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Saying 'No' To Obamacare: Meet A Garland Woman Who's Fed Up And Will Stay Uninsured

Lauren Silverman
Jackie Sawicky, 34, lives in Garland. Sawicky is choosing to pay the penalty for not signing up for health insurance.

If and when the technical problems on the online health insurance marketplace clear up, millions of people are expected to enroll. Not Jackie Sawicky.

Jackie Sawicky is exactly the type of person President Obama needs to sign up for Obamacare. She’s young, healthy and uninsured. Too bad she thinks his health care overhaul is a failure.

“I feel like I’m being penalized for being healthy and for taking care of myself,” Sawicky says.

Jackie Sawicky, 34, shows off her garden in Garland, TX. Sawicky is choosing to pay the penalty for not signing up for health insurance.
Credit Lauren Silverman / KERA News

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  Sawicky, who’s 34, lives in Garland with her husband Jeffrey and two dogs. She’s been uninsured for years, which isn’t to say she’s not familiar with the insurance system. Before she started a career in web design, Sawicky worked in a North Texas medical office handling claims and collections.

“At one point,” Sawicky says, “I was dealing with cancer patients, people who had just had major surgery, and I had to look them in the eye and ask them for large sums of money.”

Sawicky is so sick of the for-profit health care industry, she says, she’s decided to pay the$95 dollar fine rather than sign up. Besides, she says, the rates aren’t affordable when you add in deductibles and co-pays.

Sawicky wishes the Affordable Care Act had embraced a single-payer system. You can imagine, she says, the response she gets from many Texans who see that as akin to socialism.

“You know what, I love Texas,” Sawicky says. “And when people say you don’t like it, get out. You know what, I’m a real conservative, because I believe in saving the planet and saving each other.”

Progressive, Conservative, label her how you’d like, Sawicky says come January the only thing she won’t be labeled is insured.

[More from KERA News: Caring For Fido, Caring For Herself — Uninsured Pet Groomer Looks For Insurance]

Lauren Silverman was the Health, Science & Technology reporter/blogger at KERA News. She was also the primary backup host for KERA’s Think and the statewide newsmagazine  Texas Standard. In 2016, Lauren was recognized as Texas Health Journalist of the Year by the Texas Medical Association. She was part of the Peabody Award-winning team that covered Ebola for NPR in 2014. She also hosted "Surviving Ebola," a special that won Best Long Documentary honors from the Public Radio News Directors Inc. (PRNDI). And she's won a number of regional awards, including an honorable mention for Edward R. Murrow award (for her project “The Broken Hip”), as well as the Texas Veterans Commission’s Excellence in Media Awards in the radio category.