Sunday, September 29, 2013

Conversation with an outraged person

“If Obamacare is so great, why did Congress exempt itself from it?”

“Congress did not exempt itself.”

“Yes it did!”

“No it didn’t. In fact, there’s a clause in the Affordable Care Act that specifically forces congressional employees to use the exchange.”

“I’ll bet a Republican is behind that.”

“Well, yeah. Because those hypocrites were gonna use their own fancy health plans.”

“No one with an existing health plan has to give it up. Except for Congress, that is. They all have to use the exchanges now, thanks to Grassley’s bit of overcompensation.”


“So you can stop with that lie. Now you know.”

“All I know is that they’re hypocrites.”

“Um ... Did you just tune in to this conversation?”

“Congress had to be forced into taking Obamacare! If it was good enough for them in the first place, they would have taken it to begin with.”

“Sigh. Again, Congress wouldn’t need it in principle, because the point of the legislation is to provide options for those who don’t have them, not for those who do.”

“What business does Congress have, legislating our lives like that?”

“I’m going to ignore that goofy thought, just like you routinely ignore the idea that not every public resource is all about you and other people who don’t need it. You aren’t seriously considering giving up your current health plan, are you?”

“Actually, I had to. My boss cut my hours back to 30, thanks to Obamacare! He said he couldn’t afford the spiraling costs anymore.”

“That seems like an overreaction. Wasn’t he reporting record profits?”

“Well, yeah, but that was before he had to pay extra for his employees’ group plan to cover all those new people.”

“How much extra?”

“That doesn’t seem like much.”

“Yeah, but he had 100 employees.”

“Well, OK.”

“And he heard that it might go up next year. On average, which of course is what everyone pays. Maybe? I don't know. It's complicated. Damn bureaucrats.”

“At least now you can get a cheap plan even with your reduced hours.”

“Hell no! I’m exempting myself.”


“Yeah. I can take care of myself, man. I burden no one.”

“Don’t you have a chronic back problem?”


“So what are you going to do when your back gives out again?”

“Are you implying that I need to stoop to Obamacare?”

“At some point, you’re going to need health care, whether or not you want to be in the market for it. Like, say, when you’re literally stooping.”

“You can’t make me buy something I don’t want! If it comes down to a major problem, I’m just gonna go to the emergency room. It’s my business and nobody else’s.”

“Actually, it is my business, because I will pay out of the nose for your stubbornness. ERs are some of the costliest — and least cost-efficient — burdens to taxpayers.”

“Are you suggesting I don’t deserve health care?”

“I’m suggesting that you not try to get something for nothing.”

“Hey, I work hard. I’m not fully on my feet, but don’t you dare suggest that I’m some lazy cheat trying to game the system.”

“So you’re a hard worker who will inevitably suffer health issues, even though you can’t afford them at the moment. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to get care when you need it.”

“Of course.”

“And you’d like to have insurance, but it’s out of your reach right now.”

“I see where you’re headed.”

“You’re pretty much a prime candidate for Obamacare, aren’t you?”

“Look, I want health care, and no one should be left out in the cold, but ... but ...”

“But what?”

“Congress, man! Obama.”

“You should really see a doctor about that.”

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