Personal Health Insurance Reform

In breaking news today, we are starting to get a taste of how Democrats are going to penalize you if you don’t buy health insurance.  Sen. Baucus is proposing fining American families up to $3,800 for not buying health insurance.  After the Democrat healthcare plan passes, it may become cheaper to renounce your citizenship and live here as an illegal alien.

Of course, Republicans can’t really make too much noise, since they almost put Mitt Romney forward as their Presidential candidate.  The only difference between Romney’s healthcare plan in Massachusetts and Baucus’ plan is that Romney’s didn’t violate the Federal Constitution.

Obama said some great things in his speech to schoolkids today. If I didn’t know any better, I would think he was a Conservative Republican.  It got me thinking.  Perhaps we are focused on the wrong type of reform.  Democrats love to talk about the 47 million uninsured, give or take.  Apparently the CBO says it could vary by 10 million in either direction on any given day.  This number may be true, but it is misleading. It counts illegal aliens, those who make more than $50,000 a year but choose to not buy health insurance, those who are between insurances, and those who are eligible for state and federal assistance already but don’t take advantage of it.  It also counts those who are young, in excellent health, and just might not need full coverage insurance.

We definitely need to find constitutional ways to provide healthcare for those who truly cannot afford it and have no access.  But before we throw the Constitution in the garbage and completely remake our healthcare system to be more like Andorra’s (fourth best healthcare nation in the world, according to the World Health Organization), maybe we should consider personal health insurance reform.  Consider the following personal reforms:

Set your healthcare and the healthcare of your family as a priority.  How often have we seen it?  The overweight person on the evening news with a cigarette in their hand telling about how bad they have it and how they need national healthcare.  Do they really care about their healthcare?

BlueCross BlueShield is now boasting health insurance plans starting lower than $30 a month.  If you are looking for something more comprehensive, you can go to ehealthinsurance.com and shop around.  I added two kids to my family and got some quotes and for more than bare bones I could expect to pay $300 a month on average.  So let’s go with that number.

So let’s look at your finances.  Do you smoke?  Tobaccofreekids.org estimates the cost of a pack of cigarettes to be an average of $5.29 in the US.   So let’s say you smoke three packs a week.  Quit smoking and you can save about $60 a month.  Get your spouse to quit too and you are almost halfway to being able to afford health insurance.

Do you drink regularly?  Beer is about $1 a can.  Skip a beer every night.  You just saved another $30 a month.  If your spouse skips as well, you have saved $180 a month just from quitting smoking and cutting back on the beers.

How much do you spend on Cable TV?  Is that really worth more than your health?  If you have cheap basic cable you can save $10 a month.  If you have good cable tv and no health insurance, shame on you.  However, that aside, you can save up to $130 a month by cutting back on your cable, depending on how good it is.  Congratulations, now you can afford health insurance and I don’t have to buy it for you.

Library cards are free.  At your local library you can get books, movies, music, and all sorts of other forms of entertainment.  You can get the internet at the Library.  How much would that save you?

How many times a week do you eat out?  Shave off a trip to McDonalds for you and your family.  You just saved more than $20 on one meal. Imagine what you could save by skipping your next trip to Chili’s?

Use coupons.  It may be embarrassing, but let me tell you what is more embarrassing: me paying for your healthcare when you could have bought it yourself.    My wife has saved more with coupons this year than our health insurance costs.

Shop for clothes and other items at thrift stores.  You can get brand name clothes for 1% of the cost, sometimes with the tags still on them.  Don’t make me use my taxes to buy your health insurance because you are too proud to shop at thrift stores.

Now, I know Cash for Clunkers was a great deal and all, but did you really just take on a new car payment?  Is your ride really more important than your health?  Did you know that you can buy a used car for as cheap as your next four months car payments will be, and it will last you for years?  Buy used, buy cheap, and be able to buy health insurance.

President Obama just told our school kids the importance of personal responsibility, the rewards of hard work, and how every individual has an opportunity to succeed and take care of themselves in America.  Let’s see if they can put together a healthcare plan that reflects that.

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1 Response to “Personal Health Insurance Reform”


  1. 1 Health care -- how do we move forward September 8, 2009 at 8:26 pm

    The only thing for sure is that if we ‘reform’ health care we will trade one set of problems for a different set of problems. In case you haven’t noticed even the supposed best health plans in the world aren’t a walk in the park. They, too, haven’t figured out the affordability issue.

    Follow the healthcare debate and health delivery challenges at http://www.ilovebenefits.wordpress.com


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