my own costs will go down. I get more and I pay less: sounds like a good deal to me.

Gaming Machine: Part the Second

This has been fun!


I put together my gaming computer and got everything up and running the way I like it over the last week. It’s been a satisfying experience – planning it all out, assembling it, and working out the little kinks. (I got a few taken care of; I’ll see how many more I hit.) The result is a computer that has been able to handle everything I’ve thrown at it so far in good form!

This contraption is running off an Intel Core i5-2500K processor, which seems plenty fast enough to eat up some games while also not costing me $1000, like the higher-end Core i7’s do. I have it in an Asus P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3 motherboard, which offers not only compatibility with all the other hardware but also sufficient expansion capabilities for me to upgrade a few times over the coming years. There are two 4 GB sticks of 1600 MHz RAM in there from G.Skill, and room for two more DIMMs up to 8 GB each. I sprang for a Sapphire Radeon 7950, which is a GTX 580 competitor that’s only about a month into its product life, giving me plenty of usable time on this graphics card (and the option to pair it up with a second one when we hit the end of the Radeon product cycle). That graphics card also has some nifty power-saving features to keep from hogging all the electricity in my apartment all the time. I put Windows on a 64 GB solid-state hard drive, and have two 7200 rpm, terabyte-sized hard disks in a mirrored RAID configuration for data. It’s all running from a Cooler Master Silent 700 W power supply in an Antec Three Hundred Illusion case. (I am fantastically happy with this case/power/cooling situation, by the way.)

Now I can run around feeling like I’m inside a Lord of the Rings movie.