Friday, June 29, 2012


Where do I start? I should probably start by saying this up front: I AM NOT OPPOSED TO YOU BEING ABLE TO AFFORD HEALTH INSURANCE. I'm not. In fact, I'm happy for the people that this turns out to be the answer to their health insurance prayers. I want my friends to have what they need. Heck, I want the homeless guy on the corner to have what he needs. I'm not a hateful, harsh person here.

You know what else I want? A CHOICE. I want some stinking INTEGRITY in this whole mess. I want them to call a spade a spade or in this case to call a penalty a penalty. For heaven's sake just because you called it a tax doesn't make it one. Get real and don't treat the American people like imbeciles. It's a penalty, folks. It's a punitive act against people who opt out of health care coverage. Period. End of discussion.

Now, I'll grant you, I don't know why anyone would opt out of health insurance if they can afford it. Obviously this new law is supposed to make that happen. Make it affordable, that is. I am still not buying that it will be. (Pun not intended.) Currently, the feds have set the poverty level for a family of 4 at $23,050 annually. 138% of that is $31,809. Obviously a lot more people will qualify for Medicaid when that happens...unless your state decides it doesn't want to play ball. They can decide that by the way. If they feel the amount of money the federal government is offering in subsidies isn't enough to off set the increased costs due to the increased numbers of people served, they can say "No thanks" and promptly end your opportunity to apply. So the increased eligibility will vary from state to state. In a state like Michigan, I'm thinking that's not completely unlikely. We have a TON of people that will probably fall within the new guidelines. Think about that for a minute. The state would have to make up the difference in what the feds don't subsidize and that means, yep, higher taxes in a state where we already struggle to keep our noses above water. That can also deter new businesses and new residents from coming to our state. You may think I'm exaggerating, but it's a real possibility. Not to mention that if you make $31,810 you're outta luck. So it's really not a benefit to those families anyway. Again, I'm not saying these folks shouldn't have insurance, I'm saying this set up sucks.

You can go to and look up quotes for insurance rates. If you're single, around 30 years old, have no preexisting conditions and don't mind big deductibles and high out of pocket limits you can get a policy for around $90.00/mo. Keep in mind, even with the new guidelines, at $15,415 annually you no longer qualify for Medicaid. So if you can afford to do it, pay the $1080.00 per year for your newly mandatory insurance. Remember, that's $15,415 GROSS. So your net will be less, and unless you're living in your mom's basement your rent will be at a minimum $400.00 month if you can find a place that cheap that you aren't afraid to live in. So that's $4800 a year. So let's just say you don't pay any taxes at all, with just your rent and mandatory health care coverage you're left with a whopping $9535 for anything else you need this year. That's about $795 a month. Yeah, I'm thinking that's not going to work. So, you pay the penalty instead because 1% of your gross income is way less than that insurance policy. So you're only out $154.15 but you still don't have health insurance. (And it's a TAX not a PENALTY but somehow you're probably feeling screwed right about now.) Hope you weren't sick at all because even though you paid out of pocket for medical services this year, you still get fined - uhhh, I mean taxed.

Seriously now, was anybody really believing that this is an actual TAX? I didn't know we could be taxed on what we DON'T HAVE and DIDN'T BUY! Next I'll be getting taxed on that house I don't own, the car I don't drive, the food I didn't eat... Please. Is anybody really thinking there is any integrity at all in this game of semantics?? If I call a squirrel a cow, does it become one?

Let's not even get started on the fact that if you already have insurance through your employer, and that insurance policy was initiated by the company prior to March of 2010, that policy is grandfathered in and doesn't even have to adjust to the parts of the law that may actually BENEFIT people currently being insured. See here: And, no, it doesn't matter that you started paying for the plan after that date, as long as the comany you work for initiated the plan prior to that date. So, all my U of M buddies and I can opt to keep our grandfathered in policy with the U, or pay out of pocket for Obamacare. Let me tell you I have part time status with a higher premium rate than my full time coworkers and in searching the Healthcare website I can't even come close to the coverage I get now for the money I pay now with the plans offered. The ones I can afford have deductibles, I currently do not. The ones with no deductibles, I can't afford. If I could afford a $12,000 deductible I wouldn't need health insurance.

So let me say again: I do not begrudge a single person in this country the opportunity to purchase affordable health care coverage. I really hope this works out for you if you don't have coverage right now. Sincerely, I do. I just don't see how it will. What's worse is that it's the law now. You are out of options. Buy the insurance or pay the "tax" (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) for the thing you don't own.


  1. HA! I don't know who posted that, but thanks. :)

  2. Good, thoughtful comment! Tell do you feel about mandatory liability insurance in order to register/drive a car? Is that an imposition on your rights? Do we all, as members of a society, bear some responsibility to our fellow citizens? If I have to purchase car insurance to assure that if I cause an accident, the victim is compensated for my negligence,how far off is it for me to have to step up to the plate and purchase health insurance so that society in general does not have to pick up the tab(as it now does)when I become sick or injured, and go to the Emergency Room(the most expensive form of healthcare) and receive treatment that I don't have to pay for if I can't afford to (by law)? We've been paying A LOT of money for people to go to the ER when a trip to their MD would do just fine, but they don't HAVE an MD, because they have no insurance... I live in North Carolina, and there are too many folks working 2-3 jobs at minimum wage or just a little better, with no benefits at all. I work with women who take their blood pressure meds every OTHER day because they can't afford the $120 a month to take it daily, or the $200 a visit to the MD.The Affordable Care Act has a LOT of fine print in it....there will be credits we will be given toward the purchase of insurance based on income, for example. We have to come up with a solution to can we say we are a compassionate country, if we don't? How can ANYONE call themselves a Christian if they do not propose a solution, only condemn what is being offered? Mitt Romney was the AUTHOR of the prototype for the Affordable Care Act in his own state of Massachusetts...he only came out AGAINST it when a democrat proposed it! The hypocrisy is staggering...I'm SO tired of the nay-saying from the conservatives... what DO they propose...does anyone know? Oh, that's right....they propose that we get rid of Obama.... know?....

  3. Here's what I propose: Leave it to the states. This is beyond the scope of what the Federal Government was intended to do. Want to develop a program that makes care affordable, please do, but don't make it mandatory at a Federal level. Medicare is a Federal program. It's available to anyone over 65. No one is punished for not taking advantage of what is offered however. Auto insurance is left to the individual states to decide how to handle. It's not a Federally imposed law. These are the kinds of things that the individual states are supposed to decide based on a vote.

    What is it that I've said that makes people think I don't approve of affordable health care? I don't want the feds in my business any more than absolutely neccessary. I certainly don't want to be punished if I don't buy the Kool-Aid. This isn't fixing anything, it's putting a band-aid on an amputation and saying "Well, it's not ideal, but it's better than nothing."

    There are VERY SPECIFIC PROBLEMS raised here. None of them had anything to do with the President or getting rid of him. I didn't come out fighting for Romney. I don't feel there is anything here that is directly in conflict with compassion.

    My own mother has no insurance. I hope like crazy she can benefit from this. However, I don't want to be forced to do it by a level of the government that has over stepped it's reach. And by the way, neither does she. I don't want our system of government to be able to play semantics and change the constitutionality of a proposal because "We should really do this". I don't want insurance companies to continue to control this so called "reform" with their billions of dollars by buying our politicians which they have in the past and are still doing now... just look at the grandfather clause above.

  4. I agree that the Obamacare plan's individual mandate is problematic (deny it as he might this is the same basic plan Romney passed as Governor of Massachusetts). The overall plan stinks because it is yet another sweetheart deal for insurers, pharmaceutical corps and for profit hospital chains. For me the individual mandate is just the cherry on top of a poop sundae pretending to be chocolate.

    The solution is clear and straight forward; Do what every single other industrialized and some poorer countries have done; create a single payer national health insurance system that includes everyone and controls costs. Look at the data: and

    We are spending by far more than any other country for health care and we are leaving out 40 - 50 million people and getting mediocre results. Costa Rico beats us out in many categories, which is not meant to insult costa ricans but there is no way they are classed as a rich country. For amount of money were spending we should be the best in all categories, but we're not because the main purpose of our healthcare system is maximizing profits instead of maximizing people's health.

    That's what needs to change and until it does none of the rest matters too much.

    There are lots of ways to run a single payer system: the UK's method stinks and I wouldn't want to see it but the German and the French have a lot to teach us in this respect.

  5. Thanks for comment Rob. You stated very well yet another issue I see with all this. The insurance companies got themselves a very sweet win/win deal here. I really wish there was a way in here to provide what people need: quality care and controlled costs. It just isn't going to happen with the current plan.

    By the way I miss you a TON and I'm graduating in DECEMBER!! You'll have to come celebrate with me!