Friday, December 7, 2012

The High Cost of Free

A story: If you read my blogs then you have heard me more than once speak of my friend Thiry. Well Thiry is married to Kelly and Kelly has an amazing talent for wood working, cabinetry and doing custom interior carpentry. For years Kelly used his skills and abilities working for others, but a few years ago...he decided to go out on his own. This act is the true meaning of the word entrepreneurship. He started with only his talent and a small amount of money and grew his business to the point where he could take care of his family. Of course they are not rich as his is mostly a one man enterprise....but word of his talent got around and he was more than able to make ends meet. Kelly, like many small business people in this country did his best to help grow not only his business but other small businesses. He tried to buy local and purchase inventory and goods from other small businesses. Somehow....even in the down turn of the economy of the last few years, Kelly has been able to hold on with the hope that soon the economy would take an upswing and he and his fellow small business people might once again be on stable and even prosperous ground. Of late though....the possibility of Kelly being able to maintain his small business along with the life expectancy of the small businesses he does business looking very grim.

In the last week, Kelly has been getting notices from the small businesses he deals with letting him know that as of the first of the year....they will be charging significantly more for their products and services. Why? Because they as small businesses are going to have to start paying out health care benefits to their employees or risk high penalty costs. What does this mean for Kelly? It means that he is going to have to pass this increase onto his customers which means that rather than going with a small business man who does beautiful custom work....many of his customers will be forced financially to go with the big companies who do cheaper cookie cutter work. It also means that if God willing his business where to get busy again....he would not be able to hire extra help to get him through the busy times because he would not be able to afford to cover them in healthcare.

What is the probable outcome? Kelly's business and many of the small businesses he currently works with will no longer be around in 12 to 24 months. The trickle down effect will be that these small businesses who do employ people will either have to cut their employees hours so they won't have full time status....or the employees will likely be unemployed as these businesses close. The days of being able to start and build a business will be gone due to the high cost of healthcare put on businesses.

Now I know many of you are sitting there thinking...."But businesses should supply healthcare!" Why? Why are we guaranteed healthcare just because we have a job? I have worked for years at jobs that did not supply healthcare. I supplied my own. Was it easy? No! But I never once felt owed healthcare and I was thankful for a job. Bottom one owes me anything! If I want it....I will work for it and if I can't work...then I will do without. My healthcare is not the responsibility of the taxpayers or the government. It is mine.

FREE! It is an enticing word and one that will make even the most jaded person do a double take. Free is what everyone wants and sadly what everyone suddenly feels entitled to. The word free really started getting bandied about a great deal when talk of President Obama's healthcare reform started. We all knew there was an issue with healthcare in this country especially where the very poor and the elderly were concerned and we all knew that something needed to be done....but when the word "free" was spoken.....people suddenly lost all good and rational sense and jumped on the Obamacare bandwagon. Rather than start with drug companies and work to lower drug costs and work on getting healthcare affordable.....we went from astronomical cost to "free!" Really???? 

Perhaps it is my partial college education or more likely my age and the life lessons I have learned....but one thing I know for sure is.....NOTHING is free. When a product or service are offered as free...someone...somewhere always ends up paying! An example: I can offer someone a free cheesecake and to them it maybe free but I paid for it. I paid for the ingredients and I put in the labor so that they might have a "free" cheesecake. I might be able to offer a free product on a rare occasion....but if I did that for everyone all the time, I would go broke and I would no longer be able to supply anyone with cheesecake. It is the same with Obamacare. Someone is going to have to pay for this so-called free entitlement that people seem to think is owed them. Here is how it will work.

We as a country are not healthy. Daily......people die of cancer, lupus, AIDS, heart disease and the list goes on and on. We are an obese people and the obesity spurs many of these diseases on. We also have a large population of people with disabilities as well as a huge population of people 65+ years of age. What do all of these people have in common? Ninety percent will or currently do need some kind of chronic or intense healthcare. This means anything from specialty doctors to hospitalization, lab/pathology, radiology, therapies, surgeries, pharmaceuticals and even hospice care. Behind each of these needs are high tech equipment which costs thousands to millions of dollars, specialized professionals who require a paycheck that matches both their education and expertise and products and services required to educate, create and produce all of it. Healthcare is an amazing field with life saving advances made all the time....but it is anything but free. Without the advances and the specialists, the therapies, the care and the pharmaceuticals......many would die...and yet make no mistake, healthcare is a business. To tell Americans that all of this is somehow an entitlement and will soon be theirs for free is at the very least a bold face lie....but that lie was perpetuated into swaying a majority of Americans into not only buying into the lie but also helping to make it the law of the land. It is not a will soon be mandatory for all except those who are exempt like congress and the President. Do you see something funny going on here?

Tell me with any common sense at we can possibly supply everyone with free healthcare? Usually you get what you pay for and folks.....soon we will get just that. There will be no new advances in medicine because that takes money and if no one is paying for their healthcare....then no one is helping to fund advancements. And yes...there are those with disposable incomes that give to funding and advancements...but how many disposable incomes will there be when they are taxed to the hilt to pay for the "free" healthcare? Without medical study and advancements, diseases such as cancer will continue to go unchecked and millions more will die. And advances in heart disease, lupus and Parkinsons will never come to fruition. Then there are the machines that help to find and diagnose illness and disease. The new and upgraded models will never be produced without money, the current models will become dinosaurs because no one can afford to use them and the old ones will become obsolete. People will not be able to afford the education to even become a general practitioner, let alone a specialist and so those who have the education and expertise to work miracles such as organ transplants and neurosurgery.....will become non-existant. Life saving drugs from anti-biotics to cancer drugs will be black market only because no one can afford to make them or take them.

So what will free healthcare look like? It will look like long lines waiting in understaffed clinics to be seen. It will look like only basic care given because clinics and hospitals will not be able to afford the staff or the equipment to take care of the critical or chronic. It will look like an end to therapies such as physical, occupational and speech, and nursing staff will be responsible for the majority of patients seen, as doctors are going to become scarce. There will be a recurrence of contagious diseases and many with cancer, heart disease, etc will go undiagnosed. Mortality rates will increase and old age will get much younger. Yes...this is what free healthcare will look like because "free" does not afford you the top notch healthcare that many are expecting. Don't believe me? Do your own research. This has been the norm anywhere socialized medicine has taken hold.

It is pretty obvious that the word "free" bought this country a faulty bill of goods. By 2014 when Obamacare has done its damage, it will be like an implosion on this country. It will all but wipe out small business which will further damage the country. Big businesses who have to supply "free" healthcare to all full time employees will either cut back hours on full time employees or layoff to make up for the "free" healthcare that they must provide to the rest of their staff. Again....unemployment rates will rise which means the middle class will be gone and the number of the poor will rise. Businesses that do stay functioning will have to raise product and service cost astronomically in order to continue doing business and no one (especially those without jobs) will be able to live. Government will no longer be able to help the poor because it will be broke and people will be dying like flies because we have "free" healthcare. This country will be unrecognizable and the only one we will have to blame is ourselves. needed to be reformed. Insurance companies needed to stop covering elective surgeries like face lifts and lipo-suction. Perhaps there should be a ceiling in place for services and pharmaceutical companies needed to be brought into check so that they aren't making 300% on each pill they make. There are many things that could be done to lower healthcare costs and make it affordable for the majority of working Americans. And there are free clinics with good doctors and nurses who choose to volunteer their time and resources to those in need. The system might not be perfect but there are things to be done that would not bankrupt the healthcare system, the economy or the country as a whole......but instead....we chose free and felt entitled to do so.

My mother always said that you reap what you sew. This country is about to reap a whole lot of nothing because that is what free will get you. And as for small businesses like Kelly' the rate we are going.....they will soon just be a fun fact in our history books about what used to be possible in this country.....back before everything was "free!"


Anonymous said...

How come so many of your blogs just make me say "WOW"? I wonder how many people take into consideration what free will really cost them? Great blog.

Ben said...

You paint a pretty grim picture of things to come. I hope you are wrong but something tells me you may be more right than any of us would like to think.

Anonymous said...

My company is already preparing for just what you are talking about. I was asked just last week if I would consider cutting my hours from 40 to 30. I am currently covered under my husbands insurance and I told my boss I had no problem doing this but many are not as fortunate as I am. Free healthcare doesn't do much for you if there are no jobs to be had and you can't feed, clothe or house your family. Great blog!

Not My President said...

I am a small business man and I am already preparing myself for the federal mandate of Obamacare. I have always been fairly successful, meaning I could support my family but honestly I cannot afford to insure the 10 people that work for me. They know this and we have had talks about possible ways around this. Several have offered to go part time but this will hurt my business and still may not be enough to keep us functioning. The thought of not only losing my business but also being responsible for 10 other people losing their jobs keeps me up at night. This country is not the country I grew up in and I refuse to call the man who sits in the White House my president. No leader who loved his country would cause his people such grief. Thank you for saying what people need to hear. Not that anyone who voted for him is listening.

Anonymous said...

I hate politics! I knew from the title of your blog that it was going to be political and yet I was sucked in as always. With all you have going on in your life, how do you stay so politically connected? I always find myself reading your blog and saying she makes a lot of sense. Today was no different. I will say that I never really thought what was behind free healthcare. You made some really good points. Makes me wish I could take my 2008 vote back.

Anonymous said...

You're so correct with this blog. Sadly, we are getting what we asked for as a nation. Instead of jobs and prosperity we voted for FREE again.

We are sitting on $16.3 trillion in debt and facing a fiscal cliff and the president goes on vacation. Meanwhile both sides of the aisle are standing around with their hands in their pockets and placing blame for the mess we are in. So sure, let's add FREE healthcare on top of everything else we can't afford.

We are bankrupt not only financially as a nation, but we are bankrupt when it comes to our leadership. Party doesn't matter anymore.

The hard reality that is facing all of us is that are ALL Americans. As divided as we are, together we are going to face very hard consequences for the choices we have made at the polls for the past few decades. Do I blame our leadership? Yes. I certainly do. But is We the People that allowed these fools to lead us down the path of FREE for too long.

And while the debate of the fiscal cliff goes nowhere we have made entitlement spending mandatory and defense spending discretionary. And you can bet the many enemies of our nation are noticing we have dropped our dress all for some government handouts.

And yes, I am a small business owner. I've worked hard for my success for over a decade. There have been times I've worked for months without a day off. And although I'm staying very busy I have few ideas of how I will survive as a business long term. All of customers are asking me to keep finding ways to cut costs. But meanwhile all of my costs have risen. Like many businesses, I'm up against the wall and its the government that put me against the wall.

So enjoy your FREE healthcare while you can. Because you are about to learn the high cost of FREE. The price tag is way beyond any of our means to pay for it.

Anonymous said...

I like the way that conservatives throw the word "entitlement" out in every sentence they speak. Since when is it a bad thing to ask for and even demand necessary health care? I think I will throw the word "elitist" out there because that is what I consider all you conservatives who care nothing for anyone but your middle to high class selves. I have my faith and trust in Barrack Obama. He is disliked by the elitists because he is for the underdog and the poor. He is working to even the playing field so that we no longer have the extreme wealthy or the extreme poor. His interest is in the well being of America and I have complete faith that soon the rest of America will see this. The President did not put his health care into play without a plan and all the gloom and doom that you predict is just scare tactics just as the fact that we are becoming bankrupt as a country. What better way to scare elitist than to use the word bankrupt. God forbid they don't have oodles of money! Healthcare will maintain its high standards it will just be made accessible to everyone and not just those who throw the most money around. Shame on you for throwing out such scare tactics. Maybe if these small businesses worked a little harder and quit blaming the president for their business issues we would have more small businesses. Just a thought!

Disgusted said...

One thing I have noticed is that Obama supporters hate the truth and twist it into very unnatural positions. Thinking that Obama will take care of you and that health care will remain the same after it goes universal is ridiculous. Feeling that health care or anything else is owed you and that you should get anything for free is considered entitlement. However, working hard and trying to make your own way and then succeeding does not make you an elitist. It makes you a capitalist which until recently was thought to be a good thing in this country. Feeling that you don't want to pay for those that don't work hard and constantly have their hand out does not make you wrong. If those of you who voted for Obama want the playing field evened, then why not call him and ask him to share some of that $4 million he is spending on his Hawaiian vacation. I am sure he is such a great guy that he would gladly share the wealth. Ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

Even the playing field? Worked a little harder?

I did work harder and continue to do so. I've in the 80+ hr weeks. Week after week after week. I made my American dream a reality and payed my taxes and meanwhile I asked for nothing in return.

Elitist? Hardly. I drive a 14 year truck and I like it that way. I believe in helping the helpless. And I do with my income. Nearly 20% annually. Its the clueless that I have a problem with. The clueless need to get a clue. It's that clueless that believe its not not theft if you elect someone else to take from one to give to another. I'm guessing that REDISTRIBUTION is another "truth" word that liberals dislike.

Wake up Obama lover. Socialism is nothing but shared misery. And "leveling the playing field" is socialism.

Anonymous said...

You conservatives like to throw the constitution around all the time. Doesn't it say that all men are equal? Well that is a lie. Some men are very wealthy and some are very poor and everything in between. Shouldn't the wealthy have to share? Shouldn't the poor get a leg up? Wouldn't that make all men equal? Socialism is equality. This country has never been equal but maybe now Obama will see that it is. People obviously want that or he wouldn't have been re-elected. The people have spoken and you conservatives need to just get over it.

Anonymous said...

All men are created equal this is true. But all men have the right to pursue their happiness. That means working hard, taking chances and daring to dream. The Constitution never promised FREE happiness

To the fools of socialism happiness comes from the labors of others. Nope. To them happiness doesn't come by fruits of individualism and self reliance. Its comes from helplessness of dependence and the reliance of government. How pathetic.

You may have won the election. But I see few liberals rejoicing. Its beyond their understanding. Now its time to place blame and point fingers.

When the real hardship comes, it will be the dependents that suffer the greatest. The self-reliant will pick up the pieces, take care of the helpless and begin rebuilding.

Disgusted said...

NO! The people have not spoken! No one I know wanted a repeat of the last four years. I am tired of the lies and the debt and the brainwashing of what used to be perfectly intelligent Americans. I do not accept the loss of my rights, my freedoms or my choice in health care. I will fight for small business, deregulation of everything from how to grow cabbage to how much soda I can drink and for my right to carry a gun and protect myself. I am sick of people telling me because I work hard, pay my taxes and don't ask for handouts from the government that somehow I am wrong, elitist or taking something from someone that I don't deserve. You want health care then work for it and pay for it. You want a job then get one. Flipping burgers at McDonalds might not be your all time career choice but it is a job. Don't expect me or anyone else to take from what I work for and give to you because you would prefer to stay home and whine. I am sick of this. This blogger is right beyond words and you Obama worshippers need to wake up and start changing things before we find it too late to change anything.

Anonymous said...

I believe the Constitution states that "All men are created equal" which means in this country you are born free and can do anything you choose. It is the choices you make that decide how free you remain. If you refuse to work and rely on the government for your basic needs then you are not free. You are indebted to the government and when the government tells you to blame those whose choice it was to work hard and make their own way, then like the little government puppets you are, you do. Freedom in this country, at this time is a choice. The Constitution insures you freedom and equality if that is the path you choose. However when you sell your soul to the government you in reality are selling your freedom and equality too.

Anonymous said...

Today is the anniversary of the Bombing of Pearl Harbor. I can't help but think how different this country was back then. We were a country united and we faced our enemies head on. We fought for our freedoms, our families and our flag. We were a hard working country and everything we had came from hard work and self reliance. Look at us know. We are not even remotely the same country. We have lost track of who we are and what is important and we are being led by a man of questionable beliefs, ethics and allegiance to this country. United no longer describes who we are as a country and don't kid yourself our allies as well as our enemies know this. I don't know that this country could stand another Pearl Harbor and that should terrify us all.