Categorized | Health, Opinion

A Liberal’s Naive and Unrealistic View of Obamacare Costs and What She Will REALLY Pay

Last night was an interesting night for me. As some of you may know, I have been spending more of my free time lately pursuing one of my many passions, music. Specifically, revisiting one of my first loves as a young man, playing music. I have been devoting a good bit of time relearning and  advancing my skills on guitar, vocals, sax, keyboards, harmonica and learning the art of recording music. I have been concentrating on songwriting, a pursuit I first began in the late 1960’s. Back in the 70’s and 80’s I spent time playing bars and other venues, attempting to put together an awesome assembly of talented musicians and never quite succeeding given the drug and alcohol culture of that era. Finding good musicians that were more serious about music than partying and getting high turned out to be an impossible task. And disco severely limited the number of venues one could play.

So I concentrated on career and family. And now that the kids are grown, I turned my attention back to songwriting and playing a few years ago. I still have a long ways to go to get to the point I would like to be, but (shameless plug coming) if you would like to sample some of my work, you may visit Tom White Music to assess my progress.

I have joined a few groups and organizations dedicated to improving my skills as a songwriter and spend a lot of time hanging with other musicians. And if you know anything about musicians, you know that music and pretty much all of the “arts” are teeming with liberals, now more than ever it seems. And while I am a political creature by nature, I do my best to avoid political discussions. Liberals are, for the most part, completely unable to comprehend logic and reason with the majority of their thought process dominated by their ever-present and on the cuff of the sleeve emotions. I am not sure why, but people that make decisions based almost entirely on emotion and feelings tend to be liberal and those that use logic and reason tend to be conservative.

Now don’t get me wrong. We need both types of people in the world to temper the extremes of either way of thinking. But it seems that the divide between the two has grown to a chasm that is even harder to close than the Grand Canyon – literally.

I belong to the logical thinking and reasoning beings of the world and most of my “artsy” friends to the emotional side of the equation. Now I don’t believe the two sides are always one or the other. A lot of conservatives are also into arts of varying types. But I rarely see the emotion driven folks in a conservative tent.

And last night, at a meeting of a couple of dozen songwriters, we were blessed to have a local musician, a self described “big fish in a little pond” share some of her experiences and a few of her fantastic songs – no mic, just acoustic guitar – with the group.

Now let me say, this post is not about this musician. She is an extremely talented artist and a dedicated musician and I intend no disparagement of her at all. But she exposed her political beliefs and is representative of a group of people that, in TEA Party jargon have drank the Kool-Aid. The entire pitcher, it seems. Especially when it comes to Obamacare. She listed all of the talking points and included mention of the “devil” Ted Cruz (not her words, just her sentiment) and how those that opposed Obamacare just wanted Obama to fail. Yada, yada, yada.

Now I have sat quietly through a few (not too many) singer/songwriter performances where the artist would introduce their next song with “I wrote this song in 2008 in the middle of Obama’s wonderful campaign and the emotional high we all had. I call it ‘Who Needs Drugs – We Have Obama’ or something like “Obama the New christ”.

Gag me with a spoon. That is usually when I find it immediately necessary to empty my bladder. One such musical treat was introduced with a “the last time I played this song I didn’t realize it was a conservative crowd until most of them walked out”.

Right. So play it again.

But I have grown to understand that once a person has moved so far to the left that they idolize Obama that they are completely and permanently incapable of seeing the truth. So I don’t bother to engage them. It is a complete waste of time when they are that far gone. At that point the only thing left for them is a guest shot on Walking Dead.

So I listened to this musician sing the praises of Obamacare for a while and smiled. That is until one of the people in the group asked about health care and being a full time musician.

Now this talented artist was once a corporate officer in a Fortune 500 company making really big bucks and she chucked it all to become a singer/songwriter. The logical side of my brain has always kept me from committing such an illogical act. Now more than a decade later, she is heralded as “successful beyond her wildest dreams”. And I suppose if you measure success as producing five CD’s, getting air play on occasion on a couple of local radio stations and being somewhat as a folk hero in singer/songwriter circles, then that is a success. However, she also said she drives a 22 year old car, has never actually made money off of her CD sales – she saves the money up and when she has enough she does another CD – and has been without health insurance for most of the time because it is too expensive. She also chastised the other musicians in the group for not charging mega bucks for gigs because it makes it harder for her to get paid enough to live on.

In other words, she is a very successful starving artist. But still broke.

So the question about giving up a day job, having a preexisting condition and just teaching music to students for a few bucks each was given an enthusiastic thumbs-up by our successful starving musician eho does not yet have health insurance but is positive that as soon as she applies for Obamacare all her troubles will be over.

Ok. Perhaps I shouldn’t have opened my big mouth and a part of me regrets doing so knowing I was talking to an Obama-bot with absolutely no hope of convincing her that what Congress and Obama consider “affordable” (as in Affordable Care Act”) was really subjective. And considering that most of the room were drinking the same Kool-Aid that couldn’t end well. And I really like her music, did I mention that?

“Anybody can afford to be insured now, thanks to Obamacare,” she said.

I really didn’t think that was appropriate advice to give out to a rather young and impressionable young woman. Basically, quit your job and you will be fine.

When this successful musician and her husband go to sign up for Obamacare, they will find out what I already know. I am not sure how much she makes performing – given the fact that she (admirably) does a lot of free shows – but she described it as tens of dollars. Probably a joke, but when you combine it with a 22 year old car, changing clothes in the car and the other clues, she is in for the shock of her life. Remember the income from the CD’s that she is putting in the bank to save up to cut another CD? Well, that is income. Perhaps it will be deductible to some extent, but let’s look at some numbers.

The Kaiser Family Foundation, billed by the left as non partisan has a calculator to estimate the costs you will pay for Obamacare. First and foremost, Kaiser has been advocating for socialized medicine for years and most caution that you have to take them with a grain of salt (which will probably be outlawed soon).

So let’s just say that your results will vary from these calculations and the best advice is that the costs may be substantially higher.

But these results will still shock you!

Let’s say my liberal musician friend and her musician husband bring in $50,000 per year. And I will assume they are both non smokers – it is higher for smokers.

Their unsubsidized cost will be around $6,074.00 per year and their subsidy will be “as much as” $1,324.00 bringing their yearly premiums to $4,750.00 which works out to about $400.00 per month. I doubt that someone who drives a 22 year old car will agree with Obama that $400.00 per month is “affordable”. And if they make another $5,000 per year their monthly total will go to $435.00 per month.

And keep in mind that this is the Silver plan. Kaiser does not even give us a hint of the cost of a Gold plan like our lawmakers presently have on the books for themselves. But they do tell us that the Bronze plan, which is the minimum coverage allowed by law would drop the cost to about $229.00 per month which is getting close to the point most would consider affordable, but the portion you have to pay is substantially higher.

But the real shock is the out of pocket expenses. With the Bronze plan, you must pay 40% – the plan pays 60%. Silver is 30% – 70%. The out of pocket maximum for a family plan is a staggering $12,500 per year.

So let’s look at a real situation:

A couple of months ago I was hit from behind. It wasn’t a bad accident, but I had some upper back and neck pain. I took some Advil and rested. It was worse the next morning so I went to the emergency room. When all was said and done  I had a neck strain and was given some muscle relaxers and pain pills.

The final tab was almost $5,000 for a couple hours in the ER and some X-Rays. If I had the Bronze plan, my part of the hospital bill would be $2,000.

And the follow up visit would be a $60 co-pay.

Can you afford that on $50K per year?

How about the girl that was encouraged to quit her job and teach music in her home? If she managed to get 20 students per week at $25 per lesson she would make $26,000 per year and the Silver Plan would run her about $156 per month. That is not too bad unless you get sick!

And a student age 22 that works part time on his own insurance making $23,000 per year can have a Silver plan for about $125.00 per month.

So how do you get the big subsidies?

Single with no children making $35,000 per year pays $3,116 per year with no subsidy.

Pop out a child and the yearly price goes down to $2,519 with an $2,216 assist from taxpayers.

Pop out a second child as a single Mom and the premium drops again to $1,870 and the taxpayers get to pick up $4,484 for your little darlings.

Add a third child and you pay only $1,373 yearly premium but taxpayers get soaked for $6,602.

Are you an Octo-Mom? Go ahead. You can even make $55,000 per year and only shell out $1,838 per year. Taxpayers get the bill for the rest.

So how about grandpa? If he’s not old enough for Medicare, say 60, and makes $35,000, he pays the same rate. $3,325.00. If he is married and his 60 year old wife makes the same, they pay a whopping $13,842 per year.

And a 35 year old couple each making $35,000 – a combined $70,000 will pay $6,232 per year. Separately each pay half, so it works out the same.

So under Obamacare, pop out all the babies you want if you are a single Mom and you will get cheaper health insurance. When you get old, file for a divorce and get separate policies.

So Obamacare subsidizes illegitimacy and divorce while penalizing hard working people making a lot of money.

So what will happen to my musician friend and her husband? Who knows. But most likely she still will not be able to afford insurance and will face fines.

But I think the thing that bothers me the most is that this was a woman making big money who had a top of the line health insurance policy at her Fortune 500 company, quit her job to play guitar and now expects me to subsidize her health insurance.

But at least she’s a starving success in a 22 year old car.

Did I mention I like her music?  I almost bought one of her CD’s but since I am chipping in to subsidize her health insurance I figured that was me being generous enough.

But I guess she is happy. At my expense.

Me, I’m going to keep working and hope Obamacare doesn’t take away my insurance that I am working for. And my out of pocket expense for my accident? Zero.



About Tom White

Tom is a US Navy Veteran, owns an Insurance Agency and is currently an IT Manager for a Virginia Distributor. He has been published in American Thinker, currently writes for the Richmond Examiner as well as Virginia Right! Blog. Tom lives in Hanover County, Va and is involved in politics at every level and is a Recovering Republican who has finally had enough of the War on Conservatives in progress with the Leadership of the GOP on a National Level.

25 Responses to “A Liberal’s Naive and Unrealistic View of Obamacare Costs and What She Will REALLY Pay”

  1. Gene Lefty says:

    Tom, leave anything out? Come on now, you holding out on us, again?

    Aren’t your out of pocket expenses 0 because the person who rear ended you will pay your hospital bill? I know of no healthcare plan these days that pays all of an emergency room visit? Nobody can afford it but state, or county plans, perhaps. Prove it. Did you go to McGuire VA? If you had to pay $2000, I bet you would not have went to the ER? That pain would have disappeared. Didn’t your lawyer tell you to go to the ER?

    Well, if she wanted, and could afford healthcare now, could she even get it with her pre-existing condition?

    If she was eligible, how much for an 80% plan, with 3k max out of pocket, and $2500 deductable? With the pre-exist of course?

    Isn’t it true that your insurance is being subsidized by younger employees, in good health? How much do you pay? How much is your employer paying?

    You want to compare your group insurance with a self employed individual? You cannot, because there are no other employees to subsidize it. Why don’t you call Anthem tomorrow, and get a personal quote without ObamaCare? Do you have pre-existing conditions? Please let us know what their price is, ok? I will not hold my breath waiting for you to get back to me.

    If ObamaCare is what you say it is, won’t it fail? What are you really afraid of? Success?

    Another Tom White far right article, everyman for them self. Just another Republican Party, Limbauglistic Pep rally. Being back the FCC Fairness Act!

    I do agree that we need both parties, but could do without the hate radio that controls far right Republicans. I could comment on the first part of your article, but will try to stay above that. Thanks Tom.

    • Tom White says:

      Gene – I wish that were the reason. Sadly, the woman who hit me refused to give me her name and insurance information and was going to leave the scene. I went to the back of her vehicle to take a picture of her tags so the police could ID her and arrest her for leaving the scene. Of course she had an Obama 2012 sticker! I knew then that the reason she was trying to flee was that, like most lefties, she took no personal responsibility and had no insurance. When the State Trooper arrived, he ticketed her for an expired driver’s license (liberals don’t follow the rules) and following too close and she told him she had GEICO. I was given her info by the trooper and my suspicions were confirmed later that evening when GEICO told me she had no insurance. It had lapsed. So I turned her in to DMV and went to court to make sure she was fined and given an SR-22.

      And no, I did not go to a VA hospital. Although I am a Veteran, the VA will not take me because they are not taking new patients because Obama hates the military and has not funded them. I can keep applying every year.

      And no, my health insurance through my job is not subsidized through younger employees. We are all pretty old. The company has almost no turnover and we only have a couple of employees under 50, and they are at least 40. And my company is self insured. They pay the first million in claims and have a “stop loss” carrier that pays over that.

      You see, back in 2000 I was working for a company that was bought out by a competitor. I had been there for over a decade. The new owners absorbed as many of our customers as they could get to buy new stuff and then ended production of our line of equipment and we were all slowly laid off. They simply got rid of competition. I lasted until 2002 and was one of the last let go.

      There was a high tech bust back then as you may recall. I received a severance package based on my years with the company, but there were no jobs to be had. So I decided to open an Auto Insurance business, obtained my license and after trying to get loans through the VA, Small Business, etc. and being turned down, I used my savings and the equity in my home to open the agency.

      I was on medication for High Blood Pressure at the time so I had a preexisting condition. My wife was the real problem. She has successfully battled cancer 3 times and had a pulmonary embolism a few months before. We could obtain insurance but they would not cover the preexisting conditions until after a year waiting period. A law already on the books – COBRA – allowed me to continue my current company plan, although they stopped paying a part of it. I had to wait a year on COBRA before the preexisting condition could not be used. COBRA says that when you exhaust your coverage under the act, you can then obtain private insurance and they can’t turn you down for preexisting conditions. I had private insurance lined up when congress decided to help out all of the unemployed and extended benefits another 6 months. Now I did not collect an unemployment check, but qualified for COBRA because I had lost my job. So now, instead of being able to get cheaper private insurance after a year, the government forced me to pay the higher premium for an additional 6 months until I exhausted the benefits. After 18 months, I moved to a cheaper private plan. It was hard and I had to work private consulting jobs to pay for it, but we managed and even got the agency up and running with a growing book of business.

      And after we started hiring a few employees I decided it was time to move back into the corporate world and applied for jobs at a number of companies. I picked the place I now work and one of the biggest reasons was the health plan.

      So I have good insurance because I worked hard to find a company that had a good plan. It is not a group plan, they are self insured.

      But that is the difference between me and a liberal. Liberals want the rest of the world to support them. You are all moochers. Anyone with an ounce of ambition could do as I did. But you want me to pay for your health coverage as well as my own. And that is simply wrong.

      When I couldn’t find a job, I created one. When I could find one, I took it. That is how conservatives roll.

      And yes. Obamacare will fail. It already has. But liberals are not smart enough to see it and they will continue insisting that we pump more good money after bad. And people like me that work for a living are stuck with the bill for your stupidity.

      So yes, Obamacare has failed. It is time to admit it and move on. I am tired of paying for liberal’s mistakes.

      And what is worse, the really great plan that I am on will most likely not be available next year because of Obamacare. “If you like your plan you can keep it” is another Obama lie. And once again I will be paying for liberal mistakes.

      And I am NOT a Republican. I USED to be until they merged with the Democrats. These days I have no party. Just myself.
      Tom White recently posted…MEET DAN FOSTER – LIBERTARIAN for DELEGATE in the 78th DISTRICT! My Profile

  2. Gene Lefty says:

    Mr. White, I consider it an honor to be judged stupid by you, and anyone else who believes as you do. Thank you very much.

    Would your wisdom allow you to answer the other questions in my first comment? Those regarding the artist and your personal insurance costs without group coverage or ObamaCare? Also, pre-existing is now 2 yrs.

    Again thanks for the judgement!

    • Tom White says:

      Gene – Why would you think I judged you stupid? That’s simply not true.

      And I am not sure what questions I did not answer. As far as how much would private insurance cost me now, I have no clue. You have to contact a company, apply and get a quote. And the preexisting limit I referred to was the COBRA law. And at the time, there were coverage waiting periods for preexisting conditions based on the type of condition. You could still get coverage, you just may be required to pay more until a specific amount of time passed. The PE was 1 year. The cancer was 5. But we would not have been denied – just pay more. Like a smoker would.

      And I do not know the specifics of coverage and preexisting conditions for the woman in question. She seems healthy to me, so I do not know if it is something that would preclude her from coverage or not.

      And there is a lot you don’t know about how Obamacare is going to evolve. As costs skyrocket, treatment becomes harder and harder to come by. In the UK the “free” health insurance is so bad that most people are forced to buy PMI, or Private Medical Insurance. You seem to think that the current implementation of Obamacare will be the forever plan. I have experienced the horrors of the UK health care system and ended up flying home for treatment.

      There are 2,000 people in the UK right now that have been waiting 15 months for surgery. There are over 1 million on the waiting list to get into a hospital for treatment or surgery.

      Check this out

      More than a million people are still waiting for operations and the number has increased by almost 18,000 in the last year.

      The hospital waiting list in England fell by 7,700 in February to 1,050,400, but official figures show there was an overall rise of 1.7 per cent in the year.

      Almost 2,000 patients had been waiting 15 months or more for treatment.

      Yet the Government had pledged that by March no one will wait longer than 15 months for in-patient care or six months for an outpatient appointment.

      So when your doctor tells you that they will pencil you in for your hernia surgery in early 2015 you will start to understand what I know.

      When you find a lump in your abdomen and spend 6 months or more waiting to see a sepcialist and not knowing if you will be dead by then, you will understand what I know.

      When you have the flu and can’t get an appointment for a week with your priamry care physician – who is hoping to learn English soon – you will know what I know.

      I was in London a few years ago when women were rising up like a bunch of TEA Party activists demanding that the wait for hysterectomies be cut down to less than a year. Perhaps if you had seen that, you would know what I know.

      Try this one on for size:

      David Evans experienced just how long some patients end up waiting for NHS treatment when he was diagnosed with a minor hernia and told he would need to go to an acute hospital for an operation. “That is when the wait began,” recalls Evans, a retired scientist who runs a small sheep farm in Cornwall.

      Under the NHS constitution he should have had surgery within 18 weeks. After 24 weeks Evans rang the hospital and was told he would soon receive a date for the operation. When he rang them again six weeks later, still no wiser about when he would be treated, he received what he calls “the same fob-off”. After calling the chief executive’s office the hospital arranged for him to have the procedure at a local private clinic. But a heart condition he also had meant that he could not be treated there after all.

      For months Evans had not been too worried by his hernia. “However, in the months preceding the operation the lump was getting bigger and bigger. It was now larger than a handful,” says Evans.

      Then one day it popped out. “I had to hold on to it, stagger back into the house and then use the ultrasound scanner on my farm, which I’d normally use for my sheep. For the last two months I was pretty much incapacitated, in the sense that I was only working about 50% of the time I would normally work because anything that involved exertion – lifting, for example – would cause the intestine to pop out, and it would take anything up to about half an hour to get it back in again”, adds Evans. Despite changing his working habits it kept popping out twice or three times a day. “This was a huge hindrance to my daily life”, he says, especially as he was running his farm single-handedly.

      Finally, 48 weeks after first being referred for the operation, he had it and has had no problems since. Evans’s experience was unusual but by no means unique.

      A new report by the Patients Association reveals that waiting times for seven common forms of elective surgery, including hip and knee replacements, cataract removals and hernia repairs, increased between 2010 and 2011, as they did between 2009 and 2010, despite repeated pledges from David Cameron and health secretary Andrew Lansley that NHS waiting times generally were, and would be kept, low.

      It also shows that, based on information supplied by 93 of England’s 170 hospital trusts, the number of patients receiving these operations has fallen, again for the second year running. These appear to confirm that increasing rationing of healthcare, and local NHS organisations’ declarations that more and more treatments are of limited or no clinical value, at a time when the service is trying to make £20bn of efficiency savings, are leaving more and more patients without treatment.

      So what I know that you do not is when the wonderful health system you think Obamacare will be is completely in place, prices will go up like you wouldn’t believe. A new Private Insurance market will appear because the out of pocket expenses will become unfordable. The wait times will go from zero now to many months – even years. The number of life improving procedures like joint replacements will be rationed. As will cancer treatments.

      Let’s move over to Canada. Need a hip or a knee? They are able to get 90% done within 6 months.

      Here in the US, wait times are not even a consideration yet – unless you are a Veteran. I get pissed if I have to wait more than 20 minutes to see my doctor. And I always get an appointment either the same day or the next. I recently went to an orthopedic surgeon and was told I could come in as early as the same afternoon.

      And what do you do if you have no insurance and need a knee replacement? Well, you can go here and get it done free. And there are many more.

      Some day, Gene, you will see that I am right. When you are waiting months for a procedure you need to maintain your quality of life and have to wait months or years, just remember. You got what you wanted.

      And when the death panel decides that your treatment or someone you care about is simply not cost effective to save, you got what you wanted. Even Howard Dean wants to get rid of the death panels you libs ridiculed Sarah Palin about when she pointed them out. Turns out the Mama Grizzly was right and Howard “The Scream” Dean wants no part of it

      In this case, I really hate to be right. You guys believing that Obamacare is somehow going to provide access to the really great health care system we have is a pipe dream. Wait times will be horrendous and out of pocket costs will rise and the greatest health care system in the world will slip into mediocrity and eventually into a Progressive state of squalor.
      Tom White recently posted…MEET DAN FOSTER – LIBERTARIAN for DELEGATE in the 78th DISTRICT! My Profile

  3. Gene Lefty says:

    Ah, Tom,

    “Gene – Why would you think I judged you stupid? That’s simply not true.”

    And then,

    ” And people like me that work for a living are stuck with the bill for your stupidity.”

    Yours is the typical Republican response. I think that I can feel your pain. No problem. Quitting hate radio is like quitting any other bad habit. Very difficult thing to do cold turkey. You need to ween yourself off of the hate. Have you thought about possibly seeking professional help Tom?


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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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