Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Healthcare does not come for free

    Many people are hooked on and excited about the idea of free healthcare and free vision and dental for children. Now someone has to bring some reality to the situation because nothing is free.
    Millions of Americans have recently received a letter from their insurance company just like the one I got telling me my policy was no longer legal and my new policy would cost $100 more per month. I looked at Blue Shield and they had less-expensive plans, but there was a one-year waiting period for pre-existing conditions. I tried to look at the state-run exchange but the website was not working.
    Many of those Americans facing a $100-per-month increase in healthcare costs can, like myself, afford it. However, we will have to think about our budgets and we will be spending less in 2014 on things such as clothing, dinners out and vacations, just the kind of spending the economy thrives on. Companies with over 50 full-time employees will also be paying an extra $100 per month per employee. Millions of dollars will exit the economy and go to the insurance companies.
    So, we will be paying for the insurance companies to provide dental and vision coverage to children and routine women’s health that would cost much less than $100 per month—but who is paying for the subsidies for the people who cannot afford the new coverage? New taxes for 2013 include 2.3 percent on medical devices, 3.8 percent on investment income for high earners, and 4.6 percent more income tax for incomes over $250,000. What happens if the subsidy cost is far more than these taxes bring in? How much more do you think you can squeeze out of people?
    The U.S. is already at its credit limit—where will the extra money come from? And when did state governments learn how to run insurance exchanges?
Patty Holley

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