I enrolled in Obamacare and I like it.
I probably should have just kept that information to myself, but since I write about everything else, I thought I would share the good news with my Facebook friends.
Now, 24 hours after I made that mistake, I am seriously wondering how many of those people are my friends.
The problem -- I am getting a great deal on my health insurance. And my friends, some of my more conservative friends, at least, are resentful because they think they are the ones who are going to foot the bill for my good fortune.
With my new plan, I pay $501.98 cents a month for health insurance, but I qualify for a $500-a-month tax credit -- therefore my premiums will cost $1.98 a month.
What my friends do not seem to understand is that I do not want to pay $1.98 a month -- the reason I am paying it is because my estimated 2014 revenue is just a couple of thousand dollars above the poverty level. I would love to be in a position where I did not qualify for a tax credit, and unlike my friends, I would not have any problems if some of my tax dollars were being used to help someone obtain health insurance who could not afford to do so otherwise. In fact, they are since I am still paying taxes.
In fact, I am fervently hoping that I will end up paying the government back some time in the near future. Since my retirement, I have been working to establish a writing/blogging business to go along with my pension. The revenues, while still are nowhere near where I hope they are eventually, have been steadily rising.
If I am fortunate, I will get to the point where I only qualify for a smaller tax subsidy or I do not qualify for one at all.
If it were not for Obamacare, I would be paying $407 per month for health insurance under a COBRA plan from my former school district. When that ended in 15 months, I would have been paying a fortune for health insurance, thanks to my pre-existing conditions.
I am a 57-year-old with a pacemaker who takes blood pressure medication. I am not exactly the kind of person the health companies enter into bidding wars over. So instead of facing bankruptcy because of rising medical costs or playing Russian roulette with my life by trying to survive without health care coverage, I have one less thing to worry about as I continue the process of putting my life back together.
That is not how some of my friends saw it. One of my former students was upset because of how much he and others were having to pay "so Mr. Turner will only have to pay $1.98 a month." Others expressed similar sentiments.
How sad it is that people who make millions, sometimes billions of dollars a year, have fanned the flames of resentment in this country to such a point that the people who most need the Affordable Health Care Act are becoming the targets of scorn and others who need it are willing to go to any length to avoid using it.
Thankfully, most of my Facebook friends were happy that I had been fortunate enough to be able to pay such a small amount for health care. In a few months, I have no doubt we will be hearing more and more success stories and a few years down the line we will wonder what all of the fuss was about.
The Affordable Health Care Act is not without its problems. I had to go through a few glitches with the website in order to finally get health insurance and that did not come via the website, but through a helpful woman at the toll-free number, who not only enrolled me, but who then helped me compare various plans and signed me up for the one that was the best for me.
I am hoping that by this time next year, my situation will be improved to the point where the tax subsidies will be a thing of the past. I plan to work as hard as I can to make that happen and when it does happen, I will be happy that part of my tax money (and I am still paying taxes) will help people to get the same opportunity that I have been given.
Obamacare is not perfect, by any means, but it is far better than what we have had, and it is going to continue to improve. In a few years, we are going to wonder why so many politicians were willing to shut down the federal government in order to stop something that is making such a positive impact in people's lives..
Follow Randy Turner on Twitter: www.twitter.com/rturner229