By Bill Maher
The Washington Post found a couple of Americans who were among the first to quit their jobs because of Obamacare, the vanguard of the 2.5 million that the CBO says will soon follow. And shockingly, neither of them are lazy, shiftless takers.
One is Eddie Gonzalez-Novoa, a 44 year-old who quit his $88,000 New York job so he could move to Houston and help his nephew, a cancer survivor, start a social media site for teens with cancer. Gonzalez-Novoa has some health issues, and before Obamacare kicked in, he was going to have to find another full-time job within six months. "I'd like to say that nothing would have stopped me, that I was mission-driven to this family commitment. But [the lack of good coverage] was really starting to wear on me mentally and physically." He found a $170 per month plan on the exchange and can now work on his nephew's start-up indefinitely.
The other is Polly Lower, a 56 year-old grandmother from Bourbon, Indiana, who kept a job she loathed because it provided healthcare for herself and her husband. As soon as she found them a less-than-$500 per month plan, she quit her job and now babysits her 5 year-old granddaughter while her daughter, a single mother, works full-time.
Sure, these are just anecdotes. But they underscore an important point: There are things in life worth doing that do not result in a paycheck. And the fact that healthcare had grown so frighteningly expensive and precarious in this country has made us worse as a people: Stressed out, overworked, and isolated from our families.
Remember, we used to believe that not working was a good thing for half the population. The American Family that Republicans still get all weepy about was one where Dad worked and Mom took care of the non-paying part of running a household. We believed it was good for kids to come home from school to a loving parent, and for families to enjoy home-cooked meals rather than hastily-defrosted processed garbage. The economic squeeze that made that world go away wasn't completely due to healthcare costs, but that's a large part of it. Weirdly, Obamacare offers conservatives a possible return to the lifestyle that they pine for - if only it wasn't so darned evil.