Today’s post comes courtesy of guest blogger Lois Uttley from Raising Women’s Voices – NY
We can see it now. Your Aunt Betty and Uncle Bill have cornered you at the July 4 family barbeque. Lights, camera, action!
Uncle Bill: “So, the truth is finally out: This health reform law you’ve been promoting is really just a big tax increase on all of us! I’d like to get that health care law repealed.”
Aunt Betty: “It’s going to make everybody have to buy health insurance, even if we don’t want it or can’t afford it. What’s next — telling us we can’t eat hotdogs and have to buy broccoli instead? Whatever happened to freedom in this country?”
You: “Uh, could you please pass the mustard?”
How can we change this scene and save you from heartburn? Here are some lines you can use. Let’s start with the tax issues:
You: “Hold on! You two already have health insurance through Uncle Bill’s employer, so you are not going to have to pay any penalty at all under the health care law. Neither is anybody else who already has health insurance, which is millions of Americans.
But, do you really think it’s fair for people who could afford health insurance to skip buying it and then count on the rest of us to pay their medical bills when they go to the emergency room? That’s the way it is now.
Each year, all of us who do have health insurance pays extra on our premiums to cover the cost of health care for people who don’t have insurance. That’s a hidden tax, one that’s already here, but nobody wants to talk about!
Once the health care law goes fully into effect, more uninsured people will get their own health insurance and that hidden tax we are paying now for their health care will start to go down. So, it’s really a tax reduction!
Now, on to the issue of personal freedom:
Under this law, people who are uninsured now and don’t want to be will get help affording the cost of health insurance – a lot of help, actually! They will be eligible for tax credits to help them with the cost of premiums. That should help people like my friend Ella, who wants health insurance but just can’t quite afford it now. She’s really excited about finally being able to do what she’s wanted to do for years — get health insurance! She’ll finally be free of the constant worry that she will get sick and end up with thousands of dollars in medical bills.
If some people still don’t want to buy health insurance, even though they can afford it, then they will have the freedom to make that decision. But, they have to pay a small fee (or tax as the Supreme Court decided to call it) — $95 in the first year and more in later years – to help cover that hidden tax we are now paying on our health insurance premiums to cover medical care for the uninsured. That seems plenty fair to me!
Now, turn the tables on Aunt Betty and Uncle Bill about repealing the health care law:
YOU: “Aunt Betty, do you really want to undo the law that is telling health insurance companies they can’t deny coverage to children with pre-existing conditions? What would happen to those kids if the law were repealed?
Uncle Bill, do you really want to tell insurance companies they can go back to canceling our policies if we get sick and they don’t want to pay for our medical care? That’s what would happen if the law were repealed!
Aunt Betty, do you really want to kick young adult children off their parents’ health insurance policies? That’s what would happen to the millions of young adults who are now on their parents’ policies because of the health care law.
Uncle Bill, do you really want to tell insurance companies they can just raise their rates however much they want? Under the health care law, states are getting the power to hold down those rate increases. And, millions of consumers just like you are actually getting rebates this summer from health insurance companies that violated the health care law by spending too much on CEO salaries!
Grab yourself a hotdog or tofu dog and enjoy the holiday!