The Blog

Obamacare: A Personal Story

8:07 AM, Aug 12, 2013 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Widget tooltip
Single Page Print Larger Text Smaller Text Alerts

Over at Powerline, Scott Johnson reprints an email from a reader who suffered (and recovered from) two debilitating strokes. The reader explains how Obamacare's new regulations would have drastically reduced his chance of having recovered:

I’ve spent most of the past 18 months in a wheelchair and then on a walker, and relearning how to do absolutely everything imaginable (starting with breathing, talking, moving my fingers, etc). I’m on a cane now and am still wobbly. However, I intend to keep at it.

Obamacare comes into the picture on multiple levels. First, when the law began to be implemented last year everybody’s insurance changed. My insurance has been incredible. It literally saved my life, has spent well into the six figures on my care, and actually fought hospitals (and Medicare CMS guidelines) to spend more on me. Even though it’s in the universe of “Cadillac” healthcare plans it’s just a normal PPO. There’s nothing particularly special about it. When Obamacare came into force my rates went up immediately (and because I had a start­up this was all in the context of my company folding). Even better, I’ll be taxed for it next year if my wife’s company, through whom I have insurance, doesn’t drop health insurance altogether.

My plan also changed. I was very, very fortunate in that it did not necessitate me moving healthcare teams (because most plans dropped some doctors). I have two stroke specialists and a health insurance policy expert in my family so they had seen the changes coming long before they happened. Had I been an elderly patient responsible for my own care, or not had the extraordinary family connections that I have at my disposal, I would have been in serious trouble and undoubtedly come out of this much worse. Switching neurologists when I otherwise would have had to would have been catastrophic. So, all of this talk about your rates going down and keeping your doctor is just garbage. And don’t think of your doctor in terms of who you go see when you have a cough. Think in terms of who visits your bedside when you’re paralyzed and on a ventilator, and who saved your life in the ER. It matters a lot.

Read the story in full here.

Recent Blog Posts

The Weekly Standard Archives

Browse 18 Years of the Weekly Standard

Old covers