You’ve probably seen the billboards around town warning that cuts to the Affordable Care Act will result in government employees or contractors losing their jobs. Many of those thousands of job losses will be here in Kern County. The message is clear and is heard up and down the state and across the country: Support the collapsing and increasingly burdensome ACA or we might not get paid by taxpayers to give folks free or subsidized healthcare paid for by said taxpayers!
I know what you’re thinking; there she goes again being a heartless and cruel conservative. Quite the opposite. I actually think that Obamacare is cruel. Since its passage, millions of full time employees have become part time or lost their jobs completely. Employers have tried to keep the number of employees under 50 so they won’t go out of business paying for the mandates in the law. People who were never denied healthcare in the first place were suddenly lining up to apply for free or taxpayer subsidized health insurance. Supporters of the ACA celebrated the success of the law, pointing to the creation of taxpayer funded jobs and the expansion of sign ups for Medicaid (Medi-Cal in the Golden State).
How is this success? Killing jobs in the private sector is a victory because more jobs were created for government and more people became dependents of the state? Bluck!
In the conversation about Obamacare I’ve found that most people argue from personal experience. Some say they’ve benefitted greatly from the ACA. Their stories of catastrophic illnesses that would have gone untreated if not for Obamacare are very compelling and hopefully new reforms by Republicans and President Trump will include a way to accommodate those people. It’s something we could have done without changing healthcare law for everyone.
Others, like me, have experienced the downside of ACA. I didn’t get to keep my insurance or my doctor, Mr. Obama. For the years that I had no insurance I still paid taxes so that other people could have it, and I still paid taxes to fund all those great jobs that were created. One year I paid the penalty for not being able to afford to buy health insurance, and still paid taxes for other people to have it!
I know, I know ... if I couldn’t afford insurance why didn’t I apply for the subsidized plans? Answer: While I never begrudged anyone else doing it, I personally didn’t think it was right for my neighbors and friends (who were struggling themselves) to pay for me to be covered! President Obama liked to quote the Bible on this subject by reminding us that we are our brother’s keeper. He was right. We are. But nowhere does Christ teach that “brother’s keeper” means that government shall force your money from you so as to buy others health insurance. He was talking about us taking care of each other as individuals.
As for the possible job losses should ACA be replaced, I wish those people well. But they are working for an entity that doesn’t make money. Every penny government spends comes from citizens who are hoping to keep as much of their earnings as they can for their own families. Most of them are out in the private sector where there are no unions or special interests to buy billboards that advertise their job losses. In the private sector you brush yourself off and look for another job! I invite all government employees who were hired under the Affordable Care Act to come join us in the profit-making world. The taxpaying world. The hard but rewarding world. In other words, the real world.