As the owner of a very small construction company that is involved primarily with roofing-related construction work, I am acutely aware of the need to have health insurance. Roofing is one of the most dangerous jobs in America, and I have known many people who have been seriously hurt doing the type of work that I do almost every day. As such, I have always been careful to have an insurance policy that can cover my medical expenses, should some unthinkable accident occur.
I am not, however, the type of person who needs an insurance policy with the bells and whistles that other people might want. If I get sick, I prefer to figure it out for myself. If I get cut, I prefer to suture myself. I don’t need prescription drug insurance (because I refuse to take them), and I don’t need cheap copays (because I just don’t go to the doctor). I carry insurance solely to protect myself against catastrophic injury, period.
My care in scrupulously protecting my managing my own health used to be rewarded by saving money on health insurance. I was able to save money for my business and myself by paying as little as possible for medical services. The money that I saved by suturing myself went straight into my own pocket. The money that I saved by trying to avoid the doctor’s office went straight into my own pocket. This improved the financial position of both my business and myself.
My health insurer, however, has recently notified me that I will no longer have the option to save money on my health insurance. The insurance plan that met my needs perfectly for many years apparently does not provide coverage that is adequate, according to my political overlords. As such, my insurer has no choice but to discontinue providing any plans that meet my strict demands, and so my insurance policy will be terminated on January 1, 2014.
I now find myself in the absurd position of losing my health insurance because the professional liars and thieves in D.C. have dictated that everyone have health insurance! Talk about unintended consequences!
I had health insurance, but, thanks to constant meddling by the idiots in D.C., I am not only losing the insurance policy that I had, but I am also losing even the possibility of purchasing an insurance policy that suits my needs and my business’s needs. I now have the choice of going without health insurance altogether (and paying a $95 fine to the morons who eliminated my insurance policy in the first place), or I can purchase an insurance policy that will be horrendously more expensive than I can afford, and give me far more coverage than I need or want.
I am still undecided about which course to take. On the one hand, if I choose to forego health insurance, I could fall off a roof tomorrow and I would face complete ruin, but at least I would avoid paying for health coverage that I don’t need and can’t afford. On the other hand, if I choose to pay hundreds upon hundreds more for health insurance every year, this could very well bleed my savings dry and severely affect my business.
There are thousands of small business owners like me who are being affected in exactly the same way across the country. From what I have seen, however, the lesson of this asinine exercise in government power is being lost on the majority of people. The lesson is not that the Democrats are idiots and Republicans are the saviors of mankind. One look at Newt Gingrich ought to disabuse us of that notion.
The real lesson is that government always involves the use of raw, stupid force. Government is stealing money from bartenders and landscapers to fund the killing of Iraqis and Vietnamese. Government is stealing money from accountants in order to fund absolutely terrible public schools. Government is stealing money from roofers in order to put whistleblowers in jail. Government is force, and the particular form of coercion that is being applied to small business owners like me is neither new nor as egregious as many of the other things government does.
So, we should by all means be outraged at this particular exercise in stupid government coercion, but we ought not to be surprised in the least. On the contrary, a government as bankrupt and bloated as the one in D.C. is should be expected to do nothing less. But honesty requires that we not hypocritically weep over this particular form of coercion while we silently watch the morons in D.C. coerce and kill other people in thousands of other ways.
In other words, we ought to oppose all raw, stupid coercion, not just the particularly stupid type of coercion favored by the current administration.