Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Everyone is shouting on TV...

...about the Affordable Care Act:

"The roll-out is a disaster!"

"It can't be fixed!"

"We need to repeal it and start all over!"

Well, for this 55-year-old white male, Obamacare is already working. That much I know.

You see, while my wife and I have been incredibly fortunate (we're both really healthy), we're also in our mid-fifties and self-employed. (If we were Republicans we could call ourselves entrepreneurs. Or job creators! Let's just leave it at self-employed.) And as such, we've been in the private insurance market for several years now. Do we have a good policy from a reputable company? I think so. But you never really know until you get sick, do you? And if one of us did, would our insurance company make good on its promise and cover our medical expenses? Or would they contest every little charge? And would there be all sorts of hidden clauses (or tricks and traps, as Elizabeth Warren calls them)? Or would our insurer just drop us like a hot potato? ("Hey, you didn't tell us about that hangnail you had thirty years ago. That's a pre-existing condition!") And, if they did kick us to the curb, would we go broke paying for our treatment? These are all questions I've asked myself in the middle of the night.

But now, thanks to Obamacare, I know we will stay insured (and I mean really insured, not just kind of fake insured) until we're old enough to be on the federal government's single-payer system Medicare. We can't be dropped if we get sick and we won't have to declare bankruptcy if one of us gets -- God forbid! -- cancer or something scary like that.

So, is the website a mess? Absolutely. Will it ever get fixed? I think so; it's not rocket science. Will Republicans forever blame every problem with the American health care system on the ACA? You can bet on it. In fact, it will join Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid as one of their perennial projects. "We have to abolish -- I mean, reform -- *fill in the blank*!"

In the meantime, Obamacare works for me. And I think it will end up working just fine for everyone else. After all, it has in Massachusetts since 2006. I read that 97 percent of the Bay State's residents have health insurance, the highest in the nation. And you don't hear anyone there calling for a return to the old system, do you? (Not even my Wall Street Journal-reading Republican brother in Boston.)

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