My story of ObamaCare
I needed life-saving heart surgery at 47. I learned then that everyone must be insured at all times. It's crazy to design a health care system without that basic assumption.
by Dave Winer Thursday, March 9, 2017

I learned in 2002 that health insurance is mandatory for everyone. Really no exceptions. I needed life-saving heart surgery at 47. Totally off the scale in terms of probability. I had health insurance, a COBRA plan that was set to expire. Luckily it was still in force when I needed the surgery.

Of course, when it lapsed, I had a pre-existing condition. I didn't even try to get insurance as an individual. Instead I got a job, thinking it provided health insurance, but it didn't. It was at a university. I had a health plan. Big difference. It meant I could use the university's health care system. I got my meds at a huge discount. But if I needed surgery, always a real possibility, I'd be out of pocket.

Luckily this was in Massachusetts, where they had ObamaCare before the rest of us. I still couldn't buy health insurance as an individual. So I started a company, with one employee, and we voted in a health plan. I was covered. Whew. 

In two years, after the university appointment lapsed, I was back on the road. I lived in Seattle, Florida, Calif and now New York. The insurance company had figured out that my mailing address was no longer in Massachusetts, and were making noises like maybe they didn't think I was covered. They kept paying for doctor's visits and meds, and I kept paying the huge premium, my fingers crossed that if I needed surgery, I would be covered.

When ObamaCare came about, I switched immediately. I now was in a network, so I was limited in the doctors I could use. At times this was inconvenient. But I knew that in an emergency my health care would be covered. That's what really mattered. Confidence. I've since used it for a complete test of my heart two years ago. It was not cheap. But needed. I paid nothing, it was covered.

I still pay a lot. My premiums are not subsidized. But they are half what my old Massachusetts premiums were. And have not gone up at all since I started with ObamaCare.

For me, an independent developer, ObamaCare was the answer. Without it I would not have insurance. I'm absolutely sure of it.

One more thing, I am really offended by what the Repubs say about users of ObamaCare. I know how important health care is. Ryan and Chaffetz clearly have no clue. But they will find out, because we all get older, and life teaches you a lot, and one thing it teaches is how important health care is.

Clearly they have not even talked with real people who use health care. Don't they have parents? Aunts and uncles? Have any of their children gotten sick? Of course they all have great health insurance, but maybe their cousins don't. Paul Ryan's neighbors in Janesville? Or Chaffetz's congregation in Utah? Do they talk with their preacher or rabbi about this? Do they understand the purpose of health insurance? I guess not, judging by the so-called health plan they are proposing. 

They have no business making my health care decisions for me. And the way they're lying to confuse people. Ugh. They deserve no mercy. What they're doing will kill people for sure. Many many people.