Submitted by Lawrence Rafferty-Guest Blogger
With the recent news of an appeals court decision that struck down the individual mandate portion of the Health Care Reform act, the problems with our Health Care system is on the front page again. While we hear politicians claim that the market place should decide all health care cost and access issues, millions are without coverage and the costs Americans pay for health insurance is staggering.
When I opened my business last Fall, I was shopping for affordable health care coverage. My wife teaches in a middle school here in Illinois and we eventually went with her School District’s cheapest family coverage. We joined a HMO which required us to change the doctors that we had both been going to for 20 years, but the cost concerns were overriding. Our cost for the coverage is approximately $550.00 per month for the two of us. Now, imagine my shock when I read that Florida Governor Rick Scott and other State legislators pay $30.00 per month for family coverage!
“Scott is among nearly 32,000 people in state government who pay relatively low health insurance premiums. It’s a perk that is available to high-ranking state officials, including those in top management at all state agencies. Nearly all 160 state legislators are also enrolled in the program that costs just $8.34 a month for individual coverage and $30 a month for family coverage. Brian Burgess, a spokesman for Scott, confirmed the governor and his wife are enrolled in the state health insurance plan, but refused to discuss why Scott signed up. He called the governor’s health care coverage “private matters.” The health insurance coverage provided to Scott used to be free for top state officials until 2010. Rank-and-file state workers pay $50 a month for individual coverage and $180 a month for family coverage. Married couples working in state government also pay the same amount as Scott and legislators.” Miami Herald
As you can see from the Miami Herald quote above, Gov. Scott is paying the same rate that state legislators pay for family coverage. I have no problem with an employer like the State of Florida paying for a nice health care insurance plan for its employees, but when the politicians on both sides of the aisle piggy back on that system and sometimes pay even less than full-time state employees, and then turn around and vote to deny other people the opportunity to obtain quality care at a reasonable cost, the morality alarm goes off in my head. (My morality alarm consists of visions of the good Benedictine nuns chasing me down a hallway with a yardstick in hand.)
You may remember that Gov. Scott has made a name for himself by refusing Federal Affordable Health Care Act funds for his state in the past. First Coast News Those are funds that would provide health care savings and access to his Florida residents who don’t have coverage, but what is good for the goose, is not good for this politician gander!
After reading the Miami Herald article it seems clear to me that my wife and I need to move to Florida and run for the State legislature and then present a bill to make every Florida citizen an employee of the State and maybe then Florida can get affordable coverage for all of its citizens without that evil individual mandate.
Submitted by Lawrence Rafferty-Guest Blogger.