I have health insurance through my work…at least for now. I hope I never have to sign up for Obamacare.
That’s not too surprising, given my generally conservative principles. But what is surprising is that most of my liberal friends think exactly the same way I do! Why? Because, like me, they have good insurance through their companies. Less expensive insurance, with better coverage, and more doctors, than any insurance you’ll find on Obamacare.
This is sort of the big secret of my liberal friends. Sure they supported Obamacare. “People need health insurance, especially under-privileged people, and something should be done so they can be covered.” Of course, they themselves hoped to never have to use the same system! What’s good for poor people isn’t so good for those who are well off.
But Obamacare has already driven up insurance costs at companies, and it is only partially rolled out. Soon employers, especially those who offer good insurance at reasonable rates, will be faced with a difficult decision: drop employees and pay the measly $2,000 per employee penalty, or continue paying for skyrocketing insurance costs, ones that run $10,000 to $20,000 per employee per year.
For a capitalist company, where the bottom line is profit, paying $2,000 vs. $15,000 is a no-brainer. Multiply that by 5,000 employees and you start to see savings for the company in the tens of millions of dollars. And since employees can “just” sign up for their own insurance through Obamacare, there’s no harm done, right?
Of course, there is harm done, and companies know it. “Dumping the employees on the exchanges,” as it is known, will become a game of chicken between companies. Who is going to dare to do it first? Currently good companies that pay good salaries have to offer insurance in order to attract the best and brightest. Dumping employees on the exchanges would be a serious ding against any company in the eyes of its employees and potential employees. But once one big guy does it, others will be tempted to. Companies don’t want to be in the medical insurance business, and if they can get out of it, they will.
Obamacare is great for Other People. Not for you, not for me, not for Obama or wealthy politicians, but for the proletariat, the plebes, the unwashed masses. We like to think that that is not us, but it actually is.
A Brief Digression
“But Obamacare has already helped me!” And it has helped some people. One of my family members benefited from an expensive surgery that he was able to do because he was 26 years old and could still be covered through a parent.
But why then not increase that age to 28 or 32 or 35? Then even more people would benefit from being able to stay on their parents plan! But of course, all this does is push the age that Americans consider a child to be an adult even more absurdly late. A 26 year old is an adult. So is a 24 year old, a 22 year old, an 18 year old. Allowing people to stay on parent insurance plans just encourages them to not take more responsibility.
What about preexisting conditions where people cannot get coverage? I think this is a truly difficult area. Maybe readers have ideas on how to solve it. Forcing insurance companies to cover it simply means that costs and therefore premiums will go up for everyone.
Another difficulty is conditions that people have brought upon themselves. What if, for argument’s sake, someone did lots of drugs, was promiscuous, and contracted HIV/AIDS? Is it the responsibility of “others” to pay for that person’s medical care? What moral responsibility do they have for paying for it? If I contracted HIV through my own immoral behavior, I would not expect that everyone else should foot the bill for my drugs and therapy. I caused my own problem through immorality!
Wrapping Things Up
Do you have any other options though? It’s either find insurance (through your work, your own search, or Obamacare) or pay the penalty. Ah, but there’s one “out” that hasn’t been closed off, and that is health-sharing ministries like Samaritan.
They are not insurance, but fill the role that insurance plays in many cases. You share your medical expenses with other Christians; you can negotiate some discounts; you avoid paying for abortions, contraception, and all the other evils Obamacare forces you to pay. Our plan is insurance through work then Samaritan then finding our own insurance and only if all else fails, Obamacare.