Saturday, March 27, 2010

Looking for an Answer...

Reading, once again, various forums that are discussing the health care bill.... I keep seeing posts where people are glad that the govt is going to fine those that do not get insurance because it costs the states so much money to cover those who show up at ERs etc to get care.  This is the general public,not politicians, medical staff, or insurance company agents. Just regular folks and their comments on and understanding of the health care bill that was just passed.

My question would be 'Do  you think that charging people a fine every year of perhaps $600 or $1500 would make enough of a dent in the system to help save it?'

The reason I ask is I was looking at various hospital bill amounts that people talked about and everything numbered in the several thousands to tens of thousands... people were talking about their bills they would have had to pay if they did not have insurance, and then they carried it on to saying 'can you believe we are paying those bills for other people all the time too, who don't bother to get insurance'. Others, libertarians even, said that it will help keep people more responsible and that their freedom is being infringed upon by those who cause more of their tax dollars to be used up.

On the forefront, I can see that point. HOWEVER ---- what on earth is fining someone $800 bucks going to do if they show up at an ER and need $25,000 worth of treatment? The State will again have to foot the bill! What difference is this going to make? Well, perhaps more people will be buying insurance but I have already seen some Barack supporters being very disappointed with this bill. They said they cannot afford insurance and will take the fine instead because it's much cheaper for them.

Also, when I think back to various things Nancy Pelosi said over the years, she said that illegal immigrants would not be covered by any of this... so if an illegal shows up at an ER, they still have to treat him/her. Can they fine him when he doesn't even have a social secutiry number to log in his file? Do you really think he/she will pay that fine?? They are not supposed to deny treatment based on insurance status (I know that some do, but it happens up here as well where everyone is supposed to have health care right from birth - check out the elderly woman who died in  the hallway of a Montreal hospital recently- or the baby that died here in my hospital on March 13th after the mom was sent home even though her water broke... 41 weeks gestation. I cannot imagine that family's pain)... Anyway so the illegal residents show up as per usual and don't pay a single dime and don't pay back their fine either...where does that get everyone? Unless of course, we are about to hear of immigration status granted to anyone who is currently in the country -- but how will that solve the thousands or hundreds of thousands, or even millions who will dive towards the US upon hearing of the others becoming legal. Then all of THOSE people will be showing up and not paying the bill or the fines. So unless I have missed something, what does this gain anyone really?

Again I see people questioning 'what is wrong' with anyone who opposes this bill. I suggest to them that maybe it's not WHAT was done, but HOW it was done. But they just continue to think that opposers are evil misers hell bent on destroying America and leaving the rich only. Sorry but the last time I saw people at Tea Parties on CNN and online clips, the majority of them did not look rich to me! Regular people just like the supporters are regular people. They disagree on how this was carried out, and I sit back and read it all and wonder how this is going to pan out.

If some are glad to 'finally see' some people that choose not to get insurance but keep showing up at ERs and letting the state taxpayers foot the bill, get fined - don't they stop and think for a second 'oh wait, the fine is only about 2-3 months of what a cheap insurance premium would be, so I bet all these people will just take the fine too!'. There was also talk with Pelosi last year where she kept mentioning that people who could not pay could apply for subsidy. I believe that was with her 'govt option' but I seem to recall it being talked about for the fines too. Or that when the people go to file their tax returns, the fine will come off there.

Well let me put this to the ones I saw cheering about the fines --- A heck of a lot of the poorer folk get money from taxpayers each month, either in welfare or various subsidies, etc... they don't often contribute to the system much because they get so many tax credits, allowances, etc - often more than they are actually spending on products or paying with income tax. If they do not have a job, they are being almost fully funded by the tax payer. SO if they pay this fine - they are still using YOUR MONEY to pay it off with. Even if it comes off their income tax - the amount of credits taken in with social programs often seems to outweight what the recipient puts back in. So congratulations! You are back to square one!

Now of course, that's not everyone, some people earn decent money and still dont bother to get insurance, but show up at state hospitals, HMOs, etc to get care. But do you think maybe they will just pay the fine as well and keep on going along paying $1000  a year for a fine, while you are paying $6000 a year or so for insurance? Until they are threatened with the possible jail side of this bill, you will still be paying the vast majority of bills for people who do not have insurance.

The other thing I've seen written is that Americans don't care about their poor, they pretend they don't exist, and 'good job Barrack' and things like that --- well if they can't get insurance because they cannot afford it -- how exactly does this bill help them? They want insurance but can't seem to get it... Obama said dozens of times that this bill will 'reduce premiums by up to $2500 per family per year" and has said it will reduce premiums by 3000% (yes three thousand percent - sorry but would that not be free premiums for all? lol)..... or if the poor family could not get insurance because one of them had a pre-existing condition -- okay now they can't be denied, but they still cannot pay the premium so............ where does that leave them?

Oh well, we shall see. I guess I'm just tired of reading endless posts that sound like someone was writing a 'feel good' novel and everyone was holding hands and singing 'I'd like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony'... but without delving further into things.

ALSO there are parts of this bill |(sorry, Law) dealing with college/uni tuition and student loans. The usual pork barrel stuff was tagged on since they knew the healthcare bill would pass. Pelosi herself spoke about the cost of higher education and student loans in her final speech just before the vote last Sunday night. But we are supposed to forget all of those nitty gritty details and not question them or someone will think we dont care about poor people.

Pssst guess what - I do care! And for 10 years I was a single mother making minimum wage or just above, and it was damn hard! I know! I have been there! But I am also aware enough to realize that with the amount of tax subsidies and programs I received over the years, I did not pay ANYWHERE NEAR that amount back in my income tax. Oops that's cos I got ALL my tax back every year. I never ever contributed to the system and that boggles my mind,, I got between $100,000  and $200,000 in subsidies those 10 years. My wages brought me less than $100,000, so as you can see, my income tax was not even close to that. I did not drive so I didnt pay gas tax, i got gst and a lot of CCTB, so even products I purchased did not put enough tax back into the system. So imagine me getting a $600 fine for not having insurance - the taxpayers would still be paying for that in one way or another - not me.

So , I lived there, been there done that, and have more of an understanding of these tax credit programs than those who have not been on them. And applying that to what's happening in the US --- is it going to make that much of a dent in medical costs to fine someone less than what their premiums would be and then pay the rest of the bills for their hospital visit with taxpayer dollars?? PLEASE. That is pie in the sky dreaming.

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These are my views and opinions. If you don't agree or think I am sadly misguided, that is your view. Feel free to share your thoughts but I also reserve my right to moderate content (IE foul language, excessive flaming, etc).

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