On Feb 28th, I was laid off from my software engineering job. On March 1st, I had health insurance, thanks to Obamacare.
The first thing that went through my mind after telling my wife that I was just laid off was the fact that I started taking blood pressure medication about 6 months ago and that until I got another job, we couldn't afford to pay the over $600 a month we pay for health insurance. So, I got on the Obamacare website to see how much less we would pay for health insurance through the market place.
Nothing. That's how much we would have to pay. Since I had just lost my job, my current income was nothing, so, that's how much I had to pay for health insurance on the exchange. And I expected to at least have a gap in my insurance for a month, but no, I was applying on the last day of Feb and my new health insurance started the NEXT DAY on the first day of March.
And the VERY WORDS that came out of my mouth in that moment were: I am for socialism for LIFE now!
And the next words were a very heartfelt: thank you, President Obama.
And I should add a thank you to all of the Democrats in congress and in my state who pushed through all of the brazen political nonsense to do something truly good. Truly good.
The next three days were filled with a lot of stress as I scrambled to adjust to suddenly not having a job and living in a town that barely has any of my type of job and probably having to move to Seattle for a job, which would be okay, but it would mean my wife having to transfer school 4 classes shy of graduating with her degree. But what it wasn't filled with was even the slightest worry about whether or not I was going to get my blood pressure medication or that my wife or I would not be able to go to the doctor. And that was too huge of a relief to even express.
I say it was only 3 days of a lot of stress, because my old boss at the video game company I worked at for 8 years replied to my email asking if he had any work. He hired me. Not for a lot of money, but enough to not have to move until Melissa graduates in a couple of quarters. It really feels great to be back to making video games again. And the company that just laid me off has some contract work for me in a month or two, so, that will be really nice. I did a great job on the main project I was hired for and they will need continued work on it soon enough. I really enjoyed the work and the people, so, it's going to be great to keep being able to do some work with them.
You know, I will never forget my wife bursting into tears as we watched Sicko in the theater years ago. Her mom had late onset type 1 diabetes and she couldn't always afford to buy test strips to see how much insulin to give herself. That directly led to her having to live in a home with a nurse for the last 6 or so years. My wife burst into tears when she saw how different it is in other countries. The idea that it COULD be different was a shock to her. We live in the greatest nation on earth, right? If it's bad here, it must only be worse in other places, right? No?
Is Obamacare the ideal solution for meeting the health care needs of the people of this country? I don't think so. But it's a huge step in the right direction. And as software engineer who has been caught by this safety net when I really needed it, let me tell every damn congress person who is talking about repealing it that if you think that there was a stink at town halls over Obamacare in 2010, then just wait to see what happens if you are ever heartless enough to take it away!
And to the people who are saying that they don't approve of Obamacare because it's not good enough (not single payer) in the polls... what in the world are you thinking? Don't you understand that Obamacare = government involvement in health care, so when you say you don't approve of Obamacare, you are saying you don't approve of government involvement in health care! Stop doing that! Say you approve of Obamacare and work to make it better!