Yes, to state a contrary-to-fact (irrealis) situation, native speakers would say as if it were or as if it was. The former is more formal (and sometimes taught as the only correct form). The thing that signals the irrealis here is the use of a past tense, whether were or was.
Another example of using as if it was for an irrealis is
Live Each Day As If It Was Your Last.
It doesn't matter whether Steve Jobs is remembering the quote correctly: the very fact that the saying can be written as As if it was shows that it's an acceptable form in today's English...
However, if one is not sure whether something is contrary-to-fact, you use the present tense here. See the ELU question He walks as if he is drunk.
And the Forbes quote would be
Live Each Day As If It Is Your Last
because you are not sure whether each day is your last or not.
For a more thorough answer see ELU's Behave as if it was or it were.
However the lady in the original question sounds like she's absolutely sure that what follows as if is contrary-to-fact (in fact, she insists that it's not). So she does a disservice to her own argument to use is here. But native speakers are using the irrealis forms less and less these days. Language is always changing. Not all dialects of Italian use the pasato remoto (a certain past tense form) in everyday speech.