Saturday, July 7, 2012

Tax? Penalty? Who gives a rat's patoot?

A friend of mine - Larry Ferguson - posted some of his thoughts about the health care controversy on his Facebook wall.  I asked his permission to share it with you.  Here it is:

"Obamacare, aka. Affordable Care it a tax or is it a penality...let me think about it......nope, couldn't care less. My health insurance costs are up because some asshole goes into the emergency room at the hospital, then walks out without paying and the costs for that asshole's care are shifted to people with insurance like me. What I do care about is that insurance companies will not cap what they pay for health care for me. I care that the insurance company will not be able to drop me if I get sick. I care that my grandkids with pre-existing health problems will be able to get insurance. I care that the CEO of insurance companies will not be paid outrageous salaries because the insurance company has to pay out 80%-85% in taking care of people or refund money to me. You can call it Obamacare or Larrycare, I really don't give a shit."

When I thanked Larry for allowing me to use his thoughts on this blog, he gave me some more to share:

"This country has a mandate that anyone walking into an emergency room has to get care. I have no problem with this. Many people cannot afford insurance or have lost insurance with loss of their job. The cost for care shifted to me is my problem. Concern for my grand kids with pre-existing problems is a worry for me. The fact that the mandate was a conservative idea and now they hate it because the President of the United States got it passed -  this is a problem. A mandate that if you can afford insurance you are required to get it or pay a penalty makes sense. I had hoped for either single payer or at least buy in to Medicare at 55 would have been the law...but ACA is a start. But, what do I know..."

Well, it's obvious Larry knows a whole lot more about the actual workings of health insurance - and the state of our health care system -  than most people in this country!  He understands that we are ALL paying for the uninsured and that's one of the main  reasons health insurance premiums are so high!  He understands that insurance - any insurance - is a risk pool.  You pay your premiums and that money goes into one huge pot, along with the premiums paid by everyone else.  When and if you submit a claim, the bill is paid from that huge pot.  When someone else submits a claim, her bills are paid from the same huge pot.  Uninsured patients get treatment, but never paid into anything.  Hospitals have to recoup that loss somehow, so those of us with insurance have higher bills. 

The anti-Obama folks (and, yes, that's exactly what they are) are yelling and screaming about being forced to buy health insurance.  GET A GRIP!  You are forced to help fund public schools even if you don't have children!  You are forced to fund public parks even if you never set foot in one!  Medicare taxes are taken out of your paycheck even if you aren't on Medicare! 

It's all a part of being a member of this society ... so grow up and deal with it. If you can afford insurance - but don't get it - you will pay a small penalty.  And that's how it ought to be because I shouldn't have to pay for your broken leg or your burst appendix.  If you can't afford insurance, you will NOT pay a penalty and there will be a variety of ways that you'll end up with health coverage - through Medicaid or the insurance exchanges.

So, yeah ... grow up.  You want to hate Obama?  Fine.  But find some other reason because the ACA is a win-win for everyone ... including you.

And to Larry ... thanks!  I suspect many, many people feel exactly like you do. 


  1. I LOVE how Larry explained it!! I feel the same way. Just wish the rest of the country would GET IT, AND GET OVER IT!!

    Jackson, MI

  2. Love your blog, Maryann.