Wednesday, June 28, 2017

My take on Healthcare

   I am a product of the 60's. The year I was born (1963) was considered the last for the baby boomer generation.It is also considered the first for Genx. I was a teen during the 70's and came of age during the Reagan Era. I remember the labor disputes of the 70's as my dad, ( A Card Carrying Union Welder) went on strike in 1976 and again in 1978. '78 was rough. The strike lasted 6 months. The local went back to work after 6 months for basically the same offer they refused and walked out on. I remember when Reagan fired the air traffic controllers. In my mind, that day ended the power of unions to bargain a contract from a position of strength. Unions have been in decline ever since. Benefits my father and grandfather fought for are all but gone. When I was a kid, it would cost my parents $5 for us kids to see a doctor. We had $1500 a year in dental care. Flash forward 40 years and we have $2000.
   Growing up I was taught to fear the communists. The Russians, North Koreans, and Red Chinese among others were evil empires hell bent on world domination.   I assumed, wrongfully, that socialism and communism were the same thing. As it turns out, Greed and world domination are not a product of any particular political system. 
   I work at the same mill my dad worked at albeit with a different name. I started in '99. Ironically that is the year my dad retired. The year I hired on the company paid 100% of our health insurance premiums. That is no longer the case. Over the course of the last 18 years, we have paid more and more with each labor contract negotiated while our benifits have slowly eroded. Like all others, Obama-care took its toll on our health insurance. When Barack said if you like your insurance you can keep it he lied. Faced with penalties for Cadillac health insurance (penalties that never manifest) my employer stripped us of our HMO co-pay ($25 Dr. visits, $20.00 prescriptions, $5 injections, and free cancer medication) and replaced it with a high deductible 20/80 plan. No offense Mr. President but you missed the mark. My new health insurance doesn't SUCK but it is not what I had.

   We have adjusted. The one constant in life is "things change"! There are a ton of good things in Obama-care that I love. Obviously, the pre-existing condition clause is a favorite and having our daughter on our health plan until she is 26 is awesome. I love that preventative care is free. There are a few other things we like but most of it does not affect us. 
For at least a decade prior to the ACA being signed into law, I witnessed rising medical costs, rising insurance premiums, and an ever shrinking middle class wage. I use to get really angry when I went to the emergency room with my identification and insurance card and the room was filled with people who had no health insurance and in many instances had no intention of paying the bill. A close friend of my wife had 3 children. One of those children was a very bright wonderful little boy who happened to have special needs. My wife's friend was single and worked part time. She received food stamps, had to pay only $100 dollars a month rent. She received subsidized transportation in the form of a car, as well as subsidized utilities and cell phone. Meanwhile, my wife and I both were forced to work full time in order to make ends meet. Somehow it does not seem fair but it is the way it has always been.
   This week, the Senate is voting on various ways to repeal Obamacare (ACA) What a load of crap. They say that the ACA is failing and is basically a train wreck. It is a lie. Remember, these are the same people who call Social Security and Medicare, as entitlement programs. This confuses me! (Insert sarcasm) 
Do they not realize that for the last 40 years I have had 7-1/2% of my paycheck deducted for social security tax! 

Everything that every politician says is bullshit. Dem-Hypocrats want to give everything to the poor for free and the Repukes want to give everything away to corporations. Either way, the people who work for a living lose. We end up paying for everything. The American dream is no longer for hard working Americans who work hard, it for those who are better at taking than everyone else. Just my opinion.