Monday, July 2, 2012

Death, Taxes, and Health Insurance

Die, Pay Taxes, and Get Health Insurance

My mother taught me there are only two things you have to do. Die and pay taxes. I guess now there are three. Die, pay taxes, and get health insurance.

I am Without Party Affiliation. I don’t go to either party. But I do pay attention to what our government is doing. And what they’re doing these days is downright disturbing. I refer, of course, to the newest mandate, uh, sorry, tax, that is being assessed.

According to a USA Today article ( this morning...

“...White House chief of staff Jack Lew said the mandate would affect only 1% of Americans, the people who can afford to buy health insurance but don't...”

Here’s the thing...I have a friend who is a hairdresser. Lovely woman, would give the shirt off of her back for anyone in need, although, she is usually the one most in need. She has three jobs (cleaning houses for the elderly are her other two jobs) and barely makes it above the poverty level. But, she is above the poverty level, according to the US government standards.

She does not have health insurance. She can not afford both health insurance and her nominal daily living. But, according to the US government, she is a one-percenter.

Recently, she was hospitalized with pneumonia. Admitted for six days, she is only just now receiving her medical bills. So far, she’s into it for $12,000.00. She hasn’t gotten the doctors bills yet. While there, they reviewed her financial status to discern if she qualified for any of the myriad of support services out there.

She didn’t. She’s a one-percenter. She’ll be paying that $695.00 ‘tax’ and still be into it for 12K plus.

Ron Pollack, director of Families USA said...The $695 fee is less than what most people pay now because of the uninsured. Health providers don't turn away people who need but can't pay for it. Providers must then swallow the cost of paying for that care, and those costs are passed to other consumers.

Ack! Wait! What? Can you repeat that for me? I must have blinked. Does that mean my friend doesn’t owe the 12K?

“...The $695 fee is less than what most people pay now because of the uninsured...Providers must then swallow the cost of paying for that care, and those costs are passed to other consumers...”

Bwahahahaha! Oh, stop! You’re killing me! (gasp) Bwahahahaha!

OK. No, I’m alright. Woo! That was funny. Wait’ll I tell my friend.
Ooo! Mr. Pollack! Over here! I have a question! Does this mean, that with the passage of the mandate, we WON’T be paying additional fees anymore? Will our premiums (those costs that are passed on to ‘other consumers’) be going down?

Oh. Not according to this lady...

“...Alissa Fox, senior vice president for the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association of health insurers, said a Joint Committee on Taxation study said premiums for families would increase $350 to $400 a year because of a health insurers' tax...”

So much for that. Insurance will now be even further from my friend's reach. She receives the bills from the hospital in the mail. She pays however much she can ($5 to $25 a month). But the bill/debt is still hers. As long as she has an address to send them to, she still has to pay. So, if she lives in a tent, (read: homeless) with no mailing address, will she qualify for this 'assistance' then?

And on a final note for this eye-opening article...

“...average premiums for a 27-year-old are much lower now than they are for a 64-year-old. The law removes age discriminatory language, so everyone will pay more comparable rates...”

Now class, here’s the question; Do you think the 64-year-old will pay less, or, (keeping in mind the track record that the government and insurance industry has set) do you think the 27-year-old will pay more? What? You believe the 27-year-old will be charged the same as the 64-year-old is now?

You are a smart class.

And now, on a more somber note; another article in USA Today ( reads...

“...Jan Crawford of CBS News, citing "two sources with specific knowledge of the deliberations," reports that Roberts indeed switched his vote after siding with four other conservative justices who supported striking down the law.

Roberts then withstood a month-long, desperate campaign to bring him back to his original position, the sources said," reports Crawford....”

Which leaves me with only one question. That would be for Supreme Court Justice John Roberts.

Whose check was it that cleared a month ago? I mean, if someone can afford a Supreme Court Judge, they should be allowed to advertise the fact.

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