I’m angry. We live in a republic. Now, I know a lot of you are going to interject and say we live in a democracy, but you would be wrong. Go find the definition on your own if you don’t understand the difference. I don’t have time here to teach you because, frankly, I’m more than a bit upset with our Senator, Marco Rubio, and his inability to live up to the most basic part of a republic. The basic premise is that HE is supposed to do the research and gather the information before he takes a vote representing us. He seems incapable of doing so even in the simplest of tasks. He just hangs onto and parrots party dogma and propaganda as truth. Then he uses the line of false rhetoric to justify his votes on OUR behalf.
Case in point: I’ve just watched his video wherein he states he has decided to back the repeal of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) without a replacement. Well, considering Obamacare saved my life quite literally, you might understand why I have an interest. His ignorance on this issue is appalling. His basic premise is that Obamacare is a failure, that it was unsustainable and is not working. (All evidence aside, I might add.) The reason for the failure is that younger workers were paying extremely high premiums for what amounts to nothing more than catastrophic insurance. These premiums were so high as to seriously affect their ability to support themselves. He also states that these premiums were having detrimental effects on employer-sponsored insurance plans, raising their costs and lowering coverage.
Both items are bullshit in its most pungent form, and it doesn’t take an insurance actuary or a mathematician to figure it out. All you need to do to get the figures for coverage on the Obamacare plan is go to https://www.healthcare.gov/see-plans/ and put in as many figures, scenarios, and variables as you want to determine the cost of your coverage. Best of all, in the final analysis you get to “CHOOSE” the coverage you want. What? Oh. My. God! You have choice? In healthcare? In the current health care plan? Who could’ve thunk it? And, yes, you can even stipulate that you qualify for employer coverage, Medicaid, or whatever. You can choose the state, the zip code, the number of people you are covering. It’s all there, Right in front of you. You don’t have to speculate, Mr. Rubio.
And what does this burdensome effort find if you go through the ten-minute process of checking from your laptop or cell phone? Well, if you’re a single male of 32 years making $30,000 a year, you can get health care insurance for less than $185 a month with guaranteed coverage of 10, count ’em, 10 conditions including ambulance service, prescription medications, and pre-existing conditions. Is the deducible high? Well, yes, in this scenario, because I chose to list my probability of using health care as low. I could have chosen higher or lower premiums, but I didn’t. The choice was mine. Something the Senator would have known had he done his job.
Now, you might be puffing up and arguing, “Yeah, but the annual premium is still $2,220. Really? You’re going to go there? I mean, insurance is so much more than the simple coverage and the premium. Insurance, in case you didn’t know, and it appears Sen. Rubio doesn’t, provides negotiated pricing for services and drugs, much lower than the cash prices. Yes! Oh gosh, oh golly — YES! Insurance companies negotiate the prices they will pay hospitals, pharmacies, and doctors on your behalf. That is the reason for their existence. Not only do you have access to care when you need it because you have an insurance card, but they charge you less, much less, than the retail price for the same services. Can you freakin’ believe it!
Now, let’s go to your “company policy” argument. You know the one about Obamacare being detrimental to employee sponsored insurance plans. First, I’m both a current and former owner of small businesses. What in your right mind makes you think I’d want to be responsible for my employees’ and their families’ health insurance? Why would I want to have to make the monthly premium checks, monitor members’ eligibility, negotiate coverage and do all the other things that create a human resources nightmare? Are you kidding me?
Many small companies provide insurance that doesn’t meet the basics required by the Affordable Care Act. You know things such as ambulance service, prescription drugs and pre-existing condition coverage. That’s why their premiums are so low. Talk about catastrophic-only insurance. Look, a lot of companies don’t offer the basics for the simple reason they are trying to get their employees off their plans so they don’t have the headache anymore. And believe me, employee health insurance is a big headache. It takes thousands of dollars, if not hundreds of thousands, of time and energy each year for employers to monitor and negotiate health insurance. It’s much easier to get out of the game and concentrate on, you know, your business.
So, Senator Rubio, when you get on your high horse and put out a video explaining your vote to take insurance away from more than 32 million Americans, at least do the least you can do. Do your homework. Quit parroting the company line and for your constituent’s sake question the messenger. After all, the Republican Party didn’t elect you. We did. The people of the State of Florida. Do what’s best for us, not the propaganda that has been spewing from the depths of partisan disinformation and rhetoric.