I guess it is jail time for me. The Supreme Court, in its 5-4 decision to uphold the Affordable Healthcare Act, just made that evident.
I am a self-employed, one person small business owner, and I cannot afford health care. How is this possible you ask? Didn't the President sign into law the Affordable Health care law so that millions of Americans like me can afford healthcare and not be a drain on society?
Yes and no.
Yes the President signed that 1,990 page monstrosity into law. No, it does not help millions of Americans like me.
There are many – okay, a few – parts of the thing known as Obamacare that are good. The keeping your kids on parents insurance until they are 25 is good. Lots of young people these days are struggling to become employable – college, looking for work, etc – and they cannot afford their own insurance. Covering children. That's a good thing and – believe it or not – a conservative's view of each American's responsibility to take care of those who can't take care of themselves.
But the law does little to address the real problems facing our broken health care system in this country.
TORT reform would have been one thing. If a doctor or hospital or whatever does something wrong they should be dealt with. You deserve redress of the wrong. But saying a person who is the victim of malpractice should be paid $250 million, $1 billion – hell anything over a few million is ridiculous – is just insane. It feeds into the sorry notion that people today will become rich through 1) the lottery, 2) inheritance, 3) litigation. Whatever happened to working hard and reaping the benefits of your hard work? This entitlement nonsense where people think they deserve to be taken care of, cradle to grave, is NOT American at all.
As stated above, limitations on how much you can get would help lower malpractice costs which in turn would lower healthcare costs. Another adjacent issue would be the elimination of frivolous lawsuits. If you buy coffee, and you did not ask for “iced coffee”, then you – YOU – should expect it to be hot. Suing a restaurant because YOU were stupid, is frivolous. This is personal responsibility. It shouldn't take a little warning on the cup “Caution! Contents may be hot!” for you to KNOW that coffee is hot. So don't spill it. If you do, clean it up.
Drug company recuperation of costs is another area of reform that should have been dealt with. In other countries, drug companies who put out the expenses to do research, do trials and come out with new life saving drugs do not charge the outrageous fees associated with getting their investment dollars back. But in America, they seem to feel since we are the “richest country in the world” we can afford to pay enormous costs for drugs in order for them to recoup their investments. This is wrong and should be addressed. Maybe a little of redistribution of wealth idea, but more a redistribution of responsibility and cost sharing. Instead of Burundi only pay 2,929.20 BiF – Burundi francs – (the equivalent of $2 USD) a bottle of life saving drugs and Americans paying $200 a pill, it could be more like everyone paying $10 a bottle.
And while we are at it – a side note, if you will indulge – what is up with all these drugs being developed for impotence and little attention paid to Lyme disease (which millions suffer excruciating pain from every day), Alzheimer, MS, and other less sexy ailments that the not so rich have to deal with? But that is another topic of discussion for another day.
Interstate commerce for insurance companies is an area NOT covered under this law that would do a world of good – and in particular to someone like me – that was absolutely not addressed in this so-called affordable healthcare legislation. Each state has their own insurance regulations. But if the federal government would mandate a set of compatible guidelines across all 50 states, insurance companies could offer their policies in all 50 states. This means that other like minded individuals, such as myself, could join together across the country and form an alliance where we could get a lower rate on health insurance and be covered. And the thing is, due to the interstate commerce clauses, this is an area the Federal government has purview over.
I could join with other self employed writers, such as a group associated with writing for Yahoo, and form a good mid-sized group (I imagine there would be at least 100 people who would go for this idea, if not many many more). Then we could get a group rate for basic coverage and Voilà!, no more depending on the government for our healthcare needs and being a drain on society.
(Funny how the bill's proponents are also the ones against strengthening immigration laws and yet the reason for hospitals across the country closing their maternity wards, emergency rooms and even the whole hospital is due to illegal immigrants coming in for service and unable to pay. N 2005 – 2006, California had 84 of them close. I do not make this up. There was a study reported in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons in Spring of 2005 – Volume 10 Number 1.)
But none of these very important issues were discussed in this nearly 2000 page document that Nancy Pelosi said had to be passed so we could then be told what was in it.
Which is one of the reasons I will be going top jail. This bill may be Constitutional according to the Supreme Court. But that is simply law. How many times do you know a guilty person was set free because the law said they had to be, not because they weren't guilty? So is the case here. The Constitutional issues that were brought before the Court were deemed to adhere to the law set down in the Constitution. But there is a higher issue involved. Obama care is not American.
America is about working hard and getting to be whoever you want to become. It is about the richness of possibilities not available in so many other countries. In India, a small poor from the ghettos of Calcutta could not aspire to be a prominent physician. A girl in just about any Middle Eastern country does not have a path before them to become a successful business owner or leader of their country. But in America the promise exists, thanks to those who founded our nation and those who strive to keep it free and democratic, for anyone to aspire to be anything. So long as they work hard for it. America is not about being lazy, getting a handout by the government and passing along your entitlement beliefs to the next generation – although it has been promulgated to be just this by unscrupulous blowhards who are only after power and wealth.
And this law is definitely not American. Unless you think it is American to force people to buy something they do not want to buy. Unless you think it is American to let the government be a nanny to you your entire life. Unless you think it is American to tax people over and over and over again to pay for irresponsible behavior of others.
I, for one, do not.
Which brings me to the other part of why I will be going to jail. It is actually three fold.
The first, I mentioned. It is simply not an affordable option, no matter how many times you stress, highlight, capitalize or italicize that word. I barely make enough to pay my existing bills, rent and food. It is a tough economy still. So without the law addressing the things that actually would make it affordable to millions like me, I cannot buy it.
The second is that taxing issue. There are hundreds of references in this law about taxes, taxation and penalties. Nothing about making insurance available across state lines. Including penalizing me for not having it to the tune of 2.6% of my annualized pay. What part of my limited budget do you think I can afford to pay that fine out of? My rent, my bills (which allow me to work as it is), my food? You tell me what you would cut out and I might consider it.
That takes care of not buying it and not paying the fine.
The third and final reason I will be going to jail is that I am a responsible American. And I am proud to be an American. And I will not be handed a diaper by my government and told when and how to wear it. There have been times where my existing insurance had gaffs and I could not cover the exorbitant hospital bill, or I was out of work and would have died had I not gone to the hospital or doctor. But in most other instances, I go to the doctor when I can afford it. I pay the doctor when I go. I will not be told by the President, the Congress, the Supreme Court or anyone else that I cannot pay someone for services rendered. This law states that I cannot. And to me, that is definitely not American. And I really doubt it is something that would be approved by those who wrote our Constitution.
(note - In 2009, President Obama said he did not want to classify this as a "tax". But since the Supreme Court of the United States said it could pass BECAUSE it is a tax, he now thinks of it as a victory. Guess if its the only way he can thrust this BS down our throats, he will sacrifice his principles. Pretty sad, Mr President. Pretty sad.)
So, as stated above, I am one American that will be going to jail because of the President's ridiculous political move to pander to the least common denominator instead of striving for the highest standards. And don't be naive, this is exactly what this law and many of this Administration’s policies are, whether they will admit it or not.
Obama has been running for something ever since he entered politics. He ran for state legislature. As soon as he was in, he began running for the US Senate. As soon as he was in he started running for the White House. And as soon as he got there, he started – despite his words to the contrary – to run for re-election. I feel sorry for him when he has nothing else to run for. He will be lost.
But me, I will be in jail, getting three squares a day, free healthcare and free rent.
Thinking Out Loud is a blog of my own thoughts and therefore my own opinion. You can either agree or disagree with me, which really makes no difference to me personally. The only thing I ask of my readers is to take a moment to think for yourselves on this and many other topics that come to my mind. STOP BEING SHEEP and AVOID THE SPIN are two things I would hope for you to keep in mind. Gather all the information about a topic, not just the SPIN from one side or the other. And believe me, it is ALL spin. Anyway, as I say, this is just me, Thinking Out Loud.
Have a great day.
(author's note – this comes to my blog after Yahoo declined the article. My guess is that it is too opinionated for them to put out there and have their access denied by petty politicians who use their media access as a weapon to control the truth. I felt this was just and honest personal observation of how such a wide-reaching piece of legislation is going to affect a large number of Americans. But that, also, is just my opinion.)