Monday, August 20, 2007

The new 'hyphen' group


Who are they? According to this story in the weekly MKE entertainment publication they include:
  • An art gallery "Executive Director"/freelance artist
  • A freelance makeup artist
  • A bartender
These people are the reason for Wisconsin's proposed $15+ billion Democratic-Socialist healthcare program. These people need health insurance and they say that they cannot afford it. And we are supposed to kill even more of the state's economy because they can't.

What have they got in common?
  1. They are young. And unlike this old, cancerous, cholesterol laden blogger, they can readily purchase health insurance. And they can buy it cheap. Did it really say $150 per month?
  2. They have the ability to under report their income. Freelance anything or bartender means a large part of their income is on a cash basis and possibly tips. And I'm sure every penny going in and out of that art gallery gets reported.
  3. They don't have real jobs. They are living their dreams and expect everyone else to pay for it.

My point about under reporting income is that the WI-Commie health plan is paid with a payroll tax. This 15% will only be paid on income that is reported, and this 15% confiscation is an even greater incentive not to report those tips. Most of the rest of us do not have that option.

For these three, the 7.5% employee share of the $30,000 or so that they report amounts to about $2250. But for a family with two $75,000 salaries and $7,500 in health insurance costs, Wisconsin will now be withholding $11,250.

So the result is that my theoretical family will pay over $3,500 more each year so that Mikey and Brittany can be artistic. But these kids will be hit too, paying $450 more than if they bought the private health insurance that is available to them now.

This MKE article shows the lie of the Michael Moore propaganda. Health insurance is available to these uninsured-Americans. They just choose not to pay for it. And the private policies they can buy now are less costly than what they will be charged if the Senate Democrats and Jim Doyle get their way.

It is time for these children to grow up and get real jobs. Or at least be responsible and pay for their own insurance.

Update: Jack Lohman points out in comments that the employee portion of the proposed health insurance tax will be 4% on payroll Therefore the tax comparisons I posted above are all crap. He references as his source.

However, I did use a high value for the present policy cost for my theoretical family. Their break-even cost would be a present payment of $500 per month for insurance. (For my personal situation, the proposed plan would represent a large reduction in my health insurance costs over my current policy, with lower out-of-pocket expenses.) I’ll make no comparison of the quality of medical care offered in the two scenarios.

I stand by my conclusion that the majority of uninsured-Americans are uninsured by the personal choices they make in employment and lifestyle.


Anonymous said...

As a 50 plus year old, who has followed his dream, I say Amen to your comments. I have allways paid for my family's health care. It is my responsibilty, as a man, not yours.


Jack Lohman said...

>>> "But for a family with two $75,000 salaries and $7,500 in health insurance costs, Wisconsin will now be withholding $11,250."

Wow. I thought 4% of $150K was $6000, or a savings of $1500 per year. But what the hell do I know?

Except that the Healthy Wisconsin system is designed to take the 31% we are currently throwing away on the unnecessary insurance bureaucracy and spend it on healthcare instead.

Headless Blogger said...

You exposed my ignorance Jack.

All I know is what I read and hear. Post a link to the actual plan details to educate me.


Jack Lohman said...

You can see the complete plan at with a lot of good references on the Details and News pages.

Anonymous said...

Of course, Jack Lohman is a lobbyist for Healthy Wisconsin. Notice he oly argues with your numbers, he doesn't respond to the FACT that MANY uninsured people, especially the young COULD buy their own health plan if they CHOSE to. Instead, they choose cool cars, $6 espressos, and nights clubbing. Old Jack wants me to pay for someone else's poor choices.

Anonymous said...

What I find most offensive aboutthis proposal is the inordinate amount of money some people are going to be paying for this 'insurance', while others pay very little. Since when is insurance of ANY kind based on your income? A professional couple making $200,000 a year will pay $8,000. Another, 'soak the rich' scheme by liberals. I, for one am sick of being everyone's cash cow.

Jack Lohman said...

I know him well, and Jack Lohman is no lobbyist. He is a retired business owner that gets paid by nobody. He is in this battle because it is the right thing to do for the state's public and its businesses. Yes, HW causes the sharing of risks and the rich pay more than the poor. My heart goes out to you. That really sucks.

But you rich folks had best look at what the current health care model is doing to the US economy and your wealth. And the costs you are paying through the back door when poor people show up at the ER. Do the math!

Headless Blogger said...

Jack - If this plan is so darned important ...

1) Why are rich retired business owners exempt from paying for health care for uninsured-Wisconsinites (and illegal aliens that cross our state's border)?


2) Why are WEAC public skool teechers exempt from participating in the plan (but non-WEAC private school teachers must pay)?

I'll answer for you.

1) If Wisconsin retirees are required to pay, they will soon become Arizona or Florida retirees. Of course, no business will bail from WI when forced to pay this tax.

2) Payback to campaign contributors is more important than health care for the poor to the Senate Democrats and Gov. Doyle.


Jack Lohman said...

>>> "Why are rich retired business owners exempt from paying for health care for uninsured-Wisconsinites (and illegal aliens that cross our state's border)?"

Because ALL retirees have paid into the Medicare system (myself for over 50 years) and are now on Medicare, AND they still pay for other's healthcare costs in the products they buy, AND the illegals that cross the border will now have to contribute to the healthcare system through their employment (so they likely won't cross the border because they are underpaid where they are but get free care at their out-of-state hospital). That's probably not the answer you were looking for, but I wouldn't let facts stand in the way.

>>> "Why are WEAC public skool teechers exempt from participating in the plan (but non-WEAC private school teachers must pay)?"

Because you are wrong, and WEAC school teachers ARE NOT exempt and the same 4% comes out of their paycheck, yet because they are a union they may bargain for the state to cover co-pays or whatever. And the PRIVATE school teachers will continue to make the same choice they have for years by staying non-union.

>>> "If Wisconsin retirees are required to pay, they will soon become Arizona or Florida retirees. Of course, no business will bail from WI when forced to pay this tax."

Many retirees already HAVE moved south and west without healthcare being an issue. And the best thing that could happen to MOST businesses in the state is Healthy Wisconsin, and more businesses will relocate here. Had I had HW when I owned my company I would have relocated my employees from the other three states to Wisconsin because it would have reduced my healthcare costs.

>>> "Payback to campaign contributors is more important than health care for the poor to the Senate Democrats and Gov. Doyle."

Oh please, get your facts straight. The campaign contributions are coming in 7-to-1 in opposition to HW from the insurance and hospital industries, that's why the Republicans favor the insurance industry's health savings accounts. And Doyle is not supporting HW.

And if you are really seriously concerned about the affects of our corrupt political system read and then get behind campaign finance reform.


Anonymous said...

I really don't think we have to blow up the whole health care system.What we need to do is fix the problems like Jack said "when people show up in the ER.I don't know the numbers exact but it is like 80% of hospitals like St Joes and Sinai,people who come in the ER ,don't need to go to the ER.That is the reason the St Mikes closed.People go to the ER when they don't need to and then don't pay their bill.I would hate to see the ER,s if this ever comes thru.To bad you can't just make a system that if you think that this is a good idea,pool your money together and do it your way,whlie the rest of us will do it the right way.
By the way with the weac and their union bargining with the state,do really think that their is any chance they pay for anything?You make it sound like there is a choice.What is scary that there is people that think that there is a chance that weac would be like everyone else and pay.

Jack Lohman said...

Anonymous, we have a systemic problem that causes 31% of our healthcare costs to be totally wasted in the insurance bureaucracy. That has to go. People show up at ERs because they don't have insurance, and under Healthy Wisconsin that problem virtually disappears as they can now get care at a doctor's office instead. St. Mikes closed because it could only attract low-pay and no-pay patients. That would not have occurred under Healthy Wisconsin where all patients were paid the same.

I am not a WEAC fan, but I have great respect for teachers and think they should be paid well. They put in the same time getting their degree as most CEOs, and are providing a better value to the public than many of them. But don't let your dislike for WEAC destroy what the public and Wisconsin businesses direly need. The only losers in this is the insurance companies that have unfairly been driving costs up in the past. Medical costs rose by 5% per year while health insurance premiums rose by 87% since 2000, obviously to make up for losses in Katrina, Rita and Florida.

Headless Blogger said...

Jack – I’ve got to give you credit. You are an awfully generous man when it comes to spending other people's money.

What does your Medicare coverage have to do with insuring those that need health care? I already have insurance, but being self-employed, I will be paying $14,500 out of my first $100K in order to subsidize those getting their care for little or nothing.

The point of the plan isn’t to take care of people who have insurance, it is to provide care for people who do not have it. There is no rationale reason to exclude retirees and WEAC members from paying their fair share of this burden. It is not for them, it is to subsidize those without insurance.

Addressing two of your false premises - income is not wealth and salary is not total compensation. I cannot buy a WEAC pension with all my assets and will not be retiring at age 55. These are the rich ones. Are you a rich man Jack?

I am getting tired of being a cash cow for everyone. I pay for my own health insurance. I pay for healthcare for teachers, other government employees and even part-time elected officials. I am (or will someday be) paying for your Medicare coverage (those 40 years of Medicare withholding won’t go very far in 2007). And now I’ve got to support these young people who refuse to buy health insurance.

Enough Jack. You pay for something this time. And make WEAC pay, too.

Jack Lohman said...

HB, do the math. First, being self-employed you only pay 10% on the first $97,500, or $9700 for (effectively) a family plan. Even that may be more than you pay now, but you will be getting stronger coverage (limited vision and preventative medicine, dental for your kids, mental health parity, and prescription drugs). The benefits are 16% above standard, and if you or a family member really get sick the insurer cannot drop you. And all of your competitors are faced with the same economics.

The Medicare coverage has only to do with the fact that you brought it up; I didn't. It has nothing to do with the HW plan that coverts from zero to 64 years old.

For those people who "think" they have coverage, Healthy Wisconsin will stabilize it (though you can buy outside the plan for things that are not covered). And to cover those that are uninsured, which you and I already are paying for as their medical costs are shifted to us behind-the-scenes.

You don't want to be somebody else's cash cow, or pay for the Medicare system when/if you reach 65? Wow, is about all I can say. You *already are* somebody else's cash cow under today's corrupt political system, but let's not go there at the moment. I suppose you also don't want to pay for other necessities like fire and police protection and other safety valves in society.

There are some things we do in life because they are a public good. For my kids and your kids and society in general. And to eliminate the 31% of excess middleman costs it is necessary to pool all state residents in a co-op medical plan. But if you feel sorry for the insurance companies, the only losers in this plan, you are free to send them your $3000 per year on the outside. Most businesses will benefit under this plan, except for the Wal-marts, McDonalds and Auroras of the world. And the state's economy will benefit too as we curb the growth of healthcare costs and quit subsidizing the insurance industry for their losses in Katrina, Rita and Florida.

Headless Blogger said...

Jack, my virtual friend, I think it boils down to you trusting government more than the free market, and me having the opposite opinion. Not much either of us can say to sway the other's opinion.

I've seen too much waste and too many broken promises from government on all levels, both in personal and professional life, and always without consequences. Government consistently overpays for both personnel and outside services, failing to meet any reasonable fiduciary duty to those paying the bills. I would expect nothing different from socialized medicine in WI.

Thanks for contributing to my blog in a constructive manner.

Jack Lohman said...

HB, there's good government and bad government, and good capitalist and bad capitalists. And today our politicians are only as good as the corporate CEOs that own them.

My suggestion is that you start watching where the dominoes will fall if we do nothing to fix the system today. See

I'll put my trust in a politician that gets his healthcare from the same system as the voters before giving it to a CEO and shareholders whose bonuses and profits are based on how much they can get away with NOT providing. Look at the HMO history if you need more proof.

Headless Blogger said...

"I'll put my trust in a politician that gets his healthcare from the same system as the voters ... "

Jack, don't tell anyone, but that sounds a lot like something I have said more than once.

Jack Lohman said...

Glad we're on the same page. The truth is, if we got rid of our corrupt political system we'd see health care fixed over night. Maybe your way or maybe my way, but fixed!