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Affordable Healthcare Act

Combating Poverty, The Challenge of Lack Message

Fixing issues with poverty message

I was just listening to the President’s remarks on poverty and felt compelled to put my ideas on paper. I remember the rap group Poor Righteous Teachers (PRT) once penned the words: “[If] you lack, you lose, you lose, you lost the knowledge of yourself. And if you don’t know who you are, you won’t know no-one else.” While PRT was popularizing the thoughts of black nationalism of the 1960’s and the teachings of Elijah Pool as relayed through Clarence Edward Smith, they do have a point relevant for our time. I submit that in our country today there is a whole lot of people who lack, and therefore a whole lot of people who cannot relate to others, let alone understand themselves.

The idea that we should empower our poor by providing for them a system of support is a noble principle. However in practice the system is filled with so much paperwork and bureaucracy that it makes the people it is meant to help feel like second class citizens. If you do not believe me, just try and take your child to get a root canal on Medicaid or enroll her in speech therapy classes. The first thing that you will find is that although you have what sounds like a commercial insurance provider, your doctor segregates you out of the main stream because you have a welfare based health plan. They tell you straight out that if you were privately insured by your provider you would be able to get an appointment next week, but since you have Medicaid you must go on a waiting list, and if you qualify, may be seen some time in the next 90 to 180 days. The second thing you realize is that by the time you get through the paperwork needed to qualify to get your child’s tooth repaired or speech examined you have taken on a second job just jumping through all the hoops it takes to get your kids the help they need. The third thing you notice is that you actually feel a loss of dignity, a loss of financial stability, and a loss of self-worth. You find it hard to understand why you are on Medicaid because for all intents and purposes you make enough money to have real insurance, but your insurance was taken away by the state who wants to lump you into Medicaid, the subset of coverage that is so underfunded that you have to wait months for the most basic of care. And finally, by the time you get into be seen, you notice that your child has lost her tooth, or developed such a speech impediment that the intervention is not likely to help as much as it would have had you been seen without the bureaucratic hurdles.

While the government may be trying to provide a step up for the working poor, the de facto reality is they are sending them spiraling down a hole of self-doubt, loss of dignity, and throwing them into a pit of despair. This despair is the kind that ignites a powder keg in places in the United States like Ferguson and Baltimore. The solution to those types of outbreaks appears to be to ensure a thriving all inclusive middle class or at least that’s what I thought our President was saying when he spoke on the topic. If businesses and government really wanted to build the middle class, and empower the working poor, they would work to ensure that the working poor had a living wage. That means a wage that would allow them to provide for their own health insurance or at least meet the premium payments of the affordable care act. A wage that allows them to buy food while also paying their rent and putting something away for a rainy day. A living wage, one based on a reasonable working day and not dependent on overtime the rent and light bills. Business and government should realize that the best way to give a person hope is to show them that they can provide for themselves, with a little hard work, strong faith in their creator, and a good dose of self-worth. The kind of self-worth that comes from being able to navigate through life without relying on a 30 page set of forms to fill out and a 60 to 90 day waiting period.

The true cost of allowing employers to pay so little to their employees is borne not on the rich, but on the working poor and the government. A government that has to ration out services through a crippling bureaucratic process that may subsidize low wages for workers, but keeps them from getting the real hand up out of poverty and a true sense of self-worth. It’s not socialistic to think that each person should have a fair shot at self-determination, and a real chance to manifest their own destiny. But this cannot happen where a minority controls almost all of the wealth that has been accumulated on the backs of the working class. This cannot happen where the government is forced to bear the weight of subsidizing a low cost work force. A fair wage is not communism; it is capitalism at its best. A fair days pay for a fair days work. What we have going on now is the antithesis of capitalism, if not a new form of slavery, that is fueled on the backs and with the broken dreams of the working poor in America.

Author: Tark Aouadi

The Major Issue With Healthcare

Affordable Healthcare Issues

As you know there are a lot of issues with Obamacare (affordable healthcare act). The biggest issue being the monthly fees and deductibles. I truly believe most people want to be healthy and have the luxury of a good healthcare program, however, the fees are just un-realistic. With a deducible starting at 5,000++, most couldn’t afford it anyway should something serious happen to them. One positive I like about Obamacare is that there are options available (healthcare exchanges). Again, they are all un-realistic like I said, however, so what’s the point. The thought of it is a good thing I believe.

I’ve said it a few times on the Emerald City Journal and that is related to the root of the issue with healthcare. The costs/fees hospitals are charging. Going to the ER for a broken arm and getting a 6,000 dollar bill in the mail is extremely unfair. It cost them about $100 dollars for that visit (including the x-ray). It’s the issue that everyone feels their time is worth a million dollars and they can charge 1000% interest on items. This includes medication as well. American is way over priced compared to Canada or Mexico medicine. The Government is to blame as well for not correcting this issue. They could simply say they are not going to pay them more than 2x cost and that would correct the issue. It would bring everything down when it comes to cost. The Government continues to turn a blind eye to that solution because they love the taxes and revenue it creates. It generates a massive amount of revenue for the hospitals and also the insurance companies. Sad but 100% true. Instead of Obamacare we should have just reviewed the fees and regulated them to a reasonable level. The people would have them been able to get an affordable healthcare program and also feel confident with going to a physician or ER trip without going into bankruptcy after each visit.

There was recently a story of a NJ man named Baer Hanusz-Rajkowski. He went to a local NJ ER hospital to get his cut finger checked. The man hit is finger with the claw side of the hammer and after a couple days of it not healing he went in to see if stiches would be needed. It turns out no stiches were needed nor was an x-ray. Overall, Hanusz-Rajkowsk got hit with an $8,200 bill for the emergency room visit. The Bayonne Medical Center also charged him $180 for a tetanus shot, $242 for sterile supplies, and $8 for some antibacterial ointment. With everything the bill came to nearly $9,000 dollars. This happen just last August and was featured on many news channels across the nation. When Bayonne Medical Center was questioned over the incident by the news ect they blamed the insurance company. This is exactly what I’m talking about. They feel they can just charge whatever they want because the “insurance company” will cover it. It’s the industry standard these days. People should be able to visit a doctor and make a ER visitor (cuts, broken arms, check-ups) out of pocket. No insurance should be needed for these minor issues. However, our system is setup to encourage these high mark ups which cost the hospital little to nothing to take care of or even look at. It’s all about money hungry hospitals, insurance companies, and our government wanting their “fair” share of the profits.

What we need to correct the healthcare problems is transparency and rules. We also need to kick out the leaders who are supporting this scandal behavior. Just as Obama promised in everything that he would do for us – Transparency. We need a public database or source where all the costs are displayed and their markup. This would eliminate all the overcharges and keep people honest. It would also keep the cost regulated to a fair level so the hospitals (medical industry) can make their fair share. However, looking a finger (who probably was a volunteer or intern) and wrapping it up with some ointment for $9,000 is simply unforgiving.

Washington State Affordable Healthcare Rates

Affordable Healthcare Act Seattle

The time is coming in just a matter of days when you can do the “right thing” and purchase Obamacare (Affordable Healthcare).  As you know, I strongly didn’t support Obama or the Affordable Healthcare Act.  I liked the idea, however, it doesn’t really correct the real issue and that is overpricing and ripping people off.  A better solution would have been for the Government to say “no” to all the bills and overpriced items.  Breaking an arm and going to the ER shouldn’t cost a family $5,000 dollars – when nothing is done with the broken arm except x-rays and an arm sling to go home with.  This is where the problem is and not enough was done to correct this.  None the less, we are here now with Affordable Healthcare Act and the supporters are going to have a shock and awe when they see the prices.  I can’t help but laugh each time I do a search online at the fees and really just wonder how everyone is going to pay for this?  They don’t have money now what makes you think this is “affordable”.  Most live paycheck to paycheck with just a few dollars left over each month.  I suspect everyone will just be supported by the Government or go into debt to the IRS over the fees of not getting it.  If you don’t have a job, you’ll pretty much be supported by the Government – what else are you going to do to participate into the program.  It’s a requirement so if you’re unemployed, you must get it through claiming poverty (applying) or paying the IRS fees.

I have looked at many comparison websites now.  For Washington State, this appears to be the main one:  Out of curiosity, I ran a basic search.  Husband (35 years old) and Wife (29 years old) making $45,00o per year with one child under 21 years of age.  The total came to a laughable $687 per month.  This maybe reduced to $346 per month with a Government subsidy (however that works) who knows when or how the check comes in the mail.  How about another you ask… OK how about a single male (35 years old) not married and no kids.  Lets say he makes $30,000 per year.  This basic search comes to $282 per month.  There is a subsidy of $73 dollars of that.  Who thinks these numbers up?  Out of the 314 million people in America paying for these high rates now you would think it would be more realistic wouldn’t you?  By the way, these numbers are from the exchange so they’re going to be higher through an insurance company.  It’s just laughable to me that people are just going to support this and pay it each month.

The next few months should be interesting to say the least.




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