I was reading this opinion piece at the NYTimes about how un-PC it is to complain about being shackled with Obamacare. The Obama PR campaign has been very effective about laying on the guilt. Apparently, if you complain about the sticker shock and skinny networks and canceled plans, it’s the equivalent of protesting the Iraq war in 2003. You’re un-American. You hate sick people. And besides, aren’t the lucky Americans who have employer sponsored health care paying taxes for the poor unfortunates, you ungrateful wretch?
Which makes me wonder, don’t we underemployed, or contract workers, or temps or, the blessed entrepreneurs ALSO pay taxes?? Some of us are paying both sides of the social security tax. We pay taxes out the wazoo. And we’re still getting the shaft on these skinny network plans, cancellations and the subsidy crunch. If we make even one dollar more than we should, we could get socked with a monumental bill.
Talk about killing innovation. I can’t think of a better way to avoid success and innovation than to take people who are forced into entrepreneurship in this economy to scale back so as to not hit the limit on the subsidies. I can’t think of a better way to encourage getting paid off the books and depriving the treasury of tax dollars than to make a zero-tolerance, not-one-dollar-more boundary for people to qualify for subsidies.
Let me remind some of the Congresspeople who didn’t bother to read this bill before they signed off on it that in 2009, Pfizer laid off every scientist in the company Wyeth that they had acquired in a merger. Yep, every one of them. A few found jobs in Pfizer but the vast majority of them, that would be thousands and thousands of BS, MS and PhDs, were just told to go their own way. Innovate! Become your own boss! Which is very odd because if a multibillion dollar international company can’t get drugs through the FDA approval process, what makes anyone think that a bunch of poor, under equipped scientists are going to be able to do it in their garages working with shoestring and bubblegum? THAT is a Wall Street MBA’s secret wet dream but hardly reality.
Now multiply Pfizer’s strategy by all of the other drug companies and you get an idea of how many newly minted entrepreneurs are out there, struggling to make a living at companies that don’t pay benefits. Or think of the Chemical Engineer who works by the project and doesn’t have coverage who is now paying all of his taxes AND is getting a rate hike.
Why should these people be required to foot more of the bill from their income than the people who are sitting comfortably (for now) behind their employer sponsored health plans? We all feel compassion for the poor who can’t afford insurance or the people with pre-existing conditions. Not only that but we might even BE some of those people through no fault of our own.
But why should be made to feel guilty about not caring MORE for them? Why do we need to sacrifice more of our money than anyone else when we are already expected to carry a full load? Shouldn’t the burden for this fall more evenly? Or here’s a better question: if we are expected to make this sacrifice, shouldn’t we be getting top notch plans and treatment and be treated with more dignity?
By the way, the lucky who are covered by their employer should think about this long and hard because one day, through no fault of their own, their companies might require them to sacrifice their own jobs in the name of shareholder value and then, they’ll have to suck it up and shut up about how much these crappy plans cost.
It could happen to anyone.