Since I care more about my country than my personal pride, here’s how I lost my insurance: I moved. That’s right, I moved from Washington, D.C., back to Massachusetts, a state with universal health care…

While the state has the lowest rate of uninsured, a report by the Commonwealth Fund states that Massachusetts has the highest premiums in the country. The state’s budget is a mess and lawmakers had to make deep cuts in services and increase the sales tax to close gaps. The number of people needing assistance has at times overwhelmed the state. The mandate means that some people who can’t afford insurance are now being slapped with a fine they also can’t afford. There is no “public option” in the way the president describes it, no inter-state competition, no pool for small businesses and self-employed individuals like me to buy into groups that negotiate cheaper rates. So far I haven’t found any “death panels,” but if I get sick and need a hospital, I sure hope I can find one and a feisty granny to pull my plug.

What makes this a double blow is that my experience contradicts so much of what I wrote for political leaders over the last decade. That’s a terrible feeling, too. I typed line after line that said everything Massachusetts did would make health insurance more affordable. If I had a dollar for every time I typed, “universal coverage will lower premiums,” I could pay for my own health care at Massachusetts’s rates…

I want health care reform. I need it, but I want Washington to start over. It doesn’t make me “un-American” or “astroturf” or “racist.” I’m a critic because what Washington is talking about doing has made health insurance unaffordable in Massachusetts.