This week I have new health insurance; an annual ritual. This time it was because my rates increased 50% because I turned 40. I have good health with no pre-existing conditions, but health insurance is a for-profit industry, even the non-profits. Insurance is a joke in this country. For example, I don't dare go to the doctor in case I have some minor condition that locks me into my insurance company, rates ever escalating. They don't pay for such visits anyway, so there is no incentive to stay healthy, only punitive medical costs. Customers are hot potatoes, and they would rather I die of complications under someone elses plan a year from now than get sick on theirs. Oh yeah, and my life insurance is also set to double this year, in typical Logan's Run style.
From a business perspective, health insurance is what will eventually force my employees to move on to other jobs. I can't possibly afford to offer it, and even larger corporations are cutting back and grumbling. I think a nationalized health plan would take a lot of pressure off small businesses especially. Instead, employees for small business are generally pulled from the college age crowd, who have their parents subsidizing their insurance costs. My dream is being able to employ a stable workforce at a living wage, with the benefits they need to work long term for me. We have a country where the wife with a second job (WW2J) or the family of college students pays these costs.
My wish is to have a simple return on investment for basic services we already pay for. There are three areas that sometimes make me want to move my family to another country: health insurance, schools, and retirement. All are things we already pay for dearly but with a horrendous return on investment. All favor the wealthy, punish the poor and need fixing desperately. Both my business and my personal life would have much greater stability if....
- Health Insurance. I knew I would have stable rates and service from my health insurance. If I could focus on prolonging my life with my health insurance instead of saving it.
- Schools. I knew I could send my son to a good school, despite my zip code. One of the biggest incentives to re-arrange my life and work for someone else is the desire to move to a better zip code, soley for the purposes of finding better schools. This is a big California problem, and you could argue that the federal government screwed this up worse, but something comprehensive and national should be done. It's not like it hasn't been done before.
- Retirement. Being 40, I'm still assuming I'm going to be left holding the bag when I retire, having paid for my parents retirment and being dumped on the sidewalk when it's my turn to collect social security. Right now social security is the bulk of my retirement plan, and it wouldn't be so bad, if it was there when I needed it.