If you’re like me  — an American citizen — you were inevitably ushered onto the Obamacare Train. We all took our seats, felt the cars jerk, and as Arlo Guthrie once wrote, we felt “the wheels rumbling ‘neath the floor.”

Over the loudspeakers, our Conductor-in-Chief informed us of our seamless trek into the future, “If you like your doctor, you can keep it. Period. If you like your healthcare plan, you can keep it. Period.” We all settled back in our seats, turned on our iPods or perused our smartphones, and drifted off into a relaxing siesta.

Then, there was sudden grinding of the wheels and we were awakened from our daydreaming. All of our tech devices told us of news reports that our train had come off the tracks. The conductor’s voice squelched over the speakers saying he knew nothing about any of it. The promises he made earlier now included “ifs and buts.” Well we never knew about the caveat, nor did we get any caviar.

I remember supporting Obamacare. It seemed like a great idea — healthcare for every American. It seems plausible. Other countries have managed to pull it off. Right before this implosion, I had to bring my Russian buddy Alexey to the airport so he could fly home and fix his broken leg from a soccer incident. Back home, his treatment was free under their single payer system, which they have successfully implemented for some time.

I guess the Russians have a leg up on us in that area.

The other morning as I was pedaling my stationary bike, I tuned into the live coverage of Secretary Sebelius’s grilling on Capitol Hill. It was akin to hearing excuses from the first mate from the Costa Concordia. Or maybe even that incompetent captain. I think Ms. Sebelius hired the same people to work on healthcare.gov that BP had enlisted to plug that underwater oil well. My confidence in these people has been squashed like a copper penny beneath a rail line.

Then I finally came to a conclusion about the Obamacare Train. I decided that I’m jumping off and never looking back. Obamacare’s entire financial underpinnings rely upon my fellow young people to support the older Americans who use more of our healthcare dollars. Awhile ago, I purchased health care on the individual market for the first time since I fell off my parent’s healthcare when I was 18.

 After watching this debacle, coupled with the complete waste of $600 million on a defunct website and Obama’s broken promise (or outright lie), I’m going to exercise my right to opt-out. After my workout, I called and canceled my insurance. I told them to save the stamp they would have wasted to notify me.

Additionally, I will never sign up for Obamacare. They won’t be getting my business and I hope others who feel similarly are in lock-step. I’ll take the penalty. If enough of us do that, it’ll collapse and Obamacare will go out of business in one year time span. Obama and Congress will have no choice but to retreat and people like me can re-buy insurance once the Obamacare Train is sent off to a scrap yard.

Ironically, I may be one of the few who will keep the healthcare plan that I liked when the Affordable Care Act went into effect: eating right and working out. I was my own doctor during that time. Inspecting injuries and monitoring my bodily functions. So it’s true, I will get to keep my doctor and my health plan. Period. 


Andrew Stempki is captain of the Emerald Lady and a semi-regular contributor to The Destin Log