Sunday, September 29, 2013
Obamacare - The Only Thing Really Wrong With It
That's it, really, that's the biggest problem with the whole system - force. Everyone is forced into using it. It's being forced on private and public sector alike. It's the government using its absolute power, the ability to force people to do something.
I don't want to get into a political rant here. It's just something on my mind since I am one of the many people without health care, and thus it is something I'll have to deal with soon. I've been looking into it, on-line since the news programs have not been much help, and so thought I'd comment on it - from my own point of view, of course.
Providing health care is a noble goal. That, I think, would be hard for anyone to dispute. But as with all goals, the real proof is not in the principle but in the exceptions. Life and Liberty are noble goals, but we regularly deny them to those who commit crimes. And rightly so. Because a principle is nice, but not always applicable, there are times when it needs to bend and flex a little. Too much bending and it breaks, but too little and it is a straight-jacket instead of strengthening.
Which leads me to thinking about my own condition. I would like to have health insurance, in principle. I don't though for a variety of practical reasons. Right now I don't have a job, I'm living with my Grandfather helping him out. He found out he had cancer when someone finally looked at his x-rays and saw that his right femur had been eaten away. They put a titanium rod in the bone to strengthen it, and then discovered that the cancer had spread there from his kidneys, one of which has a tumor in it. A fun thing to find out on your birthday. So while he was in rehab I came out here, having moved close-by recently and not having anything I couldn't set aside. That was about three months ago. I do the driving, shopping, cooking and cleaning. Grandpa is home, and doing very well overall, but that could change at any time. Plus he's 83 years old, so he is not as strong and vigorous as when he was driving a tank in his youth. I don't mind helping him out, I'm glad I could since it would have been a major burden on anyone else in my family and a great risk for him to be alone without any constant support.
So, needless to say, I do not have any health insurance. Grandpa gives me a little money, and covers all my living expenses, so I am really doing fine. I've been looking around, but the only jobs I could get would be part-time, and that would not provide health insurance either. Being a 30-something-or-other couch potato, I am not in the best shape, but I'm not doing too bad. I always figured if I had some sort of health problem I'd just have to deal with it. I know that you can go to the emergency room, but I have no intention or, or desire to, do so. But now comes Obamacare (the Affordable Care and Whatever-Else-We-Had-To-Call-It Act is too long) and the public exchanges open up next week. According to what I've found, the lowest coverage for me in Arizona will be around $100 per month. Which will pose something of a problem as I do not make that much money. If I do get a part-time job (also, not as easy as one might imagine in a smaller town) that will represent a fairly good chunk of what I make. And that's just the monthly cost. No details are out yet, but I'm sure there are co-pays and then prescription drug costs that you have to pay yourself. Which means that even though I'll have insurance, I won't actually be able to afford to use it. Also, I don't want to use it. When I did have health insurance in the past all I did was get a checkup, a tetanus shot, and see the dentist - I don't like going to the doctor. Not sure if there will be dental plans, they may mean "health" as only the body and not the teeth (again, a scarcity of details at the moment).
So, quite frankly, I want no part of this system. It does me no definite good, just a theoretical good in the event of an accident or something that I survive. In exchange for the definite hardship of coming up with money I don't have. Not a good economic trade-off.
Except, to get back to the thrust of my article, for the fact that I am being forced into it. I have no choice. I could put it off for a year, and pay a penalty of $95 at tax time, putting it off two years raises the penalty to $200+ dollars and three years $600+. So sooner or later you join or you suffer. Though, if you join you also suffer, so you're just screwed either way.
What I don't understand is this: if this is going to be a better system, if it going to improve everyone's lives, why isn't it voluntary? If it's the better choice, then people will take it. It doesn't need to try so hard. Also, like so many other programs, if it's such a good idea, why isn't every Senator, Judge, and even the President required to take it also? Why can't they practice what they preach? If it's a good thing, shouldn't it either naturally attract people, or if it has to be forced, shouldn't it be forced on everyone - including those in power? If it's so wonderful, why march people to it at gun-point?
Anyways, since it is forced, I will have to join along with so many others. I am not in a rush though, things have a tendency of changing, so I'll wait until around December to let some of the bugs shake lose before going to join. Hopefully that will also give me enough time to figure out how I'm going to pay for something I didn't ask for in the first place.