Sunday, September 8, 2013

Stand up and say, "Hell no, I can't afford it!"

Dear President Obama,
Starting October 1st, you have dictated that we need to purchase a health insurance plan.  Obviously, judging by your financial policies that has kept our country in trillions of dollars in debt, you don't have a full grasp of money and how the numbers work.  As any mathematician will tell you, numbers don't lie so here they are. 

Let's take an individual earning twelve dollars per hour as an example.  At that pay, an individual will earn $25,000 per year or $1,920 per month.  Now, let's do the math.  Please, don't rely on your economists and financial advisors to follow the calculations.  We only need to look at the national budget to see how lousy they are with numbers.  Break out your own calculator (most computers have a built-in calculator in case you don't have one) to follow the calculations.

Monthly Gross Income
minus 25% in taxes (-$480)
minus rent/mortgage (-$800)
minus food (-$280)
minus heat/electric (-$250)

After the basic necessities (and taxes), an individual has $110 left for living expenses during the month.  Notice the individual has a roof over his head, food, and heat/electric, plus a little extra left over for emergency expenses, but he doesn't have the luxuries of a car or phone, and he hasn't splurged on the rich people's luxuries of a cell phone, Internet connection, cable TV, and a Saturday night out dining and dancing.  To enjoy those luxuries, he would need to make $13.68 an hour. 
If he receives a three percent raise every year, in four more years he'd be able to add a car, cell phone, Internet connection, cable TV, and a Saturday night out on the town at a calculated cost of an additional $270 per month, but car insurance and gas aren't included, and on the assumption that the cost of living today won't increase within the next four years.

 By the best figures available, under your healthcare mandate, the individual making twelve dollars per hour will be expected to pay $200 per month in health insurance premiums.  He only has $110 left to spend.  Where is his other $90 per month coming from to pay for what you mandated? 

His only real option to meet the demands of your mandate is to cut down on his food expenses and his electric/heating expenses.  He might be able to save about $30 per month if he sweats a little more during the summer and shivers a little more during the winter.  The only other place to cut his expenses to meet your mandate is cutting his grocery bill.  If he substitutes a Kraft Macaroni and  Cheese dinner a couple of times a week instead of a balanced meal of fresh fish, vegetable, potatoes, and salad, he could save a few bucks.  If he substitutes Kellog's Fruit Loops for a high fiber bran cereal, he could save a few more bucks.  And if he substituted the prepackaged meals for all the fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats he usually buys to make his own meal, he'd save even more money and might meet your mandated expenses.  
Making the necessary cuts and following your plan, he's on track for his four year plan of investing in a car, phone, cell phone, Internet connection, cable TV, and one Saturday night out on the town each month, but little does he know his health problems are mounting, even if he doesn't have any symptoms yet.  Health problems are the consequence of eating cheap, low nutrition, processed meals.

Now let's say he played by your rules, scrimped and saved, and forty years later of playing by your rules, he has a heart attack, probably brought on from years of eating Kraft Macaroni and Cheese to be able to pay for your healthcare mandate.  Let's take a look at those numbers, because, remember, numbers don't lie.

Our ideal individual, playing by your rules, is now sixty-years-old.  Using today's dollars on the assumption that within the next forty years there will be no huge fluctuations in income and healthcare costs so the relative ratios will remain the same, a real-cost estimate of a heart attack costs one million dollars.  There's lost wages from work that could be a year or more, the medical procedures themselves, the year or longer rehabilitative procedures, and a lifelong supply of medicines.

On your mandated health plan, over the course of forty years, the individual has paid $96,000 into the healthcare system.  That barely covers the first week of care.  If we ignore the lifelong care and only use your model to calculate the cost to the rush the patient to the hospital, bypass surgeries, two or three day stay at the hospital, and two follow-ups within the year of having a heart attack, the medical bills would easily top $100,000 dollars.  Under your plan, an individual will come out of the hospital $40,000 in debt.  Of course, there are caps to protect the individual, that is, what the individual owes cannot exceed a certain percentage of his income.  He will come out of the hospital owing money, but unable to work to pay his hospital bill, no matter how much smaller than the $40,000 it is, while still needing to pay his normal, everyday bills, which don't go away simply because he had a heart attack. 

What we haven't covered over the last forty years, from the time the individual was twenty-years-old until he was sixty-years-old and suffered a heart attack, is any other medical expenses he may have incurred - sports injuries, a car accident, diabetes (probably from that Kraft Macaroni and Cheese diet), cancer of any kind, and the list goes on.

What's the bottom line of your healthcare mandate?  It is simply another form of a tax imposed on the majority of people who really can't afford it.  Your mandate may be great for people over fifty, when health issues are most likely to arise and they love the benefits your mandate supplies, but your plan hinders young people (and older people who don't have health issues) from trying to realize their American dream.  Your model is built on everyone losing money somewhere down the road.  The only people who aren't going to lose money are the health insurers, hospital executives, doctors, and maybe nurses.   

Real healthcare reform starts at figuring out why a hospital stay starts at $1,100 per day or why one pill costs almost two bucks.  Before you come for the little guy making twelve bucks an hour, go for the big guys in healthcare charging over-inflated prices for basic services.  Get those healthcare costs under control and then come to us little guys and say, "It's your turn to pony up!"  That's real healthcare reform.

By the way, I'm not buying your mandate.  Go ahead and fine me.  I'm not paying the fine, either.  Unlike the DC elitists, including you, I do have the common sense to stand up and say, "Hey, look.  I can't afford it so you aren't getting it."  Try practicing that principle within your last couple of years in office. 


Anonymous citizen who really doesn't care to have his phone calls and emails monitored in an attempt to find other ways to extort money in the form of fines from him.

Posted by Five Drunk Rednecks

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