Politics to Paycheck

Eyeglasses with newspaper and coffee cup

Hard times have hit those in Illinois. As Kathy pointed out, President Obama’s signature healthcare law – which promised to help so many – is only hastening the state’s economic demise, causing the Land of Lincoln to sink to a new low.

“I live in Illinois, which is ranked 49th [in the nation] with the most unemployed,” stated Kathy, who at one time was part of the 8.4% unemployment rate. [1]

Laid off from her full-time position at a manufacturing firm last spring, she was determined to find something. Interviewing with various companies over the course of several months, Kathy quickly discovered how Obamacare was crushing any opportunity for full-time work for her.

“All of the jobs were under 30 hours, and I was told it’s because of Obamacare that they are only hiring part-time workers,” she explained. “There are no jobs in Illinois except part-time!”

In the fall, Kathy was able to secure a job at a nursing facility. However, the long-distance drive and high gas prices coupled with her limited, part-time pay proved to be more of a financial loss than a gain. This left her no choice but to find something else.

“I now have two part-time jobs,” Kathy said. “The first one is at Walgreens, just minutes away from my house. I work approximately 19 hours a week there. My second job is at a small, mom-and-pop dry cleaning business, which I just got about a week and a half ago. I could not live on the 19 hours a week alone.”

Making no more than $8.25 an hour, Kathy confesses times have been tough since she lost her original job, which paid almost double what she is making now.

“It’s sad that I have to work 7 days a week just to maintain buying food. My husband’s paycheck literally goes toward all of the utilities and house expenses. My paycheck is for putting food on our table,” she vented. “We’re living paycheck to paycheck.”

To add to their financial hardships, she and her husband are facing a $1,400 increase this year for her husband’s employer-based healthcare policy.

“We got a notice from the insurance company, stating as of January 1, 2014 it will cost us $800 more [a year] to maintain our insurance plan,” Kathy shared, who noted that the policy no longer includes dental or eye coverage. “The plan has decreased, but we’re paying more.”

Since her husband’s policy is deemed a “Cadillac” plan, they will also be taxed more than $600 a year. Kathy angrily asked, “Why is this law taxing people who have insurance?”

To her, none of it makes sense.

“I grew up with the philosophy that the harder you work, the more successful you will be,” stated Kathy.

That was before Obamacare and the Obama economy. Today, Americans like her are working harder only to get less.

“Tomorrow, I begin at 8:00 AM at my drying cleaning job. I get a three-hour reprieve. Then I go to Walgreens and work the evening shift. I’m there until 10:30 at night. It’s an 11 hour day, and I’m on my feet the entire time,” she griped.

All to just put food on the table. What a stark difference from a few years ago for Kathy.

“Obamacare has destroyed my household income,” exclaimed Kathy. “It has hit our pocketbook so hard. It’s very upsetting and aggravating. I not only feel for the middle class, but also those less fortunate than me.”

As Kathy put it, this Obamacare train wreck is “heading toward a cliff,” and it’s taking America with it.