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    Buying an iphone vs healthcare comment...

    I do not want this to go in a political direction. Im sure most have heard the comment made by the US representative Jason Chaffetz that "people could afford healthcare if they would simply forego iphones."

    Yes there has been plenty of number crunching on what an iphone costs, how many it would cost vs healthcare, etc etc...save the visuals...this isnt what its about.

    Maybe I misinterpreted how he said it but from my pov he was basically saying to cut back on luxury items. People took it literally of course...thats how things work. But the big picture imo was people should stop blowing money on things they dont need. Stuff we always talk about that can add up to thousands of dollars over the course of the year.

    I guess the truth hurts...and he dropped some facts people couldnt absorb.

    #2
    All joking aside, I think what he was missing is that many people simply do not have enough disposable income to both pay health insurance premiums and out of pocket healthcare costs no matter how many "luxuries" they cut. Having looked at exactly what is being proposed in this plan, older Americans who are lower income are going to be hit the hardest if these proposed changes come to fruition.

    Personally I find it pretty ironic that so many of Trump's voter base did so because of the lack of decent paying jobs, and now they are vehemently defending bootstrappy comments like this.

    Comment


      #3
      If you look back on past things the gentleman from Utah has said I'm lead to believe you have misinterpreted what he meant. He has clearly shown a lack of knowledge for how things work. For folks on a fixed income or earning minimum wage it is going to be nearly impossible to afford healthcare no matter how many luxuries they cut out.

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        #4
        Health care is costly because... there are so many intermediaries who all must have their share of the profits. Physicians of various levels and referrals, laboratories and technicians, pharmaceuticals and their retailers, EMS, ambulance services, hospitals and of course insurers and re-insurers. SA participants and those with retirement plans expect their share of these investment profits. So that in the end, clerks with a high school education are making decision about your medical procedure approvals.

        edited to say...politics and politicians play a huge role in this specific issue
        Last edited by snafu; 03-09-2017, 09:06 AM. Reason: re-statement of POV

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          #5
          A reminder to all: Stay on topic. It is fine to discuss policy. We are not here to discuss politics. Stick to policy and we'll be fine.
          Steve

          * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
          * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
          * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

          Comment


            #6
            I had a 3 paragraph manifesto prepared to respond to this, then scrapped it for clarity. I believe that everyone should have health insurance, and that they need to be more responsible for the costs and for taking control of their health. Everyone should "have skin in the game" as it were. But his statement came across as, "Let them eat cake" to me. Our politicians get the best healthcare for the least amount of money. They have no idea how much healthcare actually costs. If I had a say, I would scrap their healthcare plan and make them buy it from the same providers as the people that should go without Iphones, and I guarantee that their attitudes would change.

            Comment


              #7
              the comment may have missed the mark but the way I took it was. as a point about priorities.

              Comment


                #8
                If I could get healthcare for the cost of my iPhone, I'd give up my phone in an instant. We spend more on healthcare in 2 weeks than I spent on my phone and I've had that for years.
                Steve

                * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
                * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
                * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

                Comment


                  #9
                  I don't think he meant to single out an iPhone as costing the same as health insurance. Nevertheless his comment was spoken and presented in a condescending and borderline disparaging tone. I do, however, generally agree with his point. Obviously the poorest of the poor are not going to be able to pay without some form of gov't assistance. However, I do believe there is a large portion of middle class to even upper middle class folks who spend too much of their income on luxuries and non essential wants and believe it is incumbent upon the government to supplement certain needs like health care because they feel entitled to live a certain way.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by pflyers85 View Post
                    I do believe there is a large portion of middle class to even upper middle class folks who spend too much of their income on luxuries and non essential wants and believe it is incumbent upon the government to supplement certain needs like health care because they feel entitled to live a certain way.
                    I agree with part of your statement - that many people spend too much on luxuries and have misplaced priorities when it comes to their money. I disagree that that means that they also expect the government to supplement their needs. Some do, for sure, but I don't think that's a fair blanket statement.

                    I don't have the exact figures in front of me but our health insurance costs somewhere around $750/month. That's for a plan that has a $4,700 deductible, doesn't cover vision or dental, and has a max out of pocket of $12,500 I think. In addition, my daughter goes for weekly therapy also not covered by that plan. We pay $185/week (roughly $600/month because she doesn't go every single week) for that. So we're spending about $1,350/month for coverage that won't even actually cover anything until we first spend $4,700 out of pocket (the therapy costs don't go toward the deductible).

                    To put that in perspective, our mortgage payment is $1,327 (PITI). So our health insurance costs more per month than our home. And the actual health insurance cost is even higher because I didn't include actual expenditures like dental care (not covered), vision care and glasses (not covered), meds, etc.

                    What "luxuries" are we supposed to cut out exactly to be better able to afford our $1,350+/month healthcare tab?

                    And we make a good income. I have no idea how anyone making closer to the median income could possibly afford healthcare under the current system without some sort of government involvement.
                    Steve

                    * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
                    * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
                    * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I'm curious why they didn't push through the tax on employer provided coverage? Because they'd have to pay taxes on their health insurance? An iphone is $650 and that was a month of crappy coverage when we had to buy it. $6500 deductible/$13k family plus no extra coverage. So I don't buy that cutting an iphone would help us afford health insurance more than a month.
                      LivingAlmostLarge Blog

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                        #12
                        Originally posted by LivingAlmostLarge View Post
                        An iphone is $650 and that was a month of crappy coverage when we had to buy it. $6500 deductible/$13k family plus no extra coverage. So I don't buy that cutting an iphone would help us afford health insurance more than a month.
                        I suppose the point was that if you cut your iPhone and your cable and eating out and vacations and a new car and college for your kid and dance class and gym membership and a bunch of other luxuries, well then you'd be able to "afford" health insurance.
                        Steve

                        * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
                        * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
                        * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by disneysteve View Post
                          I agree with part of your statement - that many people spend too much on luxuries and have misplaced priorities when it comes to their money. I disagree that that means that they also expect the government to supplement their needs. Some do, for sure, but I don't think that's a fair blanket statement.

                          I don't have the exact figures in front of me but our health insurance costs somewhere around $750/month. That's for a plan that has a $4,700 deductible, doesn't cover vision or dental, and has a max out of pocket of $12,500 I think. In addition, my daughter goes for weekly therapy also not covered by that plan. We pay $185/week (roughly $600/month because she doesn't go every single week) for that. So we're spending about $1,350/month for coverage that won't even actually cover anything until we first spend $4,700 out of pocket (the therapy costs don't go toward the deductible).

                          To put that in perspective, our mortgage payment is $1,327 (PITI). So our health insurance costs more per month than our home. And the actual health insurance cost is even higher because I didn't include actual expenditures like dental care (not covered), vision care and glasses (not covered), meds, etc.

                          What "luxuries" are we supposed to cut out exactly to be better able to afford our $1,350+/month healthcare tab?

                          And we make a good income. I have no idea how anyone making closer to the median income could possibly afford healthcare under the current system without some sort of government involvement.
                          Based on my research on the cost of the average health insurance policy and the overall yearly cost of healthcare your plan and cost far exceed average. So when you say that you don't know how median income folks could afford what you pay my answer would be that on average they don't pay nearly what you pay.

                          I haven't found anything more recent than 2015 but the MMI report then said the average yearly cost for medical care for the typical 4 person family on a PPO plan was around $10,500 a year. A lot of money to be sure but certainly many families have enough luxuries they could eliminate to fully cover that figure or at the very least a large chunk of it to ease their financial stress.

                          https://www.forbes.com/sites/danmunr.../#51390df7719b

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by pflyers85 View Post
                            I haven't found anything more recent than 2015 but the MMI report then said the average yearly cost for medical care for the typical 4 person family on a PPO plan was around $10,500 a year.
                            So the average family pays $10,500/year for health care.
                            The median income in 2015 according to the Census Bureau was $55,775.
                            That means about 19% of income going to health care.

                            If 25% goes to housing, 10% to retirement savings, 5% to other savings, 10% to car payments, and 19% to health care, that totals 69%. Add in what came out for taxes and what got spent on silly things like food, clothing, child care, etc., and you aren't left with much of anything. I'm not sure where all of the luxuries are that people could be cutting to cover that $10,500 bill on an average income.

                            Of course, my calculation assumes that people are saving 15% of income. Most are not because their money is getting sucked up by everything else, health care being one of the big drains on their income.
                            Steve

                            * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
                            * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
                            * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              But you are forgetting that people of all ages need healthcare and many have preexisting conditions which according to the new plan will mean higher prices.

                              Pre ACA my younger brother, who has diabetes type 1, had to choose between health insurance or housing during the 6 month gap he had between college and when his new job's insurance would kick in. Both the insurance and average rent near his job were about the same amount and as it was his first job he did not have savings to cover 6 months of rent and living expenses and health insurance.

                              There were no luxuries to spare.

                              Luckily he was in a position where he could move back in with my parents for that period so he could choose insurance -- but what is offensive about the iPhone comment is that many people, even if they do make good spending choices, STILL cannot afford health insurance because they are the people that need it the most and have high health costs.

                              Are there a lot of people who make bad choices when it comes to spending? Sure. But there are also a lot of people who make good choices who still cannot afford healthcare.

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