Health Care Reform, One Little Sting At A Time




Every day a little sting
In the heart and in the head
Every move and every breath
And you hardly feel a thing
Brings a perfect little death

A Little Night Music, Steven Sondheim


Last month Congressional Democrats passed an unwanted health care reform bill and  Barack Obama signed it into law. They created and pushed this “reform” ‘ despite the objections of most of their constituents.

Americans know the bill is a fiscal sham, and for those of us who already have health care insurance, we expect our quality of care to decline and costs to rise. Insured working people will  face a slow torture of little cuts —  too small to cause an uproar, almost too tiny to notice. But the pain has already started; the Body American has begun to falter. Average people are beginning to hurt.

Some recent examples from my life:

  1. My eighty-year-old parents suddenly face a big increase in their Medicare Part D costs. They take a lot of pills every day. Now their savings are diminishing faster.
  2. My employer announced, per SEC rules, a new, multi-million charge against earnings. This is caused by the health care reform tax changes for retiree coverage. Who gets hurt here?

    • At first it will be the shareholders and pension funds, perhaps YOUR pension fund or your 401K, that get less investment income. Hundreds of companies  will be paying less dividends.
    • Shortly therafter, we  can expect companies to reduce or eliminate any prior obligation to their retirees; it will be too expensive to cover them.
    • But it’s the employees at the companies who are cringing right now. We know companies never just absorb a cost, they will take it out of the bottom line by reducing hiring, or worse, current headcount. People are going to lose their jobs.
  3. Last week I had my annual physical. I had three blood tests, the same ones I get every year: PSA, TSH, and cholesterol. My cost is $189. The cost per test went up 50% and there were were new fees.  I can only guess the reason: new taxes from Obamacare and the new costs to cover the millions of new people; my HMO must raise its rates on me to pay them. I’ve decided to skip these tests from now on; I’m not spending that much money for a routine test.

  4. And yesterday I saw this at Gold’s Gym:


    Two health insurance companies were no longer subsiding a wellness program with Gold’s. These are programs that reimburse people if they attend a gym a minimum number times a month. It’s suddenly become too expensive. Many people, no doubt the elderly and overweight, will probably stop coming to the gym and may even cancel their memberships if they must pay full cost. Gold’s will  lose business or lay off employees  to keep a profitable bottom line.


No one has died from ObamaCare. Yet. That will take years. Just some bruises and cuts for years to come.

And we will weaken, tire and fade.


Every move and every breath
And you hardly feel a thing
Brings a perfect little…


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