Those evil, uninsured people…

In Editorial on January 27, 2012 at 4:53 pm

Banker? No, insurance CEO.

Blaming the victim…

When did America turn so mean-spirited?

A good part of the promotion for President Obama’s health care reform consists of hooting and pointing at the uninsured as a large part of the reason America’s health care delivery system is in shambles.

Let’s look at one of these “irresponsible” families…

Lisa and Bob have two, small children. They have no health insurance. Lisa earns $9.25 per hour as a retail clerk and Bob earns $11.50 an hour in a mechanical repair shop. After taxes, they bring home around $2,700 a month. Their home and its insurance eats $750 per month. Childcare consumes $600 per month. They have two cars; one car is paid for. The payment on the newer car runs $275 per month. Insurance on the cars? $100 per month. Gasoline costs another $100 per month. Groceries cost the family about $600 per month. Utilities and telephone for the family runs about $150 per month. When their daughter, Emily, and son, Jason got just past the toddler age, they moved them into separate bedrooms. Lisa bought $1,000 worth of furniture with a credit card…monthly payment $35. If everything goes right, they have $100 left of their net earnings each month…$25 per week.

Where can they buy health insurance to cover the whole family for $100 per month?

How dare they be so irresponsible!

Suppose Bob and Lisa have a modest health policy with 100% of the premiums paid for by Bob’s employer (LOL!).

Such policies typically have annual deductibles of $5,000 and cover 80% of “usual and customary charges”.

Bob and Lisa could not afford to pay even $2,500 of the deductible in a year. Until they pay $5,000 they remain virtually uninsured.

Americans, like insured Bob and Lisa, frequently end up owing huge amounts of unpaid dollars to health care providers through no fault of their own and they are, consequently, part of the health care problem.

They have health insurance that is virtually worthless because of high deductibles, policy limitations and policy exclusions. Their insurance card is little more than a financial IED in their wallet or purse; waiting to go off when illness strikes or if the illness happens to be an illness excluded from coverage.

Consequently, they end up with mountains of uncovered medical bills they cannot pay.

The GOP response…

"No pets for poor people!"

Bob and Lisa need to pull themselves up by the bootstraps and get better jobs. They need to go without cable-TV, cell phones, ice cream, and sell their pets to research labs.”

The problem with GOP trust-fund babies, they don’t even know what a “bootstrap” is or where they would find one. For tightie-righties, the world of the working poor just isn’t mean enough.

This song gets sung to the poorer Republicans, the ones without trust funds, who pick up the refrain that being poor has all the advantages.

But I have, yet, to meet a working class Republican who is willing to trade places with one of the poor so they can get their share of the breaks that come from being poor.


Once loved, now hated…

Remember the sit-coms of the 1950s? Ralph Kramden drove a bus and his pal Ed Norton worked in the sewers. Cartoons of the era reflected respect (at worst, bemused respect) for the poorer, laboring class. Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble were loveable cartoon versions of the proletariat. Andy of Mayberry shared a house with his Aunt Bea.

The shows highlighted the nobility and erstwhile dreams of the working classes.

I recall episodes where one of the characters became ill or injured. I never saw Ralph, Ed, Fred, or Barney whip out a Blue Cross-Blue Shield card.

Mr. Obama would call them “part of the problem of the uninsured”.

The solution, according to Mr. Obama, would be to herd the Rubbles, Nortons, and Kramdens into the clutches of companies selling virtually worthless health insurance policies to consumers who cannot afford to use them.

The irascible Fred Flintstone would refuse to buy mandatory health coverage and would be sent to the Bedrock Penitentiary until he did. It would make a wildly funny spin-off show as the blustering Fred attempts to talk his way out of gang rape, by real criminals, in the prison showers.

But that is what will happen to scofflaws under the Obama plan.

Unable to pay what a federal-corporate bureaucrat thinks they should pay, the uninsured will become a new criminal class.

Charles Dickens would recognize this new class as fodder for workhouses where Mr. Obama’s uninsured will languish until they cough up for a federal-corporate product they cannot afford to buy…and cannot afford to use after they bought it.

Buy broccoli, or else!

Who wins?

Health care reform, as touted by Mr. Obama, is what it is…corporate welfare for health insurance companies. It is akin to subsidizing broccoli farmers with a government mandate that, in the name of healthy living, every family

must purchase two servings of broccoli per day, or go to jail.

Every broccoli farmer could have his own business jet and would dutifully lick the hand that made it possible to buy one.

It is what it is.


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