Monday, March 22, 2010

It's my money!

I had to laugh at Headline News this morning. They came back from a commercial break with "iReporter" footage of people gathered outside a Utah representative's office in support of the health care bill and then different iReporter footage of people protesting it at the Capitol. After showing both of those short segments, they zoomed back to Susan Hendricks in the studio who says, "The big story of the morning is ... Tiger Woods's first interview since ... " and we all know how she finished that sentence.

Silly me, I thought the big news of the morning was the passage of the health care bill.

God knows, I don't know or understand all of the ins and outs of the behemoth of a bill. I doubt many of those who voted on it understand all of it. So this morning I went looking (not for the first time) for info on the Web about the bill. I found a great article listing 26 facts and figures about the bill, which was an excellent starting place. Click here to read it.

Within this article are links to several others, most of which I read. The best one of these, IMHO, was the one titled, "Checking the Math on Health Care" from The New York Times. Although my husband may disagree (though hopefully not before reading it - hi, honey!), it provided a balanced look at both sides and was fairly indepth.

Since Terry lost his job in June 2008, he and I have been without medical coverage. I'm only a part-time teacher and do not have medical coverage available to me. If I were full-time, it would cost us more than $700 a month to insure our family. Terry is self-employed now, and we have looked at independent policies, but they cost more (anywhere from $350-$500+ per month) than we can afford right now.

I've been afraid that once this bill passed, we'd have to go out right away and buy insurance. After reading these articles I've mentioned here, I've discovered that's not the case. We'll simply be penalized in the future if we don't buy it. And that, my friends, is where I have a problem with the whole thing.

As soon as Obama signs this bill, we will have in place a law telling us we have to buy something (health insurance) and that if we don't buy it, the government will penalize us for our refusal. That is a scary slope to start down, don't you think?

There are other implications that my non-economist brain doesn't completely grasp. Larger corporations will be affected if they aren't providing health care coverage to their employees as will the wealthier segment of our population when they have to pay Medicare taxes on their capital gains. What those effects will be, no one knows.

State governements will be affected, and we know the state of our state governments right now, don't we? (There's good information in that NYT article about the effects on the states and the handouts they're already looking for....)

There are a lot of unknowns when it comes to ObamaCare. Here's what I do know. I know that 219 members of the House voted for the bill while 212 voted against it. With such a tiny margin in favor, I know that I abhor the way the bill was pushed through and will be watching closely to see whether the courts believe it was constitutional.

I also know that now the government has the right to tell me I have to spend my money on something I can't afford and that if I don't, I'll be penalized.

I am certain that I don't like THAT.

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