Obamacare, destroying the middleclass
Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, you know, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical to getting the thing to pass. —Jonathan Gruber, an architect of the Affordable Care Act, on the passage of Obamacare.
In general, the art of government consists of taking as much money as possible from one party of the citizens to give to the other. —Voltaire (1764)
This article is about escaping the horrid results of Obamacare, and the pain it has already caused, and is still causing. It is also an inside look of just what has happened to families like mine because of government control of the medical industry. The cost of healthcare has increased exponentially in 2017, especially for middle America, while the availability has decreased at the same rate.
Obamacare has given us deductibles that are impossible to reach! Was the goal to rid the country of the baby boomers by destroying their ability to afford healthcare? One wonders because of the obvious wealth redistribution.
It is why we need your help President Trump, and we need it now.
Destroying Free Market Healthcare
In my previous article on Obamacare, I went back to the core of how this entire rotten takeover of healthcare was initiated by our own government starting in 1910. The powers that be knew that with the first “black president” in our White House, the takeover of 20% of our economy could easily happen, and it did. The Republicans all voted against it, which they tout every time it’s mentioned, but what they don’t tell you is that when they had an opportunity to defund it, they refused. All the political promises of repealing this albatross went by the wayside once they were re-elected.
Thus, what Americans now have is the world’s most expensive, most bureaucratic, and arguably least functional health care system. This system cannot be “reformed.” It can only be escaped from, until its dysfunction in the face of superior alternatives (i.e. the free market system of a representative Republic) collapses it.
It will require a paradigm shift of major proportions, especially in this age of entitlements, dependences, and a population that can’t think without a book of rules to follow because they’ve been so dumbed down for the last 50 years. We cannot simply “repeal and replace” Obamacare. We need a different way of thinking about public health, and it has to be under the heading of free enterprise, allowing the market to dictate rather than the government.
The fact that our President wishes to replace it makes me crazy. Why replace it? Health care is not a right. Progressives have pushed these so-called positive rights on all Americans, and they do not exist in our founding documents. These positive rights are enumerated by none other than the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights which claims that everyone has a right to health care. Horse hockey! Our nation was once one of personal and individual responsibility, not this communal leveling of the playing field where everyone is equally poor except for the ruling elite.
Of course, there’s no such thing as free health care. The government has no money of its own which means that it cannot “give” anyone health care without first taking away something from someone else, and that’s us, the working and now shrinking middleclass taxpayer! We pay, and we pay, and we pay.
Social Security and Medicare
Are Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid sanctioned by our Constitution? Not on your life! Again, it is government control of segments of the population. However, let’s make something crystal clear. When the politicos of DC and our state legislators talk about entitlements and include Social Security and Medicare, they are wrong! Neither are entitlements! We have paid into both all our working lives.
Roosevelt gave us Social Security in August of 1935, and everyone who worked after that date has paid into it all their lives. In July 1965, under the leadership of President Lyndon Johnson, Congress enacted Medicare under Title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide health insurance to people age 65 and older, regardless of income or medical history, and since then, we’ve paid into it!
This isn’t government aid, this is money we gave the government, and they should give back. Why do you think there have been no increases in Social Security for four years? Because we’re supporting more than 20% of the population, legal and illegal in true welfare programs. Let’s look at what they are without including the boondoggle of Obamacare costs to the middleclass taxpayer.
The U.S. Census Bureau recently took a closer look at participation in six major welfare programs from 2009 to 2012, which were:
Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) better known as food stamps, Housing Assistance, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Temporary Assistance to Needy Family’s (TANF) which is cash benefits, and general assistance.
Their report however, doesn’t discuss other kinds of support that people might receive, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, free school lunches, the Women, Infants, Children Nutrition (WIC program), Head Start, energy assistance programs, and Pell Grants. While it doesn’t capture the full spectrum of welfare in the U.S., the results still provide a clearer picture of who is receiving public assistance, and it sure isn’t the middleclass.
Check out the cost of welfare for immigrant and native householdsby the Center for Immigration Studies.
Ours is a system that’s rife with abuse and which discourages people from making responsible decisions. Whatever your take on welfare, there’s no denying that these programs to help the poor cost a lot of money, and are riddled with fraud and corruption. I’m not against helping the truly needy, but I want to stop all those who are gaming the system, and I believe our new President understands that.
The Middleclass Cheated Again
Socialists like Obama and Hillary think only of the masses, not an individual’s personal rights. Their beliefs are anathema to the freedoms granted by God in our Constitution’s representative republic. Yes, we’re a republic, not a democracy, and there’s a big difference! These elitists think only of the votes they garner from their welfare recipients, not those of us who are the grassroots and backbone of America’s middleclass society.
As an adult, I have always been part of the middleclass. I have worked since I was 12 years old. After marrying, I worked a full-time job and often had a part-time job on the side. Many of my readers will echo the same story. We were taught to work to attain the needs for our family, and our work ethic was top of the line.
As a young woman, I received healthcare in all my jobs, and rarely used any of it other than for my daughter and our yearly checkups. However, the costs back in the early 70s were negligible. The employers paid nearly everything, and rarely do young people even think about healthcare, much less use it. This is the reason so many chose to pay the fines rather than the higher fees for Obamacare.
Changes in Healthcare
When my husband and I moved to Knoxville in 1987, his company insurance was pretty much fully funded. Our deductible was $250.00 a person and prescriptions were three to five dollars. Insurance back then paid nearly the entire cost of care, unlike today where they pay only 70% after you’ve met the huge deductible.
What a difference 30 years makes, especially with Obamacare. As costs rose, first came the Flexible Spending Arrangement or Flex Plan (part of Government Cafeteria plans). This was adopted where tax free monies could be put aside from an employee’s paycheck to cover costs not covered by insurance, up to $5,500 at the employer’s discretion, with a carryover into the next year for a short period of time. We took the full $4,000 per year the company allowed, and it worked well for several years. A portion was deducted from each paycheck to cover the Flex Plan.
With the inception of Obamacare, the law changed the allowable Flex Plan to a maximum $2,500. This meant that we paid more out of taxable monies for healthcare costs not covered by insurance, but our healthcare still wasn’t too bad, as the deductible was $1,000 per person, and the payout 70/30 after that.
Big Changes in 2017
We all knew from research that in 2017, after Obama left office, the rules of the Affordable Health Care Act (what an oxymoron) would drastically change, affecting higher costs not only to individuals but to employers, and especially to middleclass Americans. This is another reason Donald J. Trump was elected.
This year for us, the deductible through employer is $4,000 per person for in-network and $6,000 deductible for out-of-network. Flex Plans would not cover the deductible, so an HSA is a better choice. HSA is a Health Savings Account, and is also tax free monies like the Flex Plan. Anyone can put monies into the HSA, and employers may fully fund it for their employees, if they’re flush enough to afford it. Between my husband’s employer and us, we were allowed to put in $7,750 for 2016. We were forced to take an insurance payout of $6,500 that would have been taxable, so we dumped it into the HSA to cover the deductible, otherwise there would only be the $1,250 employer donation in our HSA.
The entire problem with high deductibles at our ages is that you must have the funds to put into an HSA in order to have the tax-free cash to pay the costs until you meet the deductible. Many folks are on fixed incomes, and everything increases yearly except their incomes. For four years, Social Security recipients haven’t had an increase despite costs rising. Yet, our congress critters get a 10% raise every year, unless…get this…they vote against it. Nice how they make these laws for themselves, isn’t it. And remember, they are exempt from Obamacare and have the Cadillac of healthcare plans.
In order to plan for next year, not only has the cost of healthcare through my husband’s company risen, which is deducted from the paycheck, but we have to take an additional $250.00 per paycheck to put into savings for next year’s HSA which will hopefully cover deductible, that’s if the deductible doesn’t go up again.
Obamacare has not only hurt American workers, but the strain on employers to cover these rapidly increasing costs and still insure their employees is another knife in the back of small businesses.
There are many in America, including illegal aliens who are receiving many benefits from our government, paid for by taxpayer’s dollars. Yet, those of us who have worked all our lives are stretched to the limit trying to afford health care in our later years.
The Republicans in Congress claimed they had a plan ready to repeal Obamacare, and still give options to those who signed up for it. Yet, now we hear it may take longer. For us, this means we will basically have no health care because of the cost and deductibles.
The real end result is the fact that working middleclass Americans are getting royally screwed once again. Monies which could have been spent on vacations and purchases which would have helped the economy, are now being held back because we need it for medical costs. At this time in our lives we expected to have more to spend, but our government has seen to it that we have less.
Mr. President, repeal Obamacare now. Let the free market work. Remember, healthcare is not a right. Wealth redistribution is the name of this entire game. We are paying more, and receiving less, while welfare recipients and illegals get their care free, and our representative republic is ignoring us.
President Trump, we’re counting on you!