… But this new Affordable Care Act healthcare is really great and even affordable! I’m so glad they’re getting rid of that darn Obamacare. It was doomed from the start!
This was something I actually heard on a bus the other day.
I did my best to stay calm, not completely rage, rip my hair out, and punch this lady in the face. Good thing we’re Mid-Westerners so it’s OK to talk to strangers on the bus without everyone calling the insane asylum.
ME: Excuse me, ma’am, I’m a little confused by your statement just now. Obamacare is actually just another name for the Affordable Care Act. If they get rid of Obamacare, you will also lose your coverage.
LADY: That is absolutely not true. Where did you even get that information from? Obamacare is not affordable at all! How could it be the Affordable Care Act?
ME: Well, it is the same thing, though. See? (I pull up the ACA Wikipedia page where the first sentence is: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), commonly called the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and nicknamed Obamacare…)
LADY: Wikipedia is not a real credible source! My son is not allowed to use it as a source in school.
ME: I’m not going to argue with you about the merits of Wikipedia, but there are many, many other sources saying the same thing. But, let’s get back to your hatred of Obamacare. What exactly do you not like about it?
LADY: First of all, it’s not affordable. People are paying high premiums and have high deductibles and all of us have to pay higher taxes to subsidize it. I don’t want to pay extra taxes so that some lazy person with no job can get health care! Just get a darn job already!
ME: OK, that is a fair point, I suppose. And with your ACA coverage, what exactly do you like about it?
LADY: Well, I like that my 25 year old niece who hasn’t managed to find a job yet can still use her father’s work coverage. And I like that I could find an affordable health care option while I was between jobs.
ME: So you like the extension of affordable coverage available to people who don’t have jobs.
LADY: Yes, exactly!
ME: But you don’t like Obamacare because it extends affordable coverage available to people who don’t have jobs? I don’t see the difference.
LADY: Obamacare makes us pay for it by raising our taxes, the Affordable Care Act doesn’t. Now you see what I mean? They should get rid of Obamacare and just increase funding for the Affordable Care Act. It’s been great for my family.
ME: So, how do you think the ACA is able to do this? Where does the money come from?
LADY: Well the government just pays for it. Like the free health care you can get in Canada!
ME: And where does the government get the money to pay for this?
LADY: The same place the government gets money to do anything, like run schools, and pay mayors, and build bridges, of course!
ME: So you mean your taxes?
LADY: No! That’s not what my tax dollars go to!
ME: Umm, where do you think your tax dollars go then? Oh never mind, this is my stop. Good luck with everything!
It was not my stop. But I took one for the team and walked the rest of the way, otherwise I may have gone to jail for whatever happened next. And there’s no way her tax dollars would have paid for my room and board in jail. That’s not how taxes work anyways.