Friday, February 1, 2008

How health mandates could land more in the ER

Imagine a future in which families were mandated to buy a health plan -- some purchase the one with the $10,000 deductible (the cheapest legal option?) -- okay; they have obeyed the law -- but now those families end up in the emergency room MORE OFTEN, instead going to their family doctor's office, because they were forced to use up their family doctor money buying what Obama correctly calls "home insurance."

Subsidies tend to be set at a multiple of what -- in reality -- should be a doubled fed poverty line: $20,000 a year for a family of four (the official line based on three times the price of an emergency diet). $40,000/yr is more like the -- real -- barely above poverty line for a family of four, while $55,000/yr is roughly median family income these days. Most families are not far from poverty -- though their numbers might sound just fine -- as med insurance climbs and climbs. Forcing rising premiums down the throats of families with shrinking real world incomes is flirting with disaster in many cases -- and would impose disaster outright upon many hanging by a thread families.

I really believe our academic liberals have much trouble envisioning the existences of anyone below 50 percentile income -- why you almost never hear Dem candidates so much as mention the average Americans' most desperate economic need, massive re-unionization -- nor criticize a ridiculous minimum wage raise that may end up nearly a dollar below 1956's minimum wage ($7.93 adjusted) in real 2009 buying power -- and here we go again.

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