Because nothing can happen in Washington, D.C. without it turning into a mess of dysfunctional macho posturing -- on the same day you can start signing up for the Health Insurance Marketplace as part of the Affordable Healthcare Act -- there will likely be a government shutdown. It's all part of the Republicans quixotic attempt to stop "Obamacare" before it starts and people end up accidentally liking it.
From The Washington Post:
House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) declined to say on “Fox News Sunday” whether Republicans would consider the only plan President Obama and other Democratic leaders say they will accept: a simple bill that funds federal agencies without dismantling any part of Obama’s signature 2010 health-care law. Instead, McCarthy said, Republicans were headed in a different direction, one likely to set up yet another late-night showdown.
As a freelance journalist, consultant, blogger and writer, I'd been looking forward to Tuesday's sign-up date, no matter how "imperfect" the Affordable Healthcare Act may or may not be. I'd already gone without insurance, off-and-on, multiple times in the last six years. I'd rolled the healthcare dice and so far, nothing catastrophic has happened, but I have gone without. Instead I ended up getting my annual screenings from Planned Parenthood, only visited doctors who took payments by scale and applied for drug discounts made available online by various drug companies.
But even my ability to do these piecemeal things were contingent on the fact that I've always had ready access to the Internet, as well as transportation and other Middle Class traits (like owning a laptop, scanner and a printer and being able to email documents to get approval for various plans) despite being only "Middle Class" for about six months out of every year for the last six years. So I always knew what my options were as an uninsured person. Yet there are so many poor people hauling around hospital bills the size of student loans who didn't realize they might have been qualified to fill out paperwork declaring themselves a "hardship" case. Mostly because people typically don't make this information readily available. You have to look for it. You have to ask questions, and a lot of people don't.
Still, even with my piecemeal efforts, was that a good healthcare plan? No, not in the least. I was still always one major car accident or surprise illness from the poorhouse. And will I be signing up tomorrow for the healthcare marketplace? Yes. Bright and early.