One thing the right can actually agree on these days is that something needs to be done about Obamacare. Yet a significant amount of us aren’t exactly sure why. Yes, we know that the cost of premiums have gone through the roof, deductibles are unreasonably high, and co-pays are not affordable. But what does that mean for the average American, literally? Matthew Garnett, a blue-collar, middle-class truck driver, explained just what these things mean in an article for The Federalist. It’s quite an eye-opening read.
I work for a really great trucking outfit. I love the job. They provide us with top-notch equipment and plenty of miles. (For those of you not familiar with truck driving, miles equal money.) However, if I elected to buy health insurance for my family of four through my company, I would take a salary cut to the tune of about $25,000 a year. That’s on top of my employer paying approximately one-fourth of the costs, about $6,000.
He goes on to say that if that $6,000 was tacked on to his salary, it would cover his daughter’s private school education. He prefers that she attend private school in order to stay away from the leftist indoctrination and common core so often found in public schools. He continues:
So if I want health insurance, the tab for me is a little over $2,000 per month, plus $500 if you add my employer’s contribution. Comparatively, then, my monthly payment for my daughter’s school tuition is cheap, at about $425 a month. Anyway, does that $30,000 a year go toward actually paying for any health expenses we incur? Nope. The deductible is five large!
We have to meet that before our meds or anything else will be covered. Until then, we have to co-pay on all meds and medical treatment. For my inhaler for asthma, I pay a $55 co-pay. Retail cost of the inhaler? $63. Without going into the grisly details, on average we have about $400 in medical expenses per month among the four of us. Obviously, something isn’t passing the smell test here.
So let me get this straight: I’m going to drive 2,500 miles a week so I can pay a health insurer more than $2,500 a month just in case, God forbid, one of us gets cancer? If you break that down by mileage, the insurance company and whoever else is benefiting from this is getting paid 25 cents for every mile I drive. And they’re not doing anything! If they want to earn 25 cents for every mile I drive, then come out on the road with me!
So, in reality, my company hired me, not because I’m a rock star truck driver who makes the company a profit, but so, what—the insurance companies can stay in business? The politicians can stay elected? The lobbyists can drive around in Benzes? Where in the name of Sam Hill is all this money going? Oh, that’s right. Perhaps it’s going to a Georgetown law student who wants to have sex with no consequences. Or to a “transgender” person in the military who wants a sex-change operation. Certainly those must be covered, right? To be sure, women who want abortion on demand or abortifacients must be fully subsidized, but who cares if asthma meds for working folks quadruple in costs.
He does, and we do, too. But those on the left, who preach about their empathetic ways and that we on the right don’t care about people, they’re the ones who don’t want to face the problems like this. This is the reality about Obamacare:
Before “Obamacare” I paid a $16 co-pay for my inhalers. Now I might as well buy the things outright. To add insult to injury, I make too much money to qualify for the “Obamacare subsidies.” So all that talk about health reform being for the “middle-class” is absolute nonsense.
I’m a truck driver who spends his weeks away from his family to earn a living wage. Yet if one of us gets really sick, we’re sunk. Dying slowly in America has become a very, very expensive proposition. What’s more is, I fear this has all been concocted by design. The only thing that makes a lick of sense is that this is a gargantuan transference of wealth. It is not robbing the rich to give to the poor. It’s not even robbing the middle-class to give to the poor. It’s robbing the middle-class to keep politicians elected for “doing something” that somehow constantly seems to make the problems worse.
Garnett finishes by explaining his decision to take the penalty fees and opt out of Obamacare. Like many others, he’s tired of paying “out the nose for virtually nothing in return.” His closing comments really encapsulate why and how Donald Trump won the election in November.
Seems to me like our “Big Brother” … forces you to pay for a “service” that really isn’t a service, and what you’re really paying for is crummy protection from a malevolent “benefactor”—that “benefactor” being the federal government and politicians’ hand-picked special interest constituencies. Pay him and he won’t punish you, except by bequeathing you a terrifying environment. Refuse payment, and suffer worse consequences.
Well, sorry, Uncle Sam. You’ve fooled with the wrong country boy! I’m checking out of this little game while I still can. I’m opting for the “Blue Collar-Redneck Shield” plan, brought to you by “Southern Engineering.” I’ll simply do what I can given the circumstances—just like I always have.
So to all of those opposing the Senate’s healthcare bill: you’re right, it’s not perfect. But it is a start. Some positive effects will result from it, although we’re likely to experience some negatives along with it. Some argue that we should start with a simple repeal and work on a replacement, which is by no means a bad idea. But whether or not that’s looking like it could be a reality right now is questionable.
Something has got to change, and since we’re still very much experimenting with the concept of government subsidized healthcare, we will have a considerable learning curve to conquer. The most effective way to conquer it, however, requires all of our elected officials from both sides of the aisle to work together. Compromise is inevitable – but that does not mean that people like Matthew Garnett should be placed on the back burner.