Sunday, March 2, 2014

The More You Know

In all honesty, the ACA or Obamacare health insurance plan is only great if you're very low income. If you make less than 138% of poverty level it's a major deal. If you're higher in income than that, its not so great.

Youngest is a family of 5 making just under $50,000 a year. His insurance for 4 of them will cost $1190 per month. That's a Bronze plan with some pretty steep co-pays. That monthly premium is 24% of his income. He will get his "subsidy" with his taxes next year. In the meantime he has to pay that amount every month and still make his mortgage, school and property taxes. His heat and utilities. His food, clothing, car expenses and telephone. With 23% of his household GROSS income gone to health insurance every month.

Included in that household income is my 21 year old granddaughter who has to buy her own insurance. She can't be included on their policy because she works. Her job is part time at Kohls and she has to pay her student loan, transportation to and from work, clothing for her job since Kohls requires their employees to "dress well". However, her part time income MUST be included in household income since she lives there.

Without her income they would qualify for a better subsidy. However, if she was to be forced to move, she doesn't make enough money to support herself. There are no apartments within walking distance to her job since the town this particular Kohls is in opted to have a commercial corridor that is an absolute nightmare to drive in. Trust me I've driven there. Rents in that area are as high as $800 per month without amenities like heat. Homeowners are paying the taxes these businesses don't pay due to the designation as an Empire Zone. Towns must make the taxes up somehow.

Public transportation in this area operates 6 days a week from 6 am to 6 pm. If you work outside those hours, take a cab for the princely sum of $7 to $10 one way. Her choice would be to have a vehicle or a roof over her head. Nice choices there.

Should she have the audacity to apply for Public Assistance she will immediately be sent to Working Solutions where they will be happy to help her find an additional part time job. Heaven forbid that the state should require these businesses to employ people for more hours in order to earn the tax incentives. The incentive is earned by the number of new employees that business hires. This is accomplished by hiring part time help to employ more people. At least at Kohls they don't do the 180 day temporary workers the way Walmart does.

However it would be nice to have a set number of hours that an employee is expected to work every week. Can't very well move out of Mom's basement if this week they work 18 hours and next week might be lucky enough to be given 24.

In New York State over 6 million people have moved away taking with them $97 Billion in taxable income. The state is trying to attract new business with these Empire Zones. So far only retail establishments have taken advantage of the deals and they aren't paying anything close to a living wage. In the meantime the necessary tax is being collected from the residents and low income employees who used to be a member of the middle class.

Somehow or other we've decided that the blame for our failing systems should be placed upon the poverty stricken people and seniors who need the safety nets our tax dollars are paying for. The Pentagon can waste billions of our taxes killing our children in wars instead of using that money to rebuild our crumbling roads water mains, sewer systems and bridges. Now there's a job creating idea that won't require tax incentives that get passed onto a failing middle class.


  1. This song and dance is a sick one. Seen this scenario over and over.
    My daughters, as the hit 26 - will be stuck in a very messy cycle. Group living is sooo very popular among the 20 somethings who aren't living home. Sad - sad- sad!

    1. The problem isn't the ACA, the problem is Wall St. and our Republican held Congress. There are so many tax loopholes they refuse to close that big corporations are paying no taxes at all and far too many of them are hiring part time temporary employees. The 180 day temporary help cycle is finding it's way into the education system in many of the Tea party held states.

      Corporations posting quarterly profits in the double digit billions are doing so by hiring low wage workers that need Snap and medicaid to survive and not paying taxes to support those programs. All with the assistance of Congress members who are looking to these big corps for the money to keep their jobs.

      There's no fixing this until voters begin to understand the scope of the problem. This isn't free market economy, it's robber baron economy.