OK, that is absurd. but imagine that for a moment.
Imagine if a citizen wanted to go before the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors, they would first have to attest, under penalty of perjury of all their property. “You say you had a bank account that you closed?” … “Well we have a record from 2 years ago that says otherwise, so unfortunately you will have to provide verification that that account has closed.”… “That stock you haven’t touched in years? Yep.” … “Your third home in Baja? Yes please, everything.” And this is a process which could take hours, days, weeks or months depending on how compliant the citizen was and the bureaucratic process.
But this may be an absurd proposal but why shouldn’t we? I think we can demonstrate that our political system favors those with property, in effect a subsidy paid in general tax funds. Seems logical, especially given how we treat those on Cash Aid (aka welfare) and how we treated all Medi-Cal recipients before 1/1/14 when the ACA became a thing.
I ask this question because I’d like to frame what a big deal the ACA, the Affordable Care Act, ObamaCare has been to those in the lower middle class and below. And this is a story which simply is not being told, and I think it’s a crying shame that it hasn’t. The story is short and simple and it is this. Medi-Cal eligibility (most) is based on income. Property is not a factor. (there are exceptions)
What this means for the application process and therefore for the bureaucracy and the time spent applying for Medi-Cal is the whole process is that much simpler and fairer. Where else in our society are people expected to disclose all their financial information? Taxes are income based, there are certain property taxes on homes, etc., certainly. But when hitting bottom, or requesting aid, to go through this final humiliation, one, btw, that had very low thresholds to be found ineligible – to me, it is unconscionable.
Now, for that one conservative who is reading this, I can hear you thinking – they are asking for aid, they have relinquished any rights that property owners whose interests are subsidized through our current political system where we have defined money as speech and corporate entities as legal persons. (I may have embellished your thoughts a little dear reader, sorry).
Here’s the thing, here is what you demonstrated in your arguments (or lack of them) and votes here in Eureka last November: We as a society are OK with not paying salaries that will afford an individual or family health insurance – even for a full time job. We are OK with this because we will tell ourselves that such jobs are really taken by youngsters just getting a start -or- people who just haven’t excelled in life anyway – “better yourself damnit – learn then practice a trade like I did” – or – some people have to earn below a living wage because I am on a fixed income.
I disagree. Our economic system that values capital has unduly affected our political system which should be valuing OUR values and principles – which, btw, do not exclude capital. From the under-reported perspective from the innards of one of our grand bureaucracies – the ACA is revolutionary. It’s beginning to change what was a broken health system as costs spiraled out of control and out of reach of a growing percentage of our population.
On small measure of this is decoupling property from eligibility formulas. I for one think this should be a bigger story. If we put it in context, maybe it could be.
Democrats getting the ACA wrong:
- From Daily Kos: Watch this Democrat disparage Obamacare. This is why they lose!
Representative Stephen Lynch (D-MA) is a conservative Democrat. What is a little frustrating is his Democratic roots seem to be in labor. Sometimes labor doesn’t get it, on health care, labor is important, but they have their own territory to defend and are not always on board with what would be best for all of us. Just saying, something to keep in the back of one’s mind. This isn’t always true, but it does seem to be a thing.
btw – Representative Lynch – you win the bid by decoupling health insurance from employment. It’s a conservative notion, but unfortunately our conservatives are not motivated to make this argument since no one is paying them to make it.
- Senator Charles Schumer in his awesome good government speech. He gets the importance of working for those below the middle class wrong. Good government should be working for both the middle class and those of lessor means in tandem. The ACA is an example of that and President Obama and health care advocates where right to make it a priority when they did.
Tragic Health Care News You Might Have Missed.
- Single-Payer Health Care System Suffers Setback In Vermont; Governor Says Funding Is Just Not There
- From Crooks and Liars: Vermont Governor: We Can’t Afford Universal Healthcare Right Now
I was hoping this would be a route towards universal health care. Looks like we have to put our thinking caps back on.
Informative articles on health insurance in CA and HumCo
- Via the Center for Health Reporting and the Fresno Bee: In Valley, Affordable Care Act called a blessing or a nightmare
- North Coast Journal articles;