Monday, August 18, 2014

It's Hard to Participate, I Know All to Well (Post 4 of a Series of Posts)

The following is my fourth post in a series of posts that shows my letter to those members of Congress who voted for ACA.  If you have not read the first post then I encourage you to do so by clicking here and then reading each successive post until you arrive at this one.

The following portion of the letter is my attempt to help the reader have a better understanding of the effects caused by their vote:


Undesirable Options

Added Costs

Because of your vote for ACA we must make some very tough choices, none of which are ideal. We can:

1.     Move to a plan with our present insurance provider that meets the mandates (aka regulations) of the ACA, which is similar to our current plan, but at an increase in premium of approximately $600 per month (a monthly increase of ~130%) to $985 per month and an increase in the annual deductible by $2,500 (an annual increase of 25%) to $12,500;
2.     Purchase one of three plans on the exchange, but even the bare bones plan is more expensive with a higher deductible and less physician choices; or
3.     Forgo insurance, but incur a “tax” (for NOT engaging in ‘commerce’ leaving me to wonder whether the tax will extend to ‘not’ buying a gym membership to stay healthy or to ‘not’ buying catfish or other crops subsidized by the recent farm bill).

Paid By Forgoing Long-term Investments In Oneself

Assuming we do not receive a sizeable increase in pay and if we choose one of the two former options then we must give up something.  Our options are limited because our budget is tight like most Americans. We can:

1.     Stop saving for our retirement and our children’s education, which amounts to approximately a paltry $200/month;
2.     Eat less healthy foods (as we rarely eat out and strive to eat many healthy fresh foods), which could amount to approximately $200/month per a study recently published in the BMJ Open journal;
3.     Drop our family gym membership, which amounts to approximately $100/ month; and/or
4.     Change the after school program for our children to one of lower quality that provides much less enrichment, which could save anywhere from $100 to $400 per month depending upon the risk we are willing to assume.

Friday, August 8, 2014

It's Hard to Participate, I Know All to Well (Post 3 of a Series of Posts)

The following is my third post in a series of posts that shows my letter to those members of Congress who voted for ACA.  If you have not read the first post then I encourage you to do so by clicking here and then reading each successive post until you arrive at this one.

The following portion of the letter is my attempt to help the reader have a better understanding of four individuals whose lives they have affected by their vote:


Lives Touched

To put my challenges in a better perspective, I think you should know in some detail the four lives whom you have touched and how we seek to deal with the problem that you helped create absent any intervention. From a political perspective, my wife and I are not affiliated with any political party (i.e. we are independents). I lean right and she leans left; hopefully, together we are in the center.   We have two elementary school-age children and together we live in a 1,100 square foot home (~ ½ the median) with three bedrooms and one bathroom, which is currently secured with a mortgage.  We have two cars, one 15 years old, the other six years old with the latter secured with a note.  Our children attend public school and an after-school care facility due to us both working fulltime for which we are truly grateful.  We are grateful because during the depth of the recent recession both of us were underemployed. I even took a position that guaranteed me no income whatsoever, but did guarantee expenses. During this period of underemployment, we incurred additional debt; it was not until late last year after five tough and extremely lean years that our financial situation improved such that we could restructure our debt to begin paying it down and to very modestly renew savings for:
  1. A raining day,
  2. Our eventual & hopeful retirement, and
  3. Our children’s higher education.