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 with.....is 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 line....no 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 choice...it 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 all.....how 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.
Yes....healthcare 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's....at 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!"