Thursday, January 22, 2015

Delusion vs. Reality

...there’s the line when he declared, “We can’t put the security of families at risk by taking away their health insurance.” Doesn’t he realize that he just did that to millions of people, after promising them they could keep their plans?
~ Robert Tracinski

I didn't watch the State of the Union speech the other night. Honestly, I simply can't listen to the president anymore; he is a total waste of my time. He thinks everything is roses and lollipops, that the sun has come out tomorrow, that he has healed the planet. But, like millions of my fellow Americans, I know that the facts are otherwise.

Last May, I was laid off from my job. I was not unduly concerned; this was my fifth layoff in three decades. In the past, I've always rebounded quite promptly, within a couple of months, and always to a more lucrative position with the promise of better opportunities. News flash to the White House: Those days are over. After six months of intensive job searching and many dozens of applications submitted all over town, in November I accepted a lower level position, with no benefits, at a 40% pay cut.

Time for me to "turn the page," I suppose the president would say. He's turned it all the way back to my 1999 salary.

Meanwhile, my health insurance ended along with my last job. With no income outside of unemployment insurance, I decided to go without insurance for the rest of 2014 and suck up the penalty. I'm not eligible for benefits at my new job, so I bought Affordable Care Act insurance--"Obamacare"--that started this year on January 1. I chose the economical Bronze plan, because at my new hourly wage that's all I can afford to pay for.

The good news about my low-paying job is that I qualify for subsidies towards my premiums, which will cost me $168 each month. The bad news is that my policy has a $5,000 deductible. The co-pay for an Urgent Care visit is $120. Outside of the covered, once-a-year wellness checkup, all other doctor visits are cash upfront until the deductible is met. Welcome to "affordable" health care.

I do wish President Obama would stop "helping" the middle class. We just can't afford his version of reality.