It’s More Unaffordable to Not Have Health Insurance

The cost of healthcare

With full-time employment, in some cases, employers pay all the health care insurance costs. In other cases, they pay half. When your monthly premium is $400, that $200 subsidy could go a long way.

Rent or health insurance?

I tried to do the responsible thing and buy health insurance, but it becomes prohibitive when you have to foot the bill yourself. Companies were quoting me premiums averaging about $400 per month — even with Obamacare. And with all the other essential bills, such as food, gasoline, rent, adding up, it comes down to a choice of what you can eliminate.

Like many Americans, you ask yourself what you can do without? I can do without health insurance, but I can’t do without transportation, food and shelter. That’s the central problem with Obamacare. It’s still too expensive and forces you to buy into the complicated healthcare system. Even with additional Covered California subsidies the costs are still high for freelance workers.

A $15,000 bill

But people have to ask themselves, can you afford not to have health insurance? I chose to risk not having it and now I have close to $15,000 in medical debt. The worse thing is this: even if I had medical insurance, I still would have had a large bill. However, I realize that owing $7,000 in medical bills is not worse than close to $15,000.

For-profit propaganda

I favor a single-payer system where everyone gets covered. It also lowers health insurance costs because it reduces the administrative and advertising costs for companies. And no matter what the for-profit healthcare talking points tell us, single-payer systems are more efficient. The United Nations rated the French healthcare system the most efficient, and that’s a single-payer program. And you don’t see large numbers of Canadians crossing the border to go to American for-profit hospitals.

Manny Otiko writes about race, politics and sports. He has been published in Salon and LA Weekly. Follow him on Twitter @mannyotiko.

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