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.