Thank G-d for Obamacare Because You Never Know
Updated at the Bottom
For the past few years, I have written extensively about the Affordable Care Act. Like here. And here. I’ve interviewed Secretary Sebelius about the act. I’ve served as the press pooler in the Oval Office in a meeting about the act.
When I wrote all those posts, I was laughably lucky. Living a pretty comfortable middle class life with cushy insurance.
And now I’m on Obamacare.
I mean, really, thank G-d. If it didn’t exist, we wouldn’t have insurance at all. Not with the astronomical cost of insurance for the unemployed.
Back when I wrote those posts and mentioned how you never know when you will run into a catastrophic health event, I didn’t even think about how much this health care law would also become meaningful when you’re out of work. I mean, who expects to be jobless in the future when they have a nice, stable job? But that’s the point: you support these things, even when you don’t personally need it because there are people out there who do. And then it is there for you when the tables turn and now you are the person in need. Acts of government that protect vulnerable citizens: it’s a good thing.
When I see people whining about their tax dollars going to help others or their government making laws that ensure that all Americans have access to basic necessities like health care, all I think is, “I really hope your life doesn’t change at all. I hope no random event forces you out of your comfortable bubble.” Or maybe it would be a good thing if all people were forced to live out the decisions they make for others. I have a feeling that a lot more people would support social welfare programs if they ever had to utilize social welfare programs.
And lest you think you will never utilize social welfare programs… well… I just laugh. Because no one knows where life will take them. Even those who have planned carefully for rainy days.
So that’s the point of all of this: when you vote, you should do so not looking at what your life looks like now, but what your life may possibly look like if things changed. Because I guarantee you, there is someone living out that reality in the here and now, and they would be eternally grateful if you thought of them as well as yourself.
I never thought I would need Obamacare.
But now I do. And you know what, I am really really really glad it exists.
Thank you, President Obama.
I placed this in the comment section, but didn’t want the point to get lost (and wanted to add a link).
One thing I think we also need to be careful about is when to blame the system, when to blame the new laws, and when to blame the insurance companies. A lot of the complaints I hear are not actually the fault of the law but a problem with the insurance companies trying to make as much money as possible off of someone else’s health issues. That’s the biggest problem with our system: that the goal of the insurance company is to make money, not actually provide coverage for health care.
And yet, we need to have insurance.
If any insurance plan was not compliant with the new law, that insurance company had a choice to become compliant and work in the best interest of their clients while still providing a salary for everyone in the company. And yet many insurance companies have not chosen to work in the best interest of their clients. Which I think says more about insurance companies than it does about the law which is simply there to make sure that people don’t burden the system and that all have access to basic health care.
Just to get a sense of the CEOs salaries for major insurers in America, you can look at stats from 2012. Cigna paid their CEO $19.1 million. One person. $19.1 million dollars. UnitedHealth: $13.4 million. Aetna is a bargain at $10.6 million. Do CEOs deserve a big salary for taking on the burden of responsibility for the company. Absolutely. But does any human on earth truly need a salary of $19.1 million dollars in order to live? Especially while their company is making access to health care prohibitively expensive for average, middle class citizens?
I just want to make sure that we’re directing our frustration in the correct direction. I don’t think the problem is really the law. I think the problem is an insurance system that takes advantage of its clients.