In 1998 I developed a condition like carpal tunnel syndrome in my wrists due in large part to my work at a medical software company. After only five minutes at the keyboard, my hands would ache and any further effort just made them worse. All I could do was sit in my cubicle and stare. The Workers Comp doctors offered anti-inflammatories and little hope. I left my job thinking I’d never work again.
Eighteen months later, my COBRA insurance ran out. Private medical insurance salesmen offered attractive premiums and then refused to insure me even though Workers Comp paid for all medical care related to my injuries. I had to settle for an expensive HIPAA plan and ended up paying $600 a month.
Fortunately, my hands healed somewhat and I found another job. I stayed for twelve years until the government refused to renew our contract. We closed the office in 2014 and I was out of work once again. I had no luck finding work and decided spend a few years as a full-time author. Thank God for Obamacare. After some bureaucratic difficulties, I was able to obtain health insurance despite my preexisting condition. Even without the subsidies, I would pay roughly $600 a month, just like I did twelve years earlier. The subsidy cuts my cost by two thirds.
Without Obamacare, I’d probably have to pay a fortune for health insurance because I’m in my early sixties. Proposed Republican replacements like fancy savings accounts and buying insurance from states with shoddy regulations make no sense when one hospital stay can cost the equivalent of a year’s salary. There’s something seriously wrong when a country can’t provide healthcare to its people.