I know, I know No shit, Sherlock. But it is, and as usual most Democrats aren't admitting it, but I think that's because they don't even realize it. A few of them seem to think that the healthcare exchanges are going to lower their premiums vs. what they're paying now--too bad there's no recognition of the fact that being able to buy insurance through an employer bars you from the exchanges*.
The Subsidy Calculator from the Kaiser Family Foundation has been making the rounds. So far I've seen I think three people indicate they could obtain cheaper healthcare through the exchange, one of whom realizes she's not eligible because of employer-offered insurance, and another who doesn't realize she's not eligible for the same reason. (The third didn't indicate whether they were also barred, but given that the phrase "$X cheaper than our current plan" was used, I'm guessing so.) Everybody else? Much higher.
Here's my personal example. I'm not going to tell y'all how much money Erik makes 'cause nonya', but I promise I put the real amount in; I'm not dicking around with it at all (I also claimed to not have access to employer-provided health insurance):
Here's what really gets me about it. This line: "You will not be eligible for subsidies in the exchanges because your income is below 100% of the federal poverty level."
Take a look at that annual premium. It works out to $814.41/month. For comparison's sake, let me tell you how much we pay a month in rent: $500. Our electric bill runs about $125. That's more than both put together. Hell, that's more than child support.
Oh, and I know I have an ass-ton of kids, but the figure is the same for "three or more" children.
And here's where the classism comes in. Look at the "If your state expands Medicaid" bit. If our state had expanded Medicaid, we could just get on Medicaid! It's those mean ol' Repbulicans' fault!
Because Medicaid is exactly the same as private insurance, right?
Only, it's not. I've mentioned before that the kids are on Medicaid, 'cause although I am perfectly willing to continue on without insurance myself, I'm not willing to do that for the kids. I'm still dealing with the fallout of not having insurance, of never receiving treatment for my scoliosis. (I've heard tell some people can actually stand up for long stretches without crippling pain!) So, the kids have Medicaid and we try to tread as lightly on it as possible--I don't run them to the doc for every little cold, but if any of them develop the same problems I had as a kid, I want to be able to get them treatment. I want them to not grow up feeling guilty for getting sick, like I did.
Anyway. Medicaid. It's not the same as private insurance. I've had private insurance before, both for me and my kids. I know that the way it works is you have a problem, and you call up and make an appointment and the most it takes is a couple of weeks. Medicaid works like that in theory, but the reality is much different, particularly given how little doctors are paid for their Medicaid patients.
Again, a personal example. Esther failed a hearing test at school. I need to get her hearing tested. Naturally, and I know this isn't usually different with private insurance, I have to to make her an appointment with her primary care doctor. This whole thing started back in March. I called to make an appointment, and the first available was not until July. Four months later. As luck would have it, the truck broke down the day before her appointment, so I had to reschedule it. Next available date? September. And all the fuck I need is a check-up so I can get an audiologist referral.
But Democrats say I should be happy with this.
These healthcare exchanges and their bogus subsidies don't benefit the poorest among us. They're set up specifically not to. The law could have been written to offer subsidies to everyone below a certain income level, or at least who couldn't get insurance that's not below a certain percentage of their income. But it wasn't. It was written to put the very poor into one category and the not-so-poor into another category. Only one of them is worthy of private insurance and (spoiler alert!) it's not the people the Democrats claim to care about.
So, for me, it comes back to this: I am a Republican not because I believe in voting against my own interests, as I've been told several times, but because I am clear-eyed enough to realize neither major party truly has my best-interests at heart, and the Republicans at least don't insult me by pretending they do.
*You can actually utilize them if your employer-offered health care is above 9.something percent of your income, supposedly.