Need a Little Help – Again

From the Raleigh News & Observer, November 15, 2017: eliminating the mandate in the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare, ACA) for obtaining health insurance will save the Federal Government $300 billion.

If the taxpayer must pay a penalty for being uninsured, isn’t that payment revenue? If that revenue is eliminated, how does that save $300 billion?

I did a cost comparison on the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) website for a family of four (husband and wife both 45; children 10 and 14) living in Wake Forest, NC, with no health insurance from their jobs and annual income of $50K. No health insurance: penalty estimate, $2,045/year. Health insurance premium estimate: $17,534/year.

And the explanation on the KFF site indicated that the family’s cost might wind up at $0 with the standard deduction. I’m no accountant, but I do know that you can’t get insurance companies to charge you $0.  Wouldn’t that family would have to fork over $1,461 a month?  And when and how do they wind up at $0?

If I’m wrong thinking this is yet another form of voodoo economics, please set me straight.

The only prize for the correct answers will be my gratitude. Thanks!


The Reluctant Septuagenarian

Slightly more than half-way through my 78th year on Planet Earth, confusion yet reigns. The mirror confirms suspicions, but the brain persists in persuading and encouraging attempts to do all manner of things a septuagenarian should not attempt.

You are done with ladders, says the mirror, not to mention the legs and the sense of balance, and yet….

Eating that will likely steal your sleep, says the mirror, not to mention the liquids that will do the same, and yet….

Watch where you’re going, says the mirror, not to mention slowing down and picking up your feet so as not to trip and fall, and yet….

Get off your rear end and exercise, says the mirror, not to mention get to the health club, do some yoga, or at least take a walk, and yet…..

Why are you keeping all those tools and other equipment that would stock a small hardware store, asks the mirror, and you mutter about projects you probably shouldn’t try any more, selling the stuff, or giving it away, and yet….

Why haven’t you at last given up trying to convince the troglodytes and antediluvian Dumb Donnie supporters about politics, asks the mirror, and you mumble a Sam Rayburn paraphrase about how it takes talent to build something but any jackass can knock something down and keep trying to convince those who would rather convince you otherwise, and yet…..

A few of my pals, fans of the late Andy Rooney of TV’s 60 Minutes, have muttered that lately my writing has begun to resemble some of his stories that finished that venerable Sunday evening news program.

High praise indeed, although I’m not quite convinced it is meant as praise….and yet….