At age 23, Julius graduates from college and begins an internship. Because he and his new wife are so healthy, they choose not to buy health insurance, knowing they can pay out of pocket for needed checkups and basic care. The only problem is that because of President Obama’s health care plan he has to pay a fine of $695 each year – money he could use to pay for rent, food or health care.
Eventually, Julius starts a full-time job that offers health insurance, but he has to pay a large portion of the premiums because the cost of health insurance is increasing quickly due to the federal health care takeover.
You see, while to some people the federal law’s regulations on employers and insurance providers seemed like a good idea at first, they have burdened the health care market so that premiums are rising and people have less flexibility in meeting their families’ needs.
For example, the health care law requires insurance providers to cover many “essential” benefits – services that Julius and his family will likely never need. But they still have to pay for them with their premiums. Also, though Julius and his family take very good care of their health, their insurance provider can’t offer them a lower premium because the new federal law says providers must charge the same rate to all customers in their area.
At age 30, Julius changes jobs and wants to keep his health plan but can’t because it is offered only through his previous employer. He has to accept the plan his new employer offers, which does not meet his family’s needs as well.
Julius wishes the federal health care plan didn’t increase taxes on Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and restrict what they can be used to pay for (see here and here). Otherwise, he would be able to use an HSA to pay for his family’s basic health expenses while earning interest on the money they save. They could still have a high-deductible health plan that would cover any major costs, and they would be able to keep the same plan no matter where he works. As it is, federal regulations have reduced options for families like Julius’s by making it nearly impossible to get health insurance anywhere other than through an employer or government.
At age 35, Julius is discouraged that his taxes continue to rise. The federal health care takeover, added to spending for entitlement programs, is putting the nation on an unsustainable fiscal path. Its expansion of Medicaid is increasing the size and scope of government in health care more than ever. Julius is disheartened that so many people are becoming dependent on Medicaid and government-run community health centers that his favorite charity, a free private health clinic in their neighborhood, is shutting down.
As Julius soon finds out, the federal government will continue to influence his personal health decisions to the end of his life.
To be continued…