Here’s the number: $2,171. No, that is not the annual cost of a medical insurance policy, although it should be if we lived in a constitutional free market. That is the monthly cost of the medical insurance premiums as announced by Blue Cross in a letter to my friend Mike from Houston County, Georgia, who has a computer programming business and is ineligible for a subsidy. He also sent me the letter received by his friend Dr. Janet, who is an oral surgeon with six employees in Glynn County, Georgia.
Who in Washington is willing to speak for the forgotten men and women who want to live their lives and run their small businesses without being forced to pay the steep price of socialism?
Many government and private reports on health insurance premiums reference 30 to 40 percent increases in premiums. But they’ve consistently lowballed the insanity so many of us have to deal with. My premiums went up 300 percent over three years until I dropped my then-insurance for a health-sharing ministry. Mike’s premiums will now double next year. And these are not tiny counties with anomalous circumstances. Houston County, Georgia, has roughly 152,000 residents, and yet the socialism inherent in Obamacare has distorted the market to the point where the risk pool is this expensive even in a mid-sized county.
The average monthly mortgage payment, with insurance and taxes, is close to $1,500. Now, small business owners, the backbone of America’s middle class, are on the hook for the cost of another mortgage and all home utilities — and then some. All because of Obamacare, which Republicans refuse to repeal.
It’s amazing how our politicians treat Medicaid, which in itself raises costs for everyone, as an inalienable right. The right to engage in commerce and purchase what you want free of government force, regulations, or subsidies is forgotten. Americans would gladly take bare-bones insurance coverage … for the cost of a bare-bones plan. Now Americans have to pay more than the cost of the most lavish pre-Obamacare plan imaginable for the small coverage of a catastrophic plan. Imagine if Americans were given the freedom to provide and to purchase catastrophic plans for cheap, freeing up consumers to pay the rest out of pocket and actually bring down the price of health care itself?
Why discuss a notional tax cut when we are ignoring $2,100 premiums?
Republicans just proposed a tax reform plan. Given that only the truly wealthy pay a substantial amount in federal income taxes, it’s hard to give a significant tax cut to most others. And indeed, as we’ve observed, this bill could possibly result in a tax increase on upper-middle income earners. At best, some will net $500-$1,000 a year. But these are the same people who are who will pay $1,000 more per month on Obamacare! What good will that modest tax cut do them then?
Why is Congress still getting Obamacare subsidies?
Appallingly, even though members of Congress earn $174,000, the same amount or more than many of these small business owners who are getting socked by Obamacare, they get up to 75 percent of their premiums subsidized, illegally, completely contrary to statute. Obama’s Office of Personnel Management (OPM) created this illegal loophole. Why on earth has the president not terminated it? Maybe if the politicians had to pay $2,100 per month for something that should cost $450, they’d act differently.
In addition to Congress getting this special carve-out, the insurance cartel is getting fat off socialism while we suffer from higher prices due to Medicaid. According to a new report, the number of Medicaid patients enrolled in managed plans by “private” insurance rose by one million. Now, 55 million of the 74.8 million people on Medicaid are enrolled in plans managed by the cartel. There is a big misconception about Medicaid. Many people don’t realize that most of the $560 billion taxpayer program is lining the pockets of wealthy insurance companies in a scheme we call venture socialism.
Throughout the spring and summer, all we heard about was Medicaid. This is not because there was a million-man-march on Washington led by indigent families. It’s because the insurance cartel lobbies for endless programs to pad its members’ revenue. The top lobbyists for 2017 included the AMA, AHA, and insurance companies. But now that consumers are getting these sickening letters in the mail, it’s time for members to listen to we the people. Middle-class families are now paying $2,100 a month for insurance in order to pay for a scheme that grants endless Medicaid contracts to insurers, which in turn, inflates the cost of health care itself.
There is no inalienable right to corporate welfare and Medicaid. There is, however, an inalienable right to be able to live without government destroying our most basic markets. How much longer will the voices of the forgotten families remain unheard?
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Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.