One of the most divisive laws to ever pass in the United States is the Affordable Care Act (ACA) better known as ObamaCare. Of course, this law did not originate with former President Barak Obama — some date it to Elizabeth Dole, some to the conservative Heritage Foundation, others to Ronald Reagan, still others to Mitt Romney, and even Hillary Clinton. The simple fact is that health care reform and the idea of a single-payer system has been rolling around Washington, DC since the 1980s.
For decades, I opposed a Federal healthcare system on the basis that it could easily become a socialist policy. Yet, a few years ago when I decided to go freelance as a writer and work from home, I had to get health insurance. All the quotes I received were too high to afford at the time, so I held off.
Avoiding the Penalty
For the most part, I was ok with the idea of ObamaCare because that appeared to be what the majority of America wanted — still does. However, I was not going to participate; I wanted to fund health insurance myself. Then, a strange thing happened. I paid my first penalties for not having health insurance. Ouch.
Of course, these penalties were stricken from the original bill by the U.S. Supreme Court then quickly reinstated by Congressional Republican’s, but that did not take the sting of tax time away. As a small business owner, it really hurt. So, I decided to sign up for ObamaCare if only to avoid the penalties.
This is my first year having ACA coverage, but something really odd happened. My wife and I make too little to have to pay the full amount of premiums but not so much that my 6-year-old child should be covered under the ACA; the Feds automatically sent my information to the state of Texas to place my son in Medicaid. According to the Republican-run state of Texas, however, I make too much to enroll my child in Medicaid so guess what?
Under ObamaCare as it now stands, my wife and I can get health insurance but my minor child cannot.
Obtaining My Own Health Insurance
I found a loophole in the law and decided to seek my own health insurance coverage. I can afford it now if I operate on a very tight budget. But something funny happened on the way to coverage…
I have gout.
Not some strange, unmanageable disease that will cost millions over my lifetime to cover, but gout. Something I have had since I was 26 and keep under control by a strict diet. In fact, I seldom have to see a doctor for the condition.
Yet, that one issue alone prevents me from getting health insurance. Wow.
Moving from the Right to the Left-Middle Over Healthcare
So, while at one time I opposed Federalized Health Care on principle, I now find myself moving somewhat to the middle and slightly to the left. Why?
In part because I believe that the reason I cannot get coverage for my son is politics. In part because I know that my taxes were reduced because of politics. In part because I have experienced that without government-sponsored health care, I am screwed as a small business owner. And in part because I am fed up with the GOP who had several years to develop an alternative but now cannot seem to get their heads out of their proverbial asses.
ObamaCare may not be great, but it is a start. Clearly, Congressional Republicans cannot do better. When a football player tells the coach, “Get the ball to me and I will score” and then only manages to repeatedly fumble, it is time to get the ball to someone else. Who else is there in the case of ObamaCare?
The Democrats. Throw it to them.