Dean Angstadt fells trees for a living.The article doesn't say, but sounds like Dean was your typical Rush Limbaugh-listening, Fox News-watching conservative clone. And he wasn't going to listen to what no Democrats said because, well, he'd been convinced that government couldn't do anything for him.
He's a self-employed, self-sufficient logger who has cleared his own path for most of his 57 years, never expecting help from anyone. And even though he'd been uninsured since 2009, he especially wanted nothing to do with the Affordable Care Act.
"I don't read what the Democrats have to say about it because I think they're full of it," he told his friend Bob Leinhauser, who suggested he sign up.
"We argued about it for months," Angstadt said. "I didn't trust this Obamacare. One of the big reasons is it sounded too good to be true."Lucky for him, his friend Bob was a good liberal and kept pushing and prodding. But he didn't change his tune until he listened to his heart. And not in the cheesy way. More below the fold.
That refrain changed this year when a faulty aortic valve almost felled Angstadt. Suddenly, he was facing a choice: Buy a health plan, through a law he despised, that would pay the lion's share of the cost of the life-saving surgery - or die. He chose the former.Republicans suddenly see marriage equality different when their children come out of the closet. Likewise, this.
Leinhauser went to Angstadt's house, and in less than an hour, the duo had done the application. A day later, Angstadt signed up for the Highmark Blue Cross silver PPO plan and paid his first monthly premium: $26.11.What an awesome story, and one that might've ended much differently had Dean's liberal friend not pushed and pushed and pushed. And there's the irony of this story: Liberals are doing everything they can to save the lives of conservatives by getting them signed up for health insurance. Meanwhile, conservatives are doing everything they can to kill off their strongest supporters.
"All of a sudden, I'm getting notification from Highmark, and I got my card, and it was actually all legitimate," he said. "I could have done backflips if I was in better shape."
Dean's takeaway, unfortunately, isn't 100 percent there:
Angstadt faces a long recovery, but his conversion to ACA supporter is done. The political storm around the ACA, he said, is the political parties "fighting each other over things that can benefit people."It's not "the political parties", plural. There's only one party fighting against things this law does to help people.