Editor’s Note: Senators Dick Durbin and Ted Cruz recently argued hypothetical situations regarding individuals who need / do not need government health care on the Senate floor. The following guest submission by David DiGiovanni was sent shortly after to describe his personal experience and how “Obamacare” will affect him. Personal experiences are a powerful way to illustrate the diversity and wide range of needs of the American electorate. Seeing such illustrations begs the question, “With needs varying so much from person to person, will one, government run option truly meet the needs of American taxpayers? Or will it prove a huge obstacle to as many people as it will help? Thanks to David DiGiovanni for this food for thought:
I was fortunate enough to have parents who raised me in a thoughtful and loving environment. They loved me so much that they wanted to make sure I protected myself from all of the pitfalls that many humans are unable to avoid. They taught me about education and the importance of hard work. They taught me about sex and the responsibility of having a child. They also taught me about money and the lesson was simple: Live within my means, avoid debt, and save. Growing up in a materialistic society it was hard to accept this lesson. I argued with them initially, but eventually took their lessons to heart. They have served me well.
Recently, I turned 26 years old and was no longer eligible to stay on my mother’s health insurance plan for free. I am an independent contractor and therefore had to either purchase health insurance or assume the risk that comes with going without. The prudence that my parents drilled into me made this decision easy. I would purchase health insurance.
If you want a reasonable deductible, individual health insurance is really expensive. Fortunately I have been saving money since I started working and have built up over $10,000 in savings. While I would like to use this money to buy a house some day, it currently serves as my “rainy day fund.” Armed with said “rainy day fund,” I decided to purchase a $60/month plan from Humana. This came with a $7,500 deductible, but I am a healthy young male and can afford it. If I get sick, I will use the savings to pay the deductible. An unexpected cost like this is precisely why I save.
With Obamacare going into effect soon, I am no longer able to make this choice. The government has decided that my health insurance plan does not provide me with adequate coverage. They assume that I need more coverage, a lower deductible, and a higher premium. I will now have to purchase a qualifying plan or pay the 1% penalty.
On the surface my personal experience with Obamacare is hardly something to gripe about. I can afford the higher premium, I will get better coverage, and I will even get a subsidy from the United States government because my income falls within the qualifying range.
On the other hand, I could keep my current plan (if Humana continues to offer it) and defiantly pay the penalty. Considering my options I had a hard time figuring out why I was so opposed to Obamacare.
Then it hit me. The government is saying that I cannot make a financial decision that is in accordance with who I am. They are saying that everything my parents taught me about money is wrong. And like most government policies, they have left me with three options – comply, pay up, or else.
David DiGiovanni graduated from Purdue University and is a professional web developer. He is a former liberal turned libertarian by Ron Paul, Gary Johnson, and libertarian media outlets like We Are Libertarians. He is also a founder of GroupSRC, an organization dedicated to helping leaders use crowd-sourcing technology to engage their audience.