So I finally got around to getting on the Obamacare exchange here, which is called Covered California. It was a remarkably easy thing to do. I think it took me about a half hour. And I make so much money that my monthly premiums for Kaiser Permanente are $1. It seemed like a joke. It reminds me of those idiots on Fox and Friends who were calling for everyone to have to pay at least something in income taxes so that they had “skin in the game.” (It was pretty clear that if this happened, they would only want more to the point where everyone payed the same amount — but that’s a topic for another time.)
A new feature of Covered California this year is dental insurance. I was able to sign up with Delta Dental for $13.95 per month. I picked it because when I managed a dental office, Delta of California was by far the best insurer. You may not know this but about 80% of managing a dental office is fighting with insurance companies. And Delta was very good about paying without a lot of fuss. And when I saw that the co-pay on root canals wae only $300, I was hooked. (Now if I can just find a regular dentist who is up for doing a couple of molar root canals, I’ll be set.)
I feel like I died and woke up in Canada. I’ve always been positive about Obamacare. But not like this. This seems to me very much like universal care. And I very much wish that I had had this back a decade ago when I almost died and ended up owing over a $100,000 in medical bills. But more than that, I’m just looking forward to going in and getting a physical and a checkup and starting the process of my dental triage.
But think about this. Obamacare is something that conservatives think is evil. But these are the same people who think that unions are evil. And that the minimum wage is evil. And that forcing employers to provide healthcare is evil. They are the big proponents of the “gig economy.” Well folks, I am the poster boy of the gig economy. I’m self-employed. I get money from a number of different sources. And if it weren’t for Obamacare, I’d be screwed. I’d be forced to join the Freelancers Union, which I have mixed feelings about politically and which is mostly just a for-profit insurance company that offers far more expensive insurance and (as far as I can tell) no dental.
It’s weird. The American conservative movement is mostly made up of a bunch of people with cushy jobs that are more like what people did in the 1950s with employer provided healthcare and retirement plans. In fact, I know people like this. My brother-in-law has a great union job, but has this attitude the young people are lazy. But it’s the young people who are out hustling to make a living. His father got him the job he has had for decades. All he has to do is show up and do his work, which is a great advantage compared to what people like me have to do in the modern economy.
So the fight against Obamacare continues on. But for the people of California it seems we are now living at least on the outskirts of civilizations. I could hardly ask for anything more. I feel very lucky indeed. It is like I died and woke up in Canada.