Background: This is in response to a friend who was complaining about his $3000/year increase in health insurance due to Obamacare. This was on Facebook.
Open letter on Obamacare.
Thanks for the well thought out comments. Well thought out comments deserve a well thought out response. But I think it is important to review some history in our country when dealing with these large government programs. Consider this: The "great society" programs were meant to help the poor but poverty levels have pretty much stayed the same, and in some cases risen. Social security was supposed to help those who were retired so they could at least have some basic needs met; it has turned into a retirement plan that is worth less and less every year. The Department of Homeland Security was supposed to give us security, do you really feel more secure?
We were supposed to have a system in place by October 1 to register people for healthcare exchanges, etc. we spent $650 million to do it, and it does not work. Most private consultants have said they could have done this for less than $10 million, plus whatever hardware you would need to track 300 +million people. Then we are told of all different shenanigans with pricing, people losing coverage etc. Seems like it is business as usual in Washington, they created another opportunity to steal.
At a certain point we have to say ENOUGH otherwise we are going to be completely bankrupt, and will continue to lose our standing in the world. If the healthcare issue were the only thing the past three administrations did then no one would have too much to complain about. But consider this:
1. $17+ Trillion in Debt, $125+ Trillion in unfunded liabilities.
2. The Federal Reserve further diluting the currency by issuing more debt and buying US Treasuries with full congressional consent.
3. The rising cost of doing business on all fronts.
4. The states and cities running things so incompetently and with debt that they are all microcosms of the federal government. This results in higher taxes all around. With little or no benefit.
5. People who disagree with the administration being targeted by the IRS.
6. Government handouts as usual being used to buy votes (with social programs), and subsidies to big business/donors.
7. Wars that should have been over 6 years ago, but they continue to fight them. Even the folks that ran on an anti-war platform support them when they are in office.
8. Bailouts of the banks after they took on risky loans.
All of these policies and the list goes on, will eventually destroy our currency through creeping inflation, destroying savings, and less economic opportunity, all of these always hits the poor hardest. We mentioned in previous posts what they should have done to fix healthcare, but let's consider each of our situations.
We both have families and good jobs so $3000/year extra does not sound like much to us. but let's consider the average hourly wage according to the BLS for September 2013 is $24.09/hour. That means the average person would have to work 3.1 weeks extra to pay that bill (that is before withholding so is actually considerablymore). In the NY/NJ area this is already on top of the other taxes that we must pay. This is just a hidden tax through an unfunded mandates and a payoff to the insurance industry. This does not include the business expenses for those who did not donate to the Obama campaign (that's another story).
Remember neither one of us are eligible for subsidies.
In 10 years assuming everything is equal the average person would have to work 31 weeks more. it means $30000 taken out of the private economy and spent on something else. Lets think about this again (numbers rounded):
1. Based on the average household in NJ in 10 years you could have made 24+ mortgage payments, or paid off all your other debts.
2. $30,000 is out of your retirement plus the opportunity losses for more income (interest or investment).
3. 10 years of nice vacations for your family.
4. A brand new CLA class Mercedes.
5. Two years of college, a Masters Degree (from a reputable school)
6. $30,000 in donations to charities that might actually help the poor or underinsured.
7. Whatever floats your boat.
My point is that this is money that could go to do many other things.
As business owners and managers we know the damage of an ongoing bill with no benefit or other utility.
The thing that burns the most is not the money, it is the time away from the family and the risks I must now take to get that $3000 per year. As a business owner I can take the risk. But if you are an average employee you are in quite a bind. This is nothing more than another step towards serfdom, which is a form of slavery, I will not quietly take that step. I hope you don't.
PS. The best thing we could do for the poor is two fold:
1. Increase economic activity thus opportunity to get them out of poverty.
2. Don’t be one ourselves. Adding to the problem doesn't solve it.