Just a week ago we heard about Luis Lang, the South Carolina man who refused to sign up for Obamacare until it was too late and was in danger of going blind.
Lang, a Republican, says he knew the act required him to get coverage, but he chose not to do so. But he thought help would be available in an emergency. He and his wife blame President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats for passing a complex and flawed bill.
He started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money to pay for his medical bills. It turns out that a lot of the donors were liberals who sent in small donations and urged him to give Obamacare a chance. Well, guess what.
In an interview with ThinkProgress, Lang joked that he might be the most hated Republican in the country right now. But he also said that, thanks in part to a flood of media attention that led him to learn more about health care policy, he doesn’t identify with the GOP anymore.
“Now that I’m looking at what each party represents, my wife and I are both saying — hey, we’re not Republicans!” Lang said. He added that, though he’s not a political person by nature and has never voted solely along party lines, he wants to rip up his voter registration card on national television so Americans will have proof that he’s making the switch.
Lang said he’s read almost every comment on his GoFundMe page. He acknowledged that a lot of people have criticized him for waiting until he got sick to think about purchasing insurance, which is not how the health care system is intended to function. But he insists that he and his wife have been discussing getting coverage now that they’re getting older, and notes that he tried his best to navigate the law last year.
“I know we didn’t do it the right way,” Lang told ThinkProgress, explaining that he’s hoping to figure out the situation with his fluctuating income so he can be the first in line to sign up for a plan during the next open enrollment period.
He said he’s always tried to take responsibility for his own bills, but he also believes that the United States should move toward a universal health care system that makes coverage available to everyone regardless of their income level. He said he “one hundred percent agrees” with the people who commented on his crowdfunding page to argue that health care is a human right.
I’m sincerely glad he’s come around, and not just because he’s pissing off the right-wingers. Well, that too.