Why indeed? Bet you didn't know that what the Socialists are trying to accomplish in Congress is already part of American life. Or, has been since Obama took office.
Government-subsidized health care and insurance is already an entrenched part of America's culture. And I am not just speaking of Medicare, Medicaid or even the Veteran's Administration.
With the job outlook grim, unemployed workers received an unexpected boost this week as President Obama signed legislation authorizing a six-month extension of the COBRA health care subsidy program that was part of the economic stimulus bill passed in February.
"That makes me pretty happy," says Don Hall, 56, who lives outside Sandusky, Ohio. A supervisor with an MBA at an automotive parts supplier to Ford Motor Company, Hall was laid off in October 2008. He recently sent a letter of hardship to Wells Fargo to try to save his house from foreclosure. His subsidized COBRA payment has been $258 a month and he says not having to pay an additional $500 a month for health care coverage is a godsend. "When you have to draw straws between paying the utility bills, the mortgage and health care, it's hard."
"For millions of laid-off workers and their families, the federal COBRA subsidies have been a health-coverage lifeline," says Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA, a non-profit organization for health care consumers.
And, I bet you also didn't know that subsidies like this were part of the Recovery Act. Don't you feel better knowing that your money is going to the unemployed to help the workers of America?
Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), the federal subsidies pay 65% of the cost of COBRA premiums. Originally, the subsidy was to expire after nine months...
Yep. Lose your job? No worries, the government's got you covered with nearly free premiums on your own health insurance. Now, you wouldn't want to lose those subsidies while you are accepting food stamps and unemployment insurance.... would ya? You better support the ObamaReidPelosi Health Reform Plan then.
But, this recent extension of benefits comes at the expense of our troops.
Senator Sherrod Brown, the Ohio Democrat who authored the COBRA Subsidy Extension and Enhancement Act with Pennsylvania's Senator Bob Casey, also a Democrat, says the legislation will help the "many middle class families struggling to get by."
Workers who were involuntarily terminated from their jobs between September 1, 2008 and Dec. 31, 2009 are eligible for the subsidy that helps individuals and families continue on employer-sponsored health insurance. The new legislation, part of the $636.3 billion fiscal year 2010 defense spending bill, extends the subsidy from nine to 15 months and opens the program to workers who will be laid off between Jan. 1, 2010 and Feb. 28, 2010 as well.
Former Admiral, now Congressman, Joe Sestak, a Democrat from Pennsylvania, told the House of Representatives, "Hardworking people who have suffered most from the mistakes of others should not have to decide between trying to meet an enormous expense or going without health care."
Who would have thought that all these people were democrats. Go figure.
"..suffered from the mistakes of others.."??? A downturn in the economy, fewer customers having less monies to spend, and increases in expenditures for things like fuel and overhead..... yeah, that is the employer's mistake. Having to let employees go in order to balance the books so that the business can continue to survive is .... a mistake. How DARE they!!
We must protect the workers from evil, greedy, capitalistic pig employers.
Unemployment insurance isn't enough. Taking those pigs who fired the lovely, faithful and enduring employee for all their worth isn't enough. We must raise the taxes of the remaining workers to help those unlucky mistreated bastards.
But, since most workers don't have to pay taxes, then these extra "repayments" will be applied to the overzealous, evil and unfair rich.
Oh, and by the way, the rich are now anyone making over $100,000. There aren't enough super-rich to tax into oblivion anymore.
Ok... time to roll out the crying-eye stories....
But with health care premiums skyrocketing the past two decades, many unemployed workers cannot afford COBRA. Across the 50 states, the average unsubsidized monthly COBRA premium of $1,111 gobbles up 83% of the average unemployment check of $1,333, according to a December report by Families USA. In nine states, the average COBRA premium exceeds the average unemployment benefit.
Sounds like a perfect reason to subsidize the health care of the unemployed, doesn't it? Can't expect them to pay for their health care and food and rent and gas and electricity and water and toilet paper with what the government unemployment assistance provides, now can we?
I sense a personal story coming...
In Seattle, Washington, Natasha and Andrew Freidus have two small
children, ages two years and four months. Andrew lost his job in the
renewable energy field [ED: hahahahahahaa Wonder how that happened with all of the market subsidization] and the couple went on COBRA coverage, which
costs $540 with the subsidy compared the full cost of $1,506. Andrew
found a job with a start-up in the renewable industry in June [ED: Go figure that. Guess working at McD's in the meantime was too much to ask], but the
company cannot yet afford to offer health care [ED: I thought reneweable was where it was at!!] so the couple has
continued with COBRA.
Natasha says she is very happy about the COBRA
subsidy extension [ED: No doubt. You wouldn't really expect her to NOT like it?], not only because of the cost savings, but because
this means she can stay with her current pediatrician [ED: Yes, because we all know that doctors just hate being paid with cash]. Natasha says,
"We've both been depressed and angry about the health care reform bill
being watered down, so it's nice to hear a little good news."
Now, who would have expected a family living in Seattle working in the subsidized renewable energy market to express dismay at the news that the subsidized government-takeover of the health care and insurance industry was being watered down.
Oh wait. Another tear jerker. This time, with extra pro-ObamaCare icing on top.
Tim Wolffrum, 58, of Milford, Ohio, worked for a Fortune 500 company before he was laid-off in October 2008. With his COBRA subsidy, he is paying $146 a month, which is about one-third of his unemployment benefits after taxes. He suffered a heart attack two years ago and also has diverticulitis. When he looked for new health care coverage, the plans would not cover his pre-existing conditions, the premiums were "outrageous" and the deductibles were $5,000.
Ok. Let me guess. He wants a health care plan that will cover a man nearing senior citizen age, has had a heart attack and suffers from a tough medical condition of diverticulitis and costs less than $146 a month to boot. Oh, and have a very very low deductible as well. Oh, and they must not be able to turn him away or raise his premiums based on his current health condition. Or possible future health conditions.
Sounds perfectly reasonable to me.
Forgive me, but if you really, really, want universal government mandated health care, then please, PLEASE, PLEASE!! move to Canada, Cuba or even Russia. They have what you desire, and deserve, over there. I am sure they will even welcome you in open arms and fellow Komrads.
Just leave America's system, the greatest system in the world btw, the way it is. It is fine just the way it is. Though, if you really want to do something to it, then take the government out of it.