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No Excuses

The parallels between Massachusetts' health care "reform" program ("RomneyCare") and the federal health care "reform" program ("ObamaCare") are many. The problems RomneyCare are having are often good indicators of problems that ObamaCare will have. And of late, they've both been getting a lot of attention for those they've chosen to exclude from their requirements.

Under ObamaCare, it's organizations and businesses that have received the waivers -- mainly unions and other strong backers of the program who've curried the favor of the Obama administration. Why, it's almost like those who believe most strongly in the program, who spent the most money on getting it passed, realize that it's an utter disaster waiting to happen and want nothing to do with it.

In Massachusetts, however, the waivers are being granted not to businesses and organizations, but individuals. It's at the stage where the individual mandate has kicked in, and individuals are finding themselves having to prove they have adequate insurance on their own, sign up for the state plans, or pay a fine.

Unless they can demonstrate to the state that they simply can't afford any of those options, in which case the state might give them a pass and let them go uncovered.

Which they did for about 1,600 people last year.


One of those lucky ones was Ralph Ross. Ross, a 49-year-old public school teacher, pulled down $67,000 in 2008. The premiums for his family offered by the town was $310 a month, or $3,720 a year -- about 5.5% of his annual income. Ross was initially denied the waiver, but showed that he is in serious financial distress -- including presenting utility cutoff notices -- and was given the reprieve.

That was, in my opinion, a mistake.

Ross is a public school teacher. His union was one of the bigger backers of RomneyCare. He has no business  going against his union in this way, embarrassing them.

Further, he makes a decent living. He obviously has his priorities out of whack -- he is arguing that he should not be obligated to provide for the health care of his wife and three children. He has chosen to expend his resources in other ways.

And he simply has no right to make that choice. The State has decided that having or not having insurance is not something one has any say in -- they must have it. It is not optional, it is a requirement. And if that means that Mr. Ross has to find a smaller, cheaper home or give up a car or have his wife get a job (or a better job -- it doesn't say if she's employed, but the implication is that she does not) or find other ways to cut back, he has to do it. It's not negotiable, it's the law.

This is exactly what happens when something becomes a mandate. It is no longer something that you can weigh and balance against other factors, exercise your own best judgment, and take risks as you see fit. The State has decided that you will have insurance, that said insurance will meet certain minimum standards, and you will pay the premiums accordingly. Period. End of discussion.

The State has determined that Mr. Ross must provide insurance for himself and his family. His employer -- the Walpole school district -- offered a plan to him where they picked up the entire tab but $310 a month, or about $77.50 a week. There might have been other plans offered by the state, but that was the number given. He simply had to find a way to pay it, and he didn't. So he should have been fined. Plus, his failure to provide for his family -- in the way The State determined was mandatory -- is a failing that calls into question his suitability as a parent. What kind of a father would let his children go without insurance?

That's the face, the stark truth of RomneyCare. And it is the future of ObamaCare.

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Comments (12)

Cue the folks unable to det... (Below threshold)
epador:

Cue the folks unable to detect sarcasm.

But in this case it's true,... (Below threshold)

But in this case it's true, epador. When you give the government the power to dictate things like medical care, you give them the power to control how you live your life. JayTea is spot-on.

There is also probably a bit of frustration on JayTea's part over the fact that a man who earns over $67,000 a year can't find $310 a month to provide health insurance for his family. We've always had health coverage in my household, and at times on much less than $67,000 a year. We made sacrifices in order to keep health coverage as a financial priority. It's not asking too much for others to do the same.

Building on the work of psy... (Below threshold)
yetanotherjohn:

Building on the work of psychiatrists from the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, it is obvious that Ralph Ross is criminally insane in that he is seeking to undermine the government and union that he belongs to (this is akin to suicidal wishes and since he hurts not only himself but the people, it is criminal).

As such, he should be placed in a institution for the criminally insane. There, he will be provided health care (along with room and board) at state expense. His family can then make the choice of going on welfare and being provided for by the state or getting that extra job and living on the $77.5 per week.

You are being much to kind and your kindness itself can be a potential harm to the state in only calling for him to pay what he himself (through his elected officials) decided was a fair and reasonable cost for living in a free society.

Jay doesn't mention that it... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Jay doesn't mention that it is also easy to game the system. My colleague has his girlfriend and daughter on the state funded plan and they pay nothing for their insurance. If he married her he would have to pay for her insurance because she would no longer be eligible. So they don't get married and he saves a few bucks out of his $80k salary.

"We made sacrifices in orde... (Below threshold)
914:

"We made sacrifices in order to keep health coverage as a financial priority. It's not asking too much for others to do the same."


Right. A priority not a mandate by the government. Big government politicians like Romnibus McCain will never get my vote.

Liberals don't FOLLOW the l... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Liberals don't FOLLOW the law, they write the laws for OTHERS to follow.

Has John Kerry paid the state taxes on that yacht? Or like releasing "all" of his military records, are we still waiting?

$310 a month for family cov... (Below threshold)
John S:

$310 a month for family coverage? What a bargain! My last job wanted $670 a month just to cover my wife, and that was my share of the total cost. My current job won't give me 40 hours a week... there certainly aren't any benefits. I can hardly wait until 2014, when I'm forced to buy insurance on my $225 a week salary.

The more complex the system... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

The more complex the system, the more chances there are to game it and the more loopholes there are to evade it.

But ti's pretty clear that the only real group that's going to benefit from Obamacare are the lawyers. THEY will have a friggin' windfall - and as for the rest of us?

Well, we'll get the leftovers of their feast.

Well, we'll get... (Below threshold)
Well, we'll get the leftovers of their feast.
No.

We are the feast.

The federal waivers are cle... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

The federal waivers are clearly unconstitutional. Congress can exempt whoever they like when they pass a law, and the Executive may grant waivers from compliance with its regulations, BUT the Executive has no power to grant waivers from compliance with a law.

Once again the Obama Regime seeks to rule by fiat, like a dictatorship, instead of by law.

Obama must go! Remember, if we get a million demonstrators against him, he will even denounce himself.

But ... uh ... Think of ... (Below threshold)
Murgatroyd:

But ... uh ... Think of the Children!

Yeah, that's the ticket! How can you be against health care for Needy Children?

Tell me why so many so-call... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

Tell me why so many so-called conservatives are ready to line up behind Romney again?




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