(A Guest Post by Mrs. Hampton)
Mrs H. here… Let me start by saying I hate it when I feel others are soap-boxing, hate reading those whiny soapbox issues, and in all truth, if I am going to read one it is probably from someone who is “preaching to the choir”.
But….. Here I go…because with today’s historic announcement I have such mixed emotions I can’t help it.
You see, I have insurance, 100% privately paid for by me for my 3 youngest kids and myself at the cost of almost $700 per month, and some days it’s a stretch to get that paid for.
Of our older kids, one has insurance for their family privately through the ranch, our Marine and his family are covered as long as he is a US Marine, and one couple is without insurance right now due to affordability.
I am a small business owner, wanting to expand and thinking about hiring, but do I hire contract labor or an employee?
And, As I’ve said before, because of a pre-existing condition from years ago (which I won’t mention here) my husband has no health insurance…
We live in a time when our future as a family is as uncertain as if we faced a T-Rex outside our cave every time we walk out. Every day we know that if he has a heart attack, a car or horse wreck, gets hit by an uninsured motorist, or any number of other major health problems, we are sunk… that fast… overnight it is all gone.
So of course the idea that “everyone” can have health insurance is very attractive on one, somewhat selfish, level.
But the reality is that no one is talking about “how much” will that mandatory insurance cost someone with a pre-existing condition, or who will help control costs of medications and services when “everything” is supposedly covered by insurance?
How about co-pays? Will there be policies out there that still have split co-insurance payments that individuals have to pick up the tab on for services that will cost 10x as much as they do now? If we end up in the hospital paying 20% of $20 for an an asprin that right now we could buy at the pharmacy for under a dollar – are we really saving anything? And where is the 80% of that $20 going to come from? The insurance company is going to have to find the money from someplace else. Who will control these costs now that we are required to pay them?
R.W. said it pretty well this evening on his Facebook post, do we throw the drowning man a line and reel him in, or do we toss him a mandate that says he has to take swim lessons?
I see two winners in this. The government – who collects the money if we (individuals and employers) decide to pay a penalty because it’s more affordable than the insurance. And the private pharmaceutical and other medical supply companies that will get paid regardless.
I agree that there will be a certain percentage of people who will now be able to have health insurance who have been denied in the past and can afford the high rates, and I am happy for them, but they will be the minority. I don’t think this law will help the struggling young family with a couple of babies just out of college with a decent job but already swimming in college loans who previously couldn’t afford insurance?
Those of us with insurance now also stand to face higher costs regardless of if we are on a group plan or individual like myself just because someone is going to have to pick up the higher costs. There will be a number of people on group plans that will find themselves offered a “wage increase” to shop for private insurance because their employer can cut costs by dropping health insurance benefits. Who can blame them? It sounds good up front until the costs rise each year higher than their “wage increase”.
The folks like my husband are not guaranteed that they will have insurance, they are guaranteed that they can’t be refused insurance. Those terms are very different and if you can’t afford the price for the plan because, although you have a job, you may also have a home and other expenses already eating away at your budget, then you will be “taxed” a penalty fee by our government. And you will still have to pay your own medical bills if you ever do get hurt. Who is the winner there?
And then there will be all of those folks out there who own or operate a small business and won’t hire new employees or limit their own expansion because there is that point of balance when the profit margin to grow has shrunk to the point that they can’t afford the “gray-zone” of too many costs per employee. Weren’t we trying to build America and create jobs?
But the real issue for me, the one I was so saddened to find that I fall into the Supreme Court’s minority on, was the issue of “rights”… Does our government have the right to require my husband to purchase health insurance – regardless of the cost? How does the government have the right to tell us as a family what we should spend our money on for ourselves? How can they call something a “tax” and collect it on something that is NOT purchased? Isn’t that a penalty? And where does that money go?
Although I would love nothing more for my husband than to find a health insurance policy that we could afford that will cover him, I am not willing to get excited at the prospect as I watch America’s freedoms wash down the drain for the short-term hope that my family will have the same address for the rest of our time here on earth.
Americans need to set aside their politics and start realizing that we are no longer controlling our government but our government has started down that slippery slope of controlling us.
What is next? Will we be required to participate in community service projects because it is for the “good of the community”? What about our security, could we be taxed for not filling out an even more intrusive census that asks us our personal health information, religious beliefs and do we own firearms? The line has been crossed and Americans really need to gather together, and as cowboys will say, “we need to pull our cinches tight and get to work” if we ever hope to get our country back in order and back to being the greatest place on Earth.