Most people don’t understand this simple fact. When you want people to have something, you have to pay for it. It’s not going to be some imaginary 1 percent footing the bill.
There aren’t enough of them. The costs always end up hitting the middle class.
Cindy Vinson and Tom Waschura are big believers in the Affordable Care Act. They vote independent and are proud to say they helped elect and re-elect President Barack Obama.
Yet, like many other Bay Area residents who pay for their own medical insurance, they were floored last week when they opened their bills: Their policies were being replaced with pricier plans that conform to all the requirements of the new health care law.
Vinson, of San Jose, will pay $1,800 more a year for an individual policy, while Waschura, of Portola Valley, will cough up almost $10,000 more for insurance for his family of four.
“There’s going to be a number of people surprised” by their bills, said Jonathan Wu, a co-founder of ValuePenguin, a consumer finance website. “The upper-middle class are the people who are essentially being asked to foot the bill, and that’s true across the country.”
The middle class always has to foot the bill for the Democratic Party’s base which doesn’t like to do things like work for a living.
Covered California spokesman Dana Howard maintained that in public presentations the exchange has always made clear that there will be winners and losers under Obamacare.
“I was laughing at Boehner — until the mail came today,” Waschura said, referring to House Speaker John Boehner, who is leading the Republican charge to defund Obamacare.
“I really don’t like the Republican tactics, but at least now I can understand why they are so pissed about this. When you take $10,000 out of my family’s pocket each year, that’s otherwise disposable income or retirement savings that will not be going into our local economy.”
Both Vinson and Waschura have adjusted gross incomes greater than four times the federal poverty level — the cutoff for a tax credit. And while both said they anticipated their rates would go up, they didn’t realize they would rise so much.
“Of course, I want people to have health care,” Vinson said. “I just didn’t realize I would be the one who was going to pay for it personally.”
Who did she think was going to pay for it?
Federal poverty level for a single household is $11,490. Four times the federal poverty level is barely hanging in to the middle class these days.
“I’m not against Obamacare,” Waschura said. “It’s just the initial shock. I’m holding out hope that there will be a correction over a handful of years.”
There will be. Rates will go higher and treatment options will be cut.