The Health Insurance Lie: Paying Up

One argument that bolstered the alleged need for universal, single-payer health care insurance is that the young don’t buy insurance and don’t pay their share, but then when they become older and sicker, their costs become a burden to the insurance company or the company paying for the insurance.

 

Excuse me?! As long as I worked after getting out of college, I had health insurance.  My employer would pay the main premium, but some of the cost came out of my earnings (which was all right by me).  The only time I didn’t have health insurance was when I was unemployed (having no income, I had no money to pay for insurance).

 

There were times when I had to float along and hope for the best as a temporary employee. But it wasn’t long before I found myself permanently employed again.  I was careful never to abuse my insurance privileges.  I made sure I had a high deductible, paying for minor problems, like sore throats, and building my way up to paying off that deductible.

 

The time never came when I needed hospitalization, simply treatments for various ailments. Who did Obama think he was, blaming my generation 55 and over for not “paying” for our insurance?  We most certainly did.

 

Now that we’re 55 and over, millions of us have been kicked out our jobs, with no way to pay for insurance. I have friends working as many as four part-time jobs just to pay their bills, much less paying for this high-cost health care insurance.  We’re paying outrageous premiums on the basis that we hadn’t paid in when we were younger, and that’s an out-and-out lie.

 

For generations, companies have kicked older employees (over 55) out of the bee’s nest once they began showing signs of illness. Never mind how long the employees had worked for the company, how skilled they were, how loyal.  Hiring younger, “healthier” employees just made better “business sense” for the companies.  We paid for the insurance (or it was paid for us, although we did have to contribute) and earned our place in the companies, but it when it came time to pay up, we were out of luck.

 

The insurance isn’t more expensive because we’re older. The expenses come from high hospitalization costs, technology, and bureaucracy within the states which require doctors’ offices to spend more money on staff to deal with the paperwork.  My doctor’s office staff still hasn’t learned to wait at the fax machine to make sure the scrip has gone through.

 

Pharmaceutical companies have been reaping billions in new medicines and the bureaucrats have been reaping billions regulating them. Our litigious society has also been responsible for costly medical lawsuits and medical fraud.  People are also living longer but suffering from various ailments that cost billions.  Then there are the people in the 55-gap, like me and my friends, who have lost their employer-based insurance but aren’t yet eligible for Medicare.

 

Some seriously elderly people work at supermarkets and superstores to make ends meet. Work ethic champions applaud their guts and scorn those who don’t try to “power-through” a supermarket job, where they have to stand up all day or push shopping cart trains.

 

Meanwhile, record numbers of the 55-gap are having to go for knee and hip surgery at earlier ages, especially those who spent their careers on their feet, like teachers. Older unemployed are faced with a dilemma, take two or more part-time retail jobs that don’t offer health insurance, in order to pay the bills, and then go into debt having to pay for hip or knee surgery.

 

What kind of a deal is that? Interestingly, Obamacare doesn’t cover the unemployed.  The unemployed must either go on the difficult-to-obtain SSDI (for which they’ve been paying all their working lives), or sell all their assets in order to qualify for Medicaid.  Meanwhile, there’s little sympathy from the armchair pundits.  Quit complaining and get to work checking those groceries.  If your hip hurts, just take some more Tylenol or something.

 

Why isn’t anyone standing up for the older unemployed office worker? Because that’s just the way things have always been?  Because it’s just business?  Isn’t age discrimination supposed to be against the law?  Prospective employers are not allowed to ask your age, but they get around it by asking when you graduated from high school.

 

It doesn’t make any sense: Older workers are kicked to the curb, even though they have 15 years plus experience, all because they’re considered health risks even though they’ve paid into the insurance system, and so they’re pushed into physically taxing jobs in retail.  Meanwhile healthy younger workers are hired on in office jobs, with little or no work experience, because their health care costs are less of a risk to the business.

 

If that makes sense, I’ll eat my Slinky.

 

 

 

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Published in: on March 28, 2017 at 12:57 pm  Leave a Comment  

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