Affordable Care Act Helping The Poor

Poor Artist

Came across this article in the NY Times this morning:

For Mark and Elisabeth Horst, both artists in Albuquerque, the risks of signing up for a bronze plan were outweighed by the prospect of getting it free. The Horsts, who make $24,000 a year between them, qualified for $612 in monthly subsidies, but the cost of a bronze plan was $581 a month.

The Horsts are the couple pictured above.

I object to redistribution in general but have to admit to having sympathy for folks who fit the mental picture of “the poor”.  Struggling factory worker barely getting by.  Single mom who can’t pay rent, electric bill AND the water bill.

But THESE ‘effing people?!?  I have to work my ass off to support these people’s health care?

The article goes on to to quote Mr. Horst as claiming to be in good health, so I’m guessing that they are making 24k is that they CHOOSE to make 24k, not because life has dealt them some shitty hand.  These are people who CAN work, COULD work but are making the choice NOT to work.

And we’re taking care of them like children.

Look, I’d like to wake up every day and draw.  Or color.  Or make clay ashtrays too.  But I don’t; I go to work and bring home the bacon.

And because I do – these people get to color.

Awesome.

In honor of the working poor:

25 responses to “Affordable Care Act Helping The Poor

  1. It infuriates me that I am subsidizing these two pieces of shit.

    I would love to sit home all day and create art or write, but I can’t. Some of us are more responsible than that.

    (My apologies for the language, but seeing these lazy sacks of shit carrying on and smiling while my family’s health care costs are rising to support their lifestyle really pisses me off).

    • It infuriates me that I am subsidizing these two pieces of shit.

      Yup, me too. And this subsidy continues for folks making all the way up to 250% of the poverty level. For a family of 4, that’s 60,000 a year!

    • 80% of the Federal government is some form of wealth transfer. Classical government (where you pay taxes for things you use) is vanishingly small. Were you happy with 70%? The whole “deserving vs. undeserving” is just a canard to keep you agreeing to the system itself. They’re always going to win so long as you keep playing their game.

  2. What is it you do, Pino? And what is your entire financial history?

    I’m sure I can find some point in your life where you were getting federal benefits for some status that I object to. Unless you want to come completely clean and show that you are some Ayn Rand character (and of course not Ayn Rand, who suckled at the federal teat), your moralizing feels pretty hollow. I’m sorry that you think art is useless, and that these people are also useless. What is your solution? Only tie subsidies to people with jobs in retail? No subsidies at all, in which case your problem isn’t about their jobs as much as it is your feelings regarding the poor? What do you propose?

    • What is it you do, Pino? And what is your entire financial history?

      Relevance?

      I stipulated that, while objecting to subsidies to begin with, I have sympathy for a certain segment. This would include folks, that, for example:

      1. Lost a working spouse and now find themselves supporting a family alone.
      2. An individual who has become injured and cannot work.
      3. A divorced mom of 3 who had made the decision to support the home rather than build a career.

      These are a few. Again, my ideal government benefits would likely be smaller and shorter in duration than yours, but I admit to and stipulate some sense of obligation.

      But these people are not in that group. This couple didn’t wake up one morning after losing their house to fire, flood or quake. This isn’t some low that has left them shaking their heads and hitting their knees in prayer.

      This is a conscience and deliberate decision to forgo the trials and tribulations of a life built around the concept of making money. And look, hey, I *get* that. There is a certain appeal to “living off the land”. I would love to move a little further south and just buy an acre and live.

      I’m sorry that you think art is useless

      It has nothing to do with useless. It has to do with a decision to live poor and then somehow feel a-okay making ME not live poor and pay them for their decision. If they were making enough money to live, or we didn’t subsidize their life style, I couldn’t care less what they did for a living.

      No subsidies at all

      That’s much closer than subsidies for folks up to 250% of the poverty level. We’re not subsidizing the poor, we’re subsidizing much of America.

      your problem isn’t about their jobs as much as it is your feelings regarding the poor?

      There it is again. The subtle dig.

      This isn’t about the people who are finding themselves struggling with their financial situation – it’s about the decisions they make and the incentives we’re providing.

      It’s not okay for society to be forced to pay people to sit around and “be artists”.

  3. Jesus, Sean, angry much?

    These people chose to be artists, that’s their deal, so suck it up. They aren’t taking welfare payments, they’re surviving on their own, they just have a different lifestyle.

    You hate the subsidies? Fine. They didn’t draft the law. They didn’t lobby for it. They just happen to be receiving a subsidy because that’s how the law works out. But you want to call them pieces of shit and sacks of shit? Get your head right, man, stop being pissed at people simply because you feel a need to be pissed at something. Tell me what they did wrong to qualify for that subsidy, what they morally did to deserve your condemnation, and then we can talk.

    • Nick,

      I have no problem with people living the way they want to live their lives, but I DO have a problem with my subsidizing their choice.

      “Tell me what they did wrong to qualify for that subsidy, what they morally did to deserve your condemnation, and then we can talk.”

      They don’t work for a living like everyone else. That’s why they deserve my disgust and moral indignation. I am subsidizing their laziness, and it pisses me off.

      • Then your problem is with the policy, not the people. They didn’t make the subsidy, Congress did when it passed the ACA. So, try winning some elections and stop being mad at people who didn’t actually make these choices.

        • My problem is with both the policy AND these leeches. If I were in their position, I would feel intense shame and guilt for deliberately choosing to loaf off while others pay my medical bills.

          This is the reason I blog so little anymore – there is no longer any common ground, and it will be impossible for Republicans to win an election when more people receive federal assistance than work.

          It’s the only conclusion I can come to given the pass Obama keeps getting from the press for using the IRS as a political weapon, spying on Americans, abandoning an embassy, lying to Americans about keeping their healthcare policies, and botching a relatively straightforward software rollout.

          • Look, Sean, you can be mad that those things happened, though in reality some of those are absurd (the IRS story ended up being a mountain out of a molehill, for example), but you can’t claim that the press is giving the administration a pass. The IRS story was huge news for two weeks, as was Benghazi and the health care web site. The Snowden leaks keep coming and the press is eating it up; we get weekly updates about “who else the NSA illegally tapped.” The press didn’t give anyone a pass.

            If you’re mad that the press isn’t single-handedly pointing a finger at Obama and saying “Blame him!”, well welcome to American politics. We have a long history of bureaucrats falling on their swords to protect senior officials, and usually with good reason. Did Obama code the website? Of course not, he managed the guy who managed the guy who maybe contracted it out to a bunch of morons. Presidents don’t get blamed personally for the failings of the government, whether they’re Dems or GOP. But Obama takes the hit on that the same way Bush took hits on Abu Ghraib, even though he had no idea what those jackasses were doing. No one in the press said “President Bush caused Abu Ghraib!”, even though he is the commander of the people that did it. But it doesn’t matter, these failings get hung around their neck come election time, whether the press singled out the president or not.

            And whatever else it may be, healthcare.gov or whatever it is is not a “straightforward software rollout.” That’s just silly.

          • “This is the reason I blog so little anymore – there is no longer any common ground…”

            Exactly. The sooner you realize that “democracy” is just one long slide to the Left (until it crashes), the sooner you’ll stop futily trying to “engage” them, the happier you’ll be.

          • And whatever else it may be, healthcare.gov or whatever it is is not a “straightforward software rollout.” That’s just silly.

            I’ll let Sean answer to the rest but the website, it really is pretty straight forward.

          • Hey Sean, wasn’t it Pelosi in your home State who said that the ACA would finally give you the freedom to sit at home and be a full-time writer? She basically gave you permission, so why not go do it? Haha! 🙂

            Was thinking about this and you being a math guy:

            Math and Logic according to a FSL (“Fair Share” Liberal):
            1) 47% = 99%

            2) MSW (My Social Wants) minus MCB (My current bank balance) = either:
            a) WCLTRP (“Who cares, let the “rich” pay) or
            b) SFCB (i.e. squirrels, fluffy clouds and bunnies as in the distraction of, “Hey look! A SQUIRREL!!” or “Hey, look! That cloud looks like fluffy bunnies!” every time 1+1 gets hard)

            3) MSW>MCB = “Let the Rich Pay”.

            4) “Rich” = any number $1 more than what I make, so long as it suits my purposes and satisfies MSW.

            5) If “we owe the Indians for taking their land” = true and “I like my house” = true, then “I should give my house back to the Indians” = false and “Let someone else give theirs instead = true”.

  4. Something must have changed in my methods – I have forgotten to link to the source article a couple of times in a row now:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/04/business/under-health-care-act-millions-eligible-for-free-policies.html?pagewanted=2&_r=0

  5. My thoughts exactly Sean. When I read this article in the local paper, I was infuriated. These are the poster children that fiscal conservatives, rank and file Republicans or (gasp!) Tea Partiers can point to and say “this is what’s wrong with the US today.” It’s not just Obamacare, it’s entitlement. It’s our tax system. It’s the nanny state. It’s what allows two educated, able-bodied, people who can and should grow up and provide for themselves, but choose not to.

    I don’t begrudge anyone a hand up – the poor, the displaced, people that need career training to deal with the closing of a factory or a dying industry, or changing family circumstances. But this is a lifestyle they chose! It gets even worse though: It took me two minutes on Google to find out Elisabeth Horst has two degrees, one of them in psychology from frickin’ Yale! And by their own admission, they are in good health! She closed her psych practice and they choose to sponge off me and you and be a 47 percenter.

    Hey, there’s nothing wrong with art. I love art. I love photography. Can I quit my job today and pursue a living as a photographer tomorrow? Hell no. That would be totally irresponsible because I have obligations. I live in a community that relies on somebody to contribute TO the cost of its upkeep. These people choose to be net takers from the public good.

    It blows my mind how the others posting replies here don’t see anything wrong with that! If your premiums went up as mine did, you’re paying for their sloth! If you are a net payer of federal taxes, you’re paying for their laziness! How many people in this country get out of bed in the morning to go to a job they may or may not like very much, deal with stress, PAY TAXES (something I highly doubt the Horsts do at $24k total household income) and deal with being responsible, productive members of a society. These people don’t even live in reality.

    • “Paying taxes” is just a dog whistle for faux news, khoh brothers, racist tea partier racist gop sexist racism (did I miss any?)

      Don’t expect any thanks for your hard work perpetuating and preserving the species and civilization itself. You are the enemy.

    • Wait, so they probably worked hard for years, made a bunch of money because they worked hard in school and became professionals, and then saved up enough to retire early and do what they love, and now they’re moochers?

      By your logic, such as it is, once the ACA passed they should have gotten new jobs in order to avoid getting a subsidy, even though they had already saved enough to retire. This is insane.

      If you want to solve this, you should be pushing for a change to the policy that takes into account personal wealth in determining subsidies. That’s not a horrible idea, and probably should be considered. But you can’t just call these people moochers because they worked hard, saved up enough to retire, and then decided to be artists in their retirement. If you consider them moochers, then maybe you would be willing to start taxing wealth, in order to encourage people to continue working?

      • Wait, so they probably worked hard for years, made a bunch of money because they worked hard in school and became professionals, and then saved up enough to retire early and do what they love, and now they’re moochers?

        The fact that they have a ton of money saved up and STILL need me to pay for their health care makes it worse, not better.

        By your logic, such as it is, once the ACA passed they should have gotten new jobs in order to avoid getting a subsidy, even though they had already saved enough to retire.

        How about not taking the subsidy?

        But you can’t just call these people moochers because they worked hard, saved up enough to retire, and then decided to be artists in their retirement.

        You are right. But that doesn’t describe these people. They are all that and THEN they ask for free money.

        THAT is mooching.

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  7. nickgb,

    ” They aren’t taking welfare payments, they’re surviving on their own, they just have a different lifestyle. ”

    Please explain why it would be worse if they were taking welfare payments.

    • The point of this whole discussion that the liberal mind fails to grasp is that they are not victims of some life-changing event, unemployment, lack of modern job skills, or anything that would keep them from taking full responsibility for their own well-being. And yet, they chose this lifestyle in which they are net takers from the public good – in more ways than just receiving free healthcare the other responsible people pay for.

      @Thales: really think that about paying taxes? You must be a taker too.

    • @nickgb: we’re singing the same song, if you’re talking about means testing, friend.

  8. I make my point again. What is the difference between taking welfare and taking medical welfare? You still have people who can take care of themselves getting public assistance. This is exactly what liberals refuse to admit. This is exactly what angers those paying the bills.

  9. Let’s not forget we have the similar problem of millionaires getting “farm subsidies”. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/jul/01/farm-subsidies-blatant-transfer-of-cash-to-rich

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