My Health Care Fear
Okay, I’ve seen this before and didn’t like it.
Last week, President Obama said that he’d take into consideration a health care plan that taxed health care benefits that presently are non-taxable, if needed to fund his universal health care program. This is the same plan that John McCain was pushing during his run at the office, which Obama ridiculed often, and I agreed with that stance.
Even though he’s not saying he’d go this route, even saying he’d consider it is a major step backwards, and something I surely don’t support. And, it seems, neither does the Republican party, which did support it under McCain, or at least gave the appearance that it would. What’s with all the political flip-flopping anyway?
Also, as part of this plan, it would mandate employers to purchase health benefits for its employees, or they’d be fined. Okay, let’s get this one straight. If companies don’t pay for benefits they pay a fine; if they do those benefits get taxed. If I were a business, I’d do some calculations and take the lesser of the two evils.
Here’s my take on it. Taxing health care benefits makes companies not want to offer it at all. If the fines are lower than the cost of covering everyone at a company, I know which direction I’d go in. Also, if companies decided they had to fund health insurance, they’d most probably go for high deductible plans, which means people would be paying out of pocket for most of their services, and thus goes the purpose for having health care coverage in the first place.
And, does this also mean that everyone else’s taxes suddenly go up? If you’re paying for a family plan and it’s costing you $250 every two weeks out of your paycheck, will it now cost you an extra $12.50, assuming the tax is 5%? It’s not exorbitant, but this isn’t what you elected people to do against you, is it?
This is the first thing that’s made me unhappy that I’ve heard from the President, and I think it’s a big deal. This one affects way too many people, and on top of that, the economy still hasn’t fully turned around, and there’s way too many people still out of work. Frankly, the timing is bad if they wanted to implement it, although I don’t think implementing this thing would ever have a good time.
I hope they don’t push this issue, and I hope President Obama remembers what he promised during the election and sticks with it. Even if applied universally, this would be unfair.