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Because it seems like I'm the one asked to pay for it. From what I can tell, the health care mandate means I have to start buying health insurance. This is why I vote for Democrats? So my monthly expenses have to go up under threat of law? I live paycheck to paycheck. That doesn't mean every dollar goes out to creditors, but a lot of them do. And now the federal government says I have to add another bill to my monthly total?

I don't think the people supporting this mandate are thinking things through.

I typically make 20k, give or take a grand, a year. I am always behind on my bills. But I can always reneg on my bills and have that service removed. When I don't pay my bills, they come after me to pay what I owe, but they can't keep charging me after I stop paying for the service. The mandate is a path to tax slavery. Can't make the payments and get your insurance canceled? Don't worry, we'll hit you with a gigantic tax penalty next year! Awesome!

"Subsidies" are supposed to "help" close the gap in poor peoples budgets, but they won't unless they are 100% subsidies (which they won't be). Less than 100% subsidies means the federal government will push individuals and families on the margin closer to the edge. Once the republicans get power again...

Mandating that people who do not get health insurance through their job to buy it on their own means the federal government has just inserted itself into people's monthly bill calculation in a big way. In fact, its really hard to see how, in light of the taxes I still have to pay at my relatively low income level, why paying even more money to some health insurance company, under threat of federal law, is beneficial to me.  

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tips (8+ / 0-)

    There is truth on all sides. The question is how much.

    by slothlax on Sat Mar 31, 2012 at 12:04:18 AM PDT

    •  The folks who disagree with you ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      slothlax

      have no sympathy whatsoever and callously expect you to just suck it up.  The only thing important to them is insurance coverage for themselves (and most of them don't even have an immediate health need for it); they don't care who they hurt in order to get it.

      It's a dog-eat-dog world.

      "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, and I am not sure about the universe." -- Albert Einstein

      by Neuroptimalian on Sat Mar 31, 2012 at 01:14:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's certainly what it sounds like (0+ / 0-)

        No one really addressed my concerns, they mostly said why its good for them or "society". So why should I be happy that in being burdened with yet another monthly bill. Except when I fall behind on this one, a collection agency won't be calling, it will be the federal government. That's chilling to me.

        There is truth on all sides. The question is how much.

        by slothlax on Sat Mar 31, 2012 at 04:37:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  There are low income exemptions. (3+ / 0-)
    The mandate is a path to tax slavery
    I have a hard time believing you did not know this by now.

    Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.

    by Horace Boothroyd III on Sat Mar 31, 2012 at 12:38:14 AM PDT

    •  I'm worried about this too- (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PhilK, gustynpip, DBunn, cynndara, slothlax

      I make anywhere from 23,000 to 25,000 a year.  I am single with no children.   It's just little old me, no roommate, boyfriend.

      It all falls on me for rent, bills, food, gas, car insurance, car repairs, renters insurance (Earthquake land) by the time my next paycheck comes I am living on pasta and butter.  

      Exactly how does the low income subsidies help someone who needs 100% of the cost covered?   Because you can't get blood from a stone.  

      Right now you have to be in abject poverty to qualify for Medicaid.   What about those of us who, just like with Medicaid, are always just a few dollars over the required minimum to get help?  

      I saw that whole 133% of poverty level etc. on the ACA website,  I am not a math genius and don't know how to calculate that against my median income of around $23,000 or so.  

      Just like slothlax I get by paycheck to paycheck and the government doesn't think that's poor - what do we do?

      "Selfishness must always be forgiven, you know, because there is no hope of a cure." Emma 1816 Check out my blog http://uninsuredinca.blogspot.com

      by ArtemisBSG on Sat Mar 31, 2012 at 01:11:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I honestly don't think the point of this exercise (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ArtemisBSG, PhilK, cynndara, wonmug, slothlax

    was ever to provide those of us unable to afford healthcare with access to healthcare; it is more about being able to say we tried but the "forces of darkness" were simply aligned against us and this old "making it so people getting sick don't go broke or can go for preventive care before they get sick thing" just isn't in Pharma's best profit interest   yet- see ya in another ten years- try not to get too sick, too dead or too broke now, and don't get disgruntled and do anything rash, k?
    Good things come to those who wait.

    We really are here with your best interests at heart.

    Really.

    Occupy- Your Mind. - No better friend, no worse enemy. -8.75, -6.21<> Bring the Troops Home Yesterday

    by Thousandwatts on Sat Mar 31, 2012 at 01:09:22 AM PDT

    •  This was never about being the end-all. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DBunn, slothlax

      Not everyone that couldn't get insurance is absolutely on- their-ass broke. You're right, there are some falling through the cracks still (like the person above who makes just above the poverty wage working 50-60 hours a week), and we're still working on that.

      Today, strive to be the person you want to be.

      by GoGoGoEverton on Sat Mar 31, 2012 at 04:36:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  When I was unemployed, my UI was too much (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DBunn, wonmug, slothlax

        income so it disqualified me for medical insurance through the government, fed or state.

        there are some falling through the cracks

        I got a job and the premium choices for the insurance- low deductible means my take home was less than unemployment- high deductible and I can't afford the out of pocket for the doctor's visit. A trip to the doc for my son for a sore throat- ten minutes max with a doc and a five dollar AWP cost antibiotic and the visit was eighty dollars my share, that's with my insurance, which reviewing the bill, actually paid out about fifteen dollars to the doc- I paid the rest.
        we're still working on that.
        We had a voters' mandate and both houses and the executive branch when we started "working on that".

        Just sayin'.

        Occupy- Your Mind. - No better friend, no worse enemy. -8.75, -6.21<> Bring the Troops Home Yesterday

        by Thousandwatts on Sat Mar 31, 2012 at 07:44:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  On top of all I said above- (8+ / 0-)

    Aren't these plans going to be the same as they are now? With copays and deductibles?   Is prescripton coverage included?  Is Vision?  What about dental?   I've heard deductibles are now $3000 to $5000 sometimes.  

    Have they thought of those of us who are paycheck to paycheck but not poor?  I am really worried about this.

    And as someone who needs to get regular care - I've always wanted it, but before I was denied with a preexisting condition - now I'll be able to get it and can't afford it.

    Exactly what are we buying and what are we getting?

    "Selfishness must always be forgiven, you know, because there is no hope of a cure." Emma 1816 Check out my blog http://uninsuredinca.blogspot.com

    by ArtemisBSG on Sat Mar 31, 2012 at 01:17:57 AM PDT

    •  a 3000 deductible (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JamieG from Md, slothlax

      Is a lot easier to come up with than a $98,000 bill if you have a heart attack or cancer or appendix rupture or ...

      The hospital bill will push you into bankruptcy, and therefore require all others using the hospital to pay a little more,  a $3000 bill can be chopped up into a payment plan.

      There are low income waivers, there are subsidies. One of the good things about the way it's set up is that if a GOPer majorities come in and a GOPer president, they still would be unlikely to reduce the subsidy because the insurance companies would scream bloody murder, since it's really their bottom line affected.

      The other option I remember being discussed at the time was that if someone chose not to get insurance, at the time they finally needed care they'd be proffered a bill with the last 5 years (or the time they were uninsured whichever was least) of premiums, which would be non-dischargeable via bankruptcy. That would be far more than the $695 a year that finally got worked out.

      The uninsured, unable to pay for care, aren't the problem until they need care. Then they are the problem.

      •  Uh oh (0+ / 0-)

        Too bad I already filed for a BK for medical bills in 2010.  I think I can't file again for 8 years.  

        So I probably wouldn't be able to pay even $3000 too.  So I probably will just expect to never answer my phone again and deal with the ringing from 8AM to 9PM every day 7 days a week all over again.   2010 - good times.  

        It's kind of funny when your last best hope IS the lottery,.

        "Selfishness must always be forgiven, you know, because there is no hope of a cure." Emma 1816 Check out my blog http://uninsuredinca.blogspot.com

        by ArtemisBSG on Sat Mar 31, 2012 at 01:31:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Well, the problem is that the people (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PhilK, cynndara, wonmug, slothlax

    in charge of the currency have handed their responsibility to manage that (infinite) resource over to the bankers so they can pretend that it's in short supply and some people have to be deprived.  Why do they want to do that? Mainly because they are in love with power and power, to be felt, has to hurt. But hurting people triggers their desire for revenge, so it's better to pretend that the hurt is being inflicted by a third party -- one that's untouchable.

    Which all boils down to the fact that our representatives assembled in Congress are inflicting pain on the general population in order to make themselves feel the power of petty potentates.

    Money is the key.  Now that we can make as much of it as we want, it's been discovered that making it artificially scarce turns it into another tool of domination (along with the rule of law) without anyone hardly noticing how the trick is done.  Money is an ideal tool of deprivation because it leaves no fingerprints.  People can steal it and nobody knows whose money they stole or when they did it.
    However, an accumulation of money is hard to hide and should serve as a signal that someone's been behaving badly.  Money is made to be spent; hoarding it is an anti-social act.

    People to Wall Street: "LET OUR MONEY GO"

    by hannah on Sat Mar 31, 2012 at 02:25:43 AM PDT

  •  It is either you pay or we pay. . . (0+ / 0-)

    One involves lowering health care bills for everyone, one involves raising them:  see all other advanced nations.  We are on the bottom with N. Korea, Iran, and China.

    Old Hippies Never Give Up!

    by ravenrdr on Sat Mar 31, 2012 at 05:00:34 AM PDT

    •  Not everyone (0+ / 0-)

      That's the point. This legislation raises my health care bills so everyone else can hypothetically pay lower bills. Since the mandate is the crux of the legislation, I apparently am the heart of the problem. I and others on the margins are the only ones asked to pay.

      There is truth on all sides. The question is how much.

      by slothlax on Sat Mar 31, 2012 at 10:55:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Isn't there a Texan (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slothlax

    running for President who wants you to just die? Cheaper that way.

  •  I'm a little confused (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gustynpip, DBunn, Jojos Mojo

    and perhaps it's not my business.

    But isn't the diarist a veteran?  Doesn't that mean the diarist is entitled to health care from the VA?  

    I don't really know, not being a veteran myself.

    But after two years of having the Affordable Care Act as law, I would think most of us have investigated our particular circumstances under this law to see where we fall.  And we would have some facts, and not have to use phrases like "gigantic tax bill."

    After four years of discussing the details of ACA, I would think that most people understand that, even if you don't need health care right now, you will need health care.  You will.  Not just your neighbors.  You.  And when you do, you will be paying for coverage that will give you access to the services you need.  And if you aren't paying, that "gigantic tax bill" you paid allows you to begin paying for coverage that will give you access to the services you need.  

    People who don't currently have health insurance coverage are not "the problem."  People who don't currently have health insurance and are ill are not "the problem."  The system is the problem.

    You're part of the solution.

  •  A couple of things you fail to acknowledge with (6+ / 0-)

    this right wing rant.

    1.  Medicaid is being expanded

    2.  There ARE low income exceptions.

    3. Insurance care is subsidized by income.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Sat Mar 31, 2012 at 06:59:38 AM PDT

  •  Some things in ACA that are supposed to help (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cheerio2, JamieG from Md, wonmug

    if we make it to 2014, we'll find out if they do.

    1.  The 85% profit rule.  Right now they can sell you these 5k deductable plans, make 100% of the money off the premiums they sell you because you can never actually afford to see a doctor.   If 85% of their revenue doesn't go into actual medical care...you get a refund on your premium.   So SOMEBODY has to be getting medical care for insurance companies to make money.  This isn't happening today, which is one reason there are so many junk plans out there.  The goal today is to collect premiums while discouraging anyone on the plan to actually get any care.

    This one rule is why you have executives claiming that in a few years there won't be any "real" money to be made in health insurance anymore.

    2.  There is some kind of low income exemption or subsidy to the mandate.  I don't know how low income has to be, if you are working poor, you may be in one of those awful "too rich for aid, too poor to live" situations.  But if I was in that state again (I was for a while) I'd be trying to find out exactly where the line is drawn.

    3.  There are minimums on what must be covered to be called "health insurance".  This includes most preventative care with NO COPAY.  So unlike today you CAN afford to see your doctor if you're insured, at least for preventative care, no matter what your deductable is.   The inclusion of birth control as preventative care was the cause of the whole Bishop/Fluke/Linbaugh tempest that happened last month.

    if ACA goes down, people like you are 100% screwed, just as you are today.   If it stays, a lot of people are going to see health care plans that are not junk.  I can't guarantee that there isn't an income threshold, particularly in the more expensive parts of the country, where the mandate adds a burden while health insurance is still unaffordable.   So far in Mass though, it's better than it was before.

    ACA isn't single payer.  But it is actually a step forward and if we lose pre-existing conditions, the 85% rule or the coverage minimums to the Supreme Court we're not just back to square one, we're further back, because the price paid just to get what we got was incredibly high, and nobody is going to touch it again for decades.

    "It'll get so bad they'll have to vote in single payer" is a pipe dream, unless we literally start a honest to god shooting revolution.  Half the population in this country is brainwashed and the other half is too busy trying to survive to pay attention.

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