When I retired in the fall of 2007, I managed to keep a few months worth of Cobra health coverage through my old employer. The cost of that insurance was around 450 dollars a month. Although I've had a few health issues over the years, they tend to be sporadic rather than chronic. With proper diet, exercise, and the elimination of other bad habits- I've been able to live a fairly undiminished lifestyle.
With very minimal prescription costs of about ten bucks a month, and two trips to a "Doc in the Box", my costs have been small. Thus at the end of 2007, I jettisoned Cobra coverage. My net savings of 16,200 over three years was probably closer to 20k factoring in the yearly premium increases.
It used to require gross earnings of 30k to clear 20k. This is an incredible amount of money- up in smoke. I am not here to argue whether you think I may become a burden to you. Quite honestly that's not the point. We are all forced to the health care watering hole where the predators wait.
Because my health is relatively good, I was able to opt out of health care insurance. During the collapse of 2008, I suspected that our country would face a health care crisis. Very simply, the young and the healthy would be forced out of health plans. The newly unemployed. The young and the healthy could strategically default, just as I had done. Thus the only remaining people in health plans would be those who absolutely had to have them, could not switch because of prior conditions, or people so afraid of going uncovered that opting out of health insurance coverage was simply not an option for them. Those that would pay any amount of money.
I suspected, and rightly so, that the mass exodus of the healthy would leave the unhealthy and the insurers holding the bag. Costs would go supernova. This has happened. That health care in this country is socialized already- is without question. Those who don't need health care pay for those that must have it. That the atrocious costs we have been burdened with are the result of people who cannot pay or who use far more than their share of pooled premiums. Coupled with an entire strata of health care buzzards that simply cannot or will not even attempt cost containment.
Thus Obamacare was a simple acknowledgment and an extension of a socialized system that already existed. Yawn.
Under Obamacare, the system cannot work without robbing young and healthy people of their premium dollars- therefore the government had to make it illegal not to participate. What Obamacare is really all about- is recapturing and forcing those of us who have had the good fortune and health to exit health plans. People who were opting out en masse. Thus, under government threat, they forced us back in. Without question, Obamacare is a tax. It is wealth confiscation and redistribution from the healthy and wealthier segment of our population to the not so healthy and wealthy segment. Simple as that. Demographics.
And as crazy as all of that sounds, nobody represented the healthy. In other words, there was nothing in this plan for people living healthy lifestyles. Nobody forced health insurers or providers to reduce costs. There were no profit margin regulations, no drug maker concessions, no reduced profit margins for drugs under patent protection or medical devices. No reduced awards for malpractice attorneys. No abandonment of the bullshit "non profit" moniker and legal tax evasion technique of many hospitals. No forced reduction of administrative costs. No caps on salaries. No reform whatsoever. Business was allowed to remain status quo. Government literally robbed the young and healthy and failed to represent their interests in any significant way, shape, or form.
Obamacare is a tax complete with penalties for non compliance. Remember that phrase, "No taxation without representation? The phrase captures a sentiment central to the cause of the English Civil War, as articulated by John Hampden who said “what an English King has no right to demand, an English subject has a right to refuse” in the Ship money case.
Who represented the young and healthy? The people who could strategically default if they absolutely had to? Nobody.