I don’t know all the details about the health care debate going on right now. I only know a little about health care based on real life situations.
I know that when I got laid off and received my COBRA statement in the mail I was floored by the cost of one employee policy. When I saw how much that insurance was and multiplied it by 1000 employees, it totally made sense why companies try to hire temps and part time workers instead of full time employees. Trying to pay for health care packages has to cripple a company if there aren’t great profits coming in.
If you have a family of four and have everyone covered under your package, even if you got a 5% raise each year the increase in your deductions would eliminate it. That’s why families find loopholes to put the kids on the government plan and hope they don’t get sick themselves. The other choice for the employer is to change the package to a cheaper one that is easy on them and the employees but when you do that you end up with a plan that doesn’t pay for anything above two aspirin or the closest doctor on the plan is 50 miles away.
I know that if you have three kids and all of them get sick with the same illness that can cripple your household budget if they have to go to the pediatrician. When you add up the co-pays for each visit, plus the cost of prescriptions (because pediatricians love writing prescriptions) and factor in the return visit for one or two of them, that’s about 200 dollars minimum coming out of your household budget. The backwards part is this scenario describes what happens to be a person who works everyday and pays for insurance. I know when I am sitting in the clinic about to drop my gas and lunch money on an ear infection I wish I had a Medicaid card.
Even though everything I just talked about happens to millions of people everyday no matter what ideology they believe in, some folks feel more patriotic because they pay for these benefit packages that are draining them and the country they work for and don’t complain about it. There are too many people getting sick and can’t afford it or whose company is suffering trying to keep up with the cost of their benefits. I think the public option might be the way to go even if it’s just to give the HMO’s a reason to compromise on their prices. If we don’t do that, then they have to get some kind of tax break or something to get them to bring some of those prices down. If we don’t do anything at all we might as well get used to more layoffs and an increase in home remedies.