People who have varying opinions on Obamacare, also known as the Affordable Care Act, I'd like to "come out" as someone who usedObamacare and benefited from it. In 2013, I relocated, quit my job, and struggled mightily to find a new one. I couldn't afford COBRA and I tried to go uninsured for as long as I could, ultimately signing up for a Bronze Plan when the mandatory deadline hit. It was a huge relief. Being uninsured gave me anxiety, since I rode my bike for transportation. I knew that I could fall or be hit by a car. Every tickle in my throat even made me worry.
This was not the first time I was unemployed and uninsured. In 2009, I struggled to find a full-time job after graduation. Unlike most of my peers (I went to an expensive private university), my parents were unemployed, too. My mom lost her job in the 2007-2008 economic collapse, so I had no parent's insurance plan to join, not to mention pre-Obamacare, insurers were not required to cover adult children over 18. As a side note, I know many, many people who graduated from college and stayed on, or are staying on, their parents' insurance plans and intend to be until they're 26 even while they're employed... all thanks to Obamacare!
As someone who has a very long history of asthma, prescription medications for asthma, and hospitalization related to asthma, I would have likely been turned down by insurance companies in 2009, pre-Obamacare, due to my pre-existing condition. In 2013 under Obamacare, I paid $152/month for my coverage as a 26-year-old otherwise healthy woman. A very affordable option, yes, even while unemployed, though I know those numbers would have creeped up if my income and age were higher.
In 2007-2008, I studied abroad in Britain and registered with the National Health Service upon arrival. I received an NHS card and that was that. On one occasion, as one does at 19, I woke up in an ambulance. They took care of me, gave me an IV, and even drove me home. My coworkers teased me the next week about how high the bill would be! But a bill never came, because... I don't know! Universal healthcare? On another occasion, I came down with a serious case of food poisoning. For several days, I couldn't keep water or food down, I crapped my pants on the streets of London (just once!), and I eventually went to the emergency room where a very nice doctor stuck her finger in my butt and gave me IV fluids. Total bill: £0.
Obamacare was and is not perfect; the National Health Service is not perfect (and I don't claim to know much more about it). But both met my needs and meet the needs of so many who are unemployed, non-traditionally employed, or who were otherwise left in the cold by insurers.
I sincerely hope that the actions taken by the Senate are a step towards improving current Obamacare or replacing it with something better.
Posted to Facebook on January 12, 2017, but who reads that shit?