We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Monday, January 7. 2008
I was born in Boston. I've lived in Massachusetts for the vast majority of my life. I don't want to live here any more.
Mitt Romney has surrendered me to my enemies. It's foolish to blame it on him, perhaps; his successor, Deval Patrick, stays up late every night thinking of things I detest. But Romney's face is on this Massachusetts Universal Medical Insurance Requirement.
I don't have health insurance. I haven't had any health insurance for about four years. I had health insurance for four years prior to that. Before that, I didn't have health insurance for twenty years. I've never had dental insurance.
Health insurance is a misnomer. Insurance is designed to safeguard you from ruination if unexpected things happen. People call that "catastrophic health insurance" nowadays. They call prepaying for all sorts of tangentially medical-related things "health insurance," but it's really more like a retainer or a club.
Massachusetts wouldn't allow me to insure myself or my family. They still don't, really. I should be able to insure my family of four for a few hundred dollars a month against catastrophe, while I pay 100% of everyday doctor bills out of pocket. It's illegal here now, as it was illegal here before.
Very wealthy people use tax-subsidized employee benefit money for all sorts of things that have no business being called "Health," and the legislature mandates that all these sorts of extraneous, frivolous, and even criminal things must be covered by any insurance offered in this state. I tried to get insurance before the state mandated it. It cost over $1100 dollars a month, and it had deductibles that we would never conceivably meet, So we just ended up paying on the nail for everything anyway. I let the insurance lapse, and saved the money to pay my doctor bills.
I've been hospitalized a few times in last decade; my wife, too. My children are well looked after. I don't owe any doctor or hospital any money.
I can't afford "Health" Insurance. Mitt Romney famously announced that he'd wrung the concession from our corrupt and contemptible legislature to allow catastrophic insurance to be offered in the state if he enacted a Universal Healthcare Requirement. He left, because he's a carpetbagger, like pretty much every governor has been here for decades. And two weeks or so later, the legislature reneged. If I wanted insurance, it was right back to over $1000 a month, and it really didn't cover anything sensible fully. But now it's required.
What good is insurance that pays all but ten dollars of an office visit but makes you pay 20% of the cost of a heart transplant if you need one? Somehow you're not supposed to be able to scrape up $150 to have your kid vaccinated for school, but you're expected to have 20% of a six-figure disaster laying around? They're unclear on the concept of insurance. Do they think that if I have a 20% stake in the proceedings, I'm less likely to ask for a heart transplant I don't need?
I'm not poor. I just have no money. I've started a business (Two, really. Well three, kinda.) and it's been difficult. In addition to the State demanding I squander a grand I don't have every month, the US Government demands I get Flood Insurance, even though I don't want it. It's gone from $500 a year to $2600 a year, and it doesn't cover anything, really. I think people enthusiastic about additional government insurance schemes should examine those numbers. My water bill has tripled, though I use less now, and never used very much. My property tax has soared. All told, all the various governments are demanding I spend close to $20,000 just to exist in Massachusetts for a year. And that's not including any income taxes.
I didn't make $20,000 last year.
I could subject myself to an inquisition, and try to be declared poor, and get subsidized insurance, which I imagine is a sort of byzantine Rube Goldberg system with lots of ratios and sliding scales and me pretty much paying for everything like I did before. Then every month I could wonder if I was perpetrating a fraud if I made any money. No one in the government understands or cares about small business. If they do understand it, they hate it and want to kill it.
But I'm being fined $150 a month for not having insurance now. Think of that. Could Marx, or Engels, or Dickens himself come up with a Victorian sweatshop equivalent of being fined because you don't have the money to buy something, but you are required to have it? Do I go to debtor's prison, or the regular kind?
Here's the execrable Boston Globe on the topic:
Beginning with the 2007 state income tax return, those who refuse to enroll in a health insurance plan will lose their personal exemption, worth roughly $200 a year. And beginning on January 1, 2008, uninsured people will be subject to penalties of roughly $150 a month. That's tough, but it's necessary to change the behavior of people who are used to going without insurance, either because they are healthy or are accustomed to relying on the Uncompensated Care Pool to pay for their care.
That's tough is a marvelous way to phrase that. You could read that two different ways, couldn't you? See, it's necessary for them to change my behavior. Taking care of yourself and your family is not allowed. I'm spoiling it for everybody else, apparently. Just like catastrophic insurance would ruin everything, which I want and could afford but they won't let me buy, because it doesn't cover acupuncture or penis pills or sex-change operations or a drunken Irish gangster's grandson's all-encompassing-pharmacopeia bills or something.
But never fear. The Globe says there's a way out. I can go and beg. I can go in front of a government functionary and beg.
As I said, I am entrusted with the care of a wife and two small children. There is a lot to raising two children, things that go well beyond money. I have to teach them things about being industrious, sober, decent human beings, and good citizens.
I'm teaching them something right here, right now. I hope it's the right thing. Here goes.
Hey, government functionary. Hey, Mitt Romney. Pound sand.
Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)
Yes, that is the way it is for our family also. But, then perhaps "healthcare" for all is really about healthcare for Mexico. In the same way that our "student loan" system is about providing free education for minority students--not fairly priced education for those taking out student loans--Anglo/American America.
Try moving to the United States while that is still legal.
The day will come when you will not be allowed to leave until all your 'obligations' to the State are first met.
I like Mitt. You might say I'm a Mitt man. I'd follow Mitt, or Fred, or Rudy. McCain looses me somewhere in the area of expediency, and Huckabee would send me to Obama. That's how tired i am of Arkansas fast-talkers. Looks like the Clintons have become yesterday -- I'm so happy I could dance -- in fact i think i will, right now --
Health insurance - a subisidized 'benefit' to attract workers back to the workplace after the social security 'benefit' told them to retire, just when we needed them in the workforce.
The problem is not some folks without 'health insurance' it is that too many have it... and we pay, now, to keep a bureaucratic machine going that might, just might if you are lucky once in awhile, provide some health care.
Thought about that a bit ago, and I am coming to severely dislike this 'entitlement' concept that makes one 'entitlement' necessary because of a previous 'entitlement' which, itself, takes decisions away from citizens. ( http://thejacksonianparty.blogspot.com/2007/09/insurance-assurance-and-prosperity.html )
I wish i had read's Roger's post before rather than after i wrote the above comment -- please excuse my tone-deaf words, which are contextually irrelevant to the real info in the post. Info which is rather hair-raising.
That you were born in Massachusetts and continue to dwell there despite not even making 20K per year AND being subjected to such atrocities, speaks volumes about your ability to 'learn', but I'll try anyway.
You plainly state that Romney's not to blame AND that it was your duly elected legislature which reneged and caused this situation - so perhaps you can explain how it is that the blame falls on Romney. Do try and limit your words and use only words that have some actually bearing on what in THE hell you're trying to say.
You can buy private health insurance in Massachusetts - how is it, then, illegal? You sound confused. You tried to get insurance but then decided not to do so because it covered too much or things YOU deemed unecessary? Are you a doctor? Actuary? Oh, wait, not at 20K per, nevermind.
How is it that you think YOU are qualified to determine what should and shouldn't be covered? Moreover, you bring up flood insurance. You live in flood plain, Roger? Assuming that you're not living in the box a refridgerator came in, at $2600.00 @ year for flood insurance, it would take ... what ... ten years of those premiums to replace your home. You find that exorbitant or userous? Personally, I find anyone who lives in a flood plain a very bad risk indeed - obviously they aren't too bright.
See. the state must make things like flood insurance and health insurance mandatory, simply BECAUSE there ARE idiots who refuse to accept the reality of their situations. Take YOU for instance. You state that you pay your children's doctor bills out of pocket. But what happens if one of the little darlings gets hit by a bus? Or worse, swept away in a flood? Who ya gonna call then, Roger? YOU certainly can't cover it. See how that works? You will ask the state to cover it and nothing is free.
Just so I understand, are you saying that because the state refuses to gve you a $150.00 deduction, that they are fining you? That was never YOUR money to begin with, Roger. Oh, I know, it was fine and dandy as long as you were on the receiving end of their largesse, but when they stop not letting you have what you think you are entitled to - they become the ogre. You realize, of course, that's analagous to going to an all-you-can-eat buffet and having your fill and then demanding a doggie bag for that which remains? You would be the first person to demand the state and federal government 'help you rebuild' after a flood OR stitch your little darling up after a bad accident.
And yet, you feel somehow - put upon - when asked OR even required to actually defray the cost of so doing? And all of this misery could be avoided if you simply jumped through a couple of hoops and sought 'subsidized insurance' in the event you were poor?
Roger, you ARE poor, You choose to live in the most expensive state in the Union, with the highest overall tax rates, property taxes, cost of living and you are making less than that pimply-faced kid down at McDonalds. Nobody is forcing you to do that, Roger. But that is not where your true poverty is.
No, it's your lack of common sense, grasp of reality and inabiity to solve simple problems that's your deficit. If things are so bad there, why not move?
Move to higher ground, for instance, and eliminate that awful flood insurance.
Move to another state where they have yet to mandate health insurance and then when you or yours get too sick or injured for your 20K per to cover - you can simply let that state pay the bills. Of course, that will only work so long as the Democrats don't win in 2008.
Then you really ARE screwed.
Actually, Roger, you're a perpetual victim. And victims have nowhere to run - they'll always be the victim, no matter where they live or in what state they reside. There's no insurance coverage for victimhood.
The rest of us pay those bills.
I can't take this post seriously. He hasn[t even checked out the options (subsidization.) This guy just wants to bitch.
Roger is no victim. He simply believes in the freedom to take his own risks, and to be responsible for them. I respect that in a man. He asks for nothing from anybody.
Time will tell. I doubt at his income he has enough saved for retirement or any long term care issues. Our society will not put him or his family out on an ice flow; we will step up to the plate and take care of things for him. He will allow this, I assume, if the choice is not so esoteric, but is the choice of life or death for a loved one.
This end-of-life stuff is thorny when your idealism comes up against hard cash for care.
I guess what I am saying is that for one person to choose to live without a net is one thing, brave and bold...a person after my own heart (as long as that person has a DNR and Living Will in place!), but where children are concerned? What will this person choose for his children if things go really south and he cannot afford care/surgery/therapy? Let them whither/die for his independence?
The Land of Really Crappy Choices, that.
Worst post on Maggie's Farm ever! Picture absolutely demeaning and unnecessary.
Strike One for this reader.
Let me guess.
Y'all are MorMittites.
Milagro, stillundone, dufus and yourself.
Since when do y'all go door to door in mobs?
ps I do like LDS shiney pictures.
I R not a Mormon. But they be fine with me -- their values are pretty much standard western normal.
That was some wicked fierce good writing! I loved it - write more please!!!
I'm not a Mormon. Nor am I a Baptist, or Unitarian, or even a Hari Krishna. Truth be told I'm not very "Religious," at all.
I'm just the "Taxpayer" that will end up paying if the poster's child is diagnosed with a brain tumor, and requires the incredibly expensive surgery, hospitalization/treatment that mine did.
I wouldn't mind if he would just try; but, not even checking out the subsidization? That's just wrong.
rufus has a solid point. pride has a place, but it ain't 'every' place.
Mormon? hardly! Now that IS funny. I know my friends who also read Maggies are howling with laughter.
(however, that is close to name calling....come on Leag, you can do better)
and besides, most start-ups are cash-starved. being too proud to accept that is counter to the idea of not being ashamed of low cash. if low cash is nothing shameful, why would the subsidation program be shameful? honest question.
Unless LDS apostle and prophet lifted off for his own planet and left Romney in charge; poor, old mitt is a religion but only unto his wife, children and political junkies.
MorMitt is me pet nickname for the democrat at Rebublican debates.
Buddy has long been pining to align there and others, who are there, are MorMittites. (compare Reaganites, Clintonistas)
And that is name calling.
MorMitt is topic of post and he kinda looks like his dad, but not quiet as gay.
Senator McCain had his number when agreeing with MorMitt.
MorMitt is the candidate of change.
If y'all like him, vote for him but no need to be ashamed.. it's America.
The "taxpayer" has my condolences.
That really is a lonely field to plow, pilgrim.
Me thinks, poster is one brave individual even if he did not expect the ad hominem blasts from a tadpole pool of MorMittites.
I hope your child is well.
well. Since you've honored me by name, I'll agree, I've been impressed with Mitt's business record, his temperament, his can-do optimism, his lack of any discernable crazy/zealot streak, and his obvious electability (a GOP gov of Taxxachusetts, no less) for some time now. But Fred's good, too, and so is Rudy!
and if I might register a small objection, the only republican you could rightfully call a democrat, of the five guys onstage last night, is maybe Huckabee. the other four are pro-growth lean-government types -- by their records. and even Huckabee is nowhere near the politics of the democrat contenders.
Like you say Roger, business and people living in Mass. pay tons of taxes. The subsidy is bought and paid for with your own money. I do not think it is begging. Sounds like you are stuck anyways so best to try it out. Might not be so bad. Having major medical coverage has benefitted my family. Hope to never need it but you never know.
Sorry to hear about your child Rufus. Can relate. Had a young adult family member suffer a brain tumor. Such a terrible, traumatic diagnosis. There were many expenses even with good medical coverage.
Patina's right -- sorta unsettling to have to circulate it from left hand thru the state back to the right hand, but you're already paying for the program so why not use it? You'll feel better in the morning. I'm about to do something similar--I like you have self-insured for years--just paid out of pocket and kept those insurance premiums invested in my name rather than some insurance company's. and it's been a great investment--by the numbers. But now, having been 39 for many (cough) years, it's time to buy the catastrophe coverage -- for the kids' sake -- along with a DNR, a living will, and a steady stream of marlboros so's i don't linger too long, LOL.
You may... and ... so noted with demure;
MorMitt is raised democrat, listens to his daddy, a democrat exalted to an obviously, democratic planet.
Like Hussein he trys to disguise his true self from public scrutiny with platitudes.
I have more real change in my pocket than either of these vipers will ever deliver.
MorMitt has said policies based on false premises are good for Massholes.
Obama said he'll give Americans the same health care he gave Illinoiseans.
Follow them if'n y'all must.
i guess there's always the chance that whomsoever get elected, he or she might rip off a rubber mask and become the creature from the lagoon. but whatcha gonna do, can't opt for 'none of the above', so, gotta go with the 'record'. and the intuition about temperament. and stamina--which is alas somewhat a function of age & health.
Thanks for your well-wishes; She's Great! Marvelous Surgeon. Sometimes I do Thank God. This is one of them.
I, also, thank the Greatest Medical Care in the World. We've just got to make the accessibility/payment system a little more rational.
hear hear--ironing out a few wrinkles is so much easier than stealing a shovel so you can mine ore so you smelt steel so you build a plow so you can turn earth so you can plant flaxseed so you can weave new homespun--er, after you build a loom of course.
Sometimes better to just Pay the Man, and go join the family and have a few laughs they can remember you by. Don Quixote in his idealism was very admirable, but as the book tells, it was hell to "be" him.
Hussein and MorMitt are unmasked already.
However, preponderance of facts doesn't lead to an acknowledement of truth for any who will not to see.
What is that green fuzzy around mitt's face, anyway?