The Foundry has an excellent post about one family's experience with their health care insurance premium going up after the implementation of ObamaCare. Their original plan of $389 per month for a family of four went up to $499 per month in 2011 when California mandated that all plans cover birth control. In order to comply with the Affordable Care Act, their plan was canceled and they would have to enroll in a new plan that is now $1,252 per month.
These stories are all too familiar, but what struck me in this write-up was the illustration of what real families do in order to get by. This is the real lesson that politicians need to take to heart. The family explains what they cut in their budget in order to pay for their "affordable" health care insurance.
“At this point we really don’t know what we are going to do,” Kate said, fearing the effects a $15,000-plus health care bill would have on her family’s annual budget.
They’re so concerned about the increased costs that she and her husband have already started brainstorming on what they’ll have to cut back on if they choose to enroll in either plan. Here are all the cuts they’ve come up with so far:
- Stop paying the extra payment on my mortgage: $100/month
- Stop eating out: $150/month
- Don’t go to the movies: $36/month
- Switch to getting a haircut every other month: $15/month
- Stop getting manicures: $40/month
- Stop monthly charitable donations to Wounded Warrior and Habitat for Humanity: $70/month
- Stop saving for an annual anniversary getaway: $60/month
- No Christmas gifts to extended family: $40/month
- Quit buying beef at the grocery store: $100/month
- Teeth cleaning only once per year: $30/month
- Cancel all magazine/newspaper subscriptions: at least $30/month
- Cut DISH service to cheaper plan: $50/month
- Cancel land line phone service: $70/month
If Joy makes these cuts, she will save $791 a month, enough to make up the increase in her family’s monthly premiums. She said she realizes that other families aren’t in a position to cut so much from their budgets, and said, “I fear for what’s coming.”