Taking from a Nation of Givers
Whether it’s on a local or national level, Americans have proved generous with their hearts and wallets. The 2013 World Giving Index named the United States the “world’s most generous nation.” Yet, citizens may be forced to curtail their benevolence as Obamacare’s burdensome costs cause many to tighten their belts.
For one Sacramento resident who asked to remain anonymous, it pains her to no longer have funds to extend a helping hand to others.
“My premiums have gone up from previously zero, or no premium out of my pocket, to a whopping $150 a month for the same coverage with Kaiser Permanente Hospitals. Keep in mind I’m a retired school teacher and a senior citizen trying to make it on a fixed income. This isn’t right! I’ve had to cut way back any way I can. I feel so bad but have not been giving to some of my favorite charities as I have always done it the past,” she explained.
The new healthcare law, which was marketed as compassionate to those struggling, has brought hardship to the people it was intended to help. Not only is it proving to be unaffordable for low-income Americans, but is also stifling donations to charities who assist the disadvantaged.
“There have been certain charities that have been so important to me, and now I can’t be a part of that,” the Sacramento resident somberly stated. “Now, I get letters in the mail from these charities, and I’ve just been throwing them out. If I have extra money [at the end of the year], I’m going to give it to whatever charities I can help. Whereas before, I did it throughout the year.”
Sadly for this California retiree, the effects of The Affordable Care Act go far beyond her charitable giving. It has downsized her way of living.
“My pension is little, and everything is shrinking in regards to what I have, especially with these medical costs,” she noted. “I’ve now switched to the lowest price with my TV provider, and not buying healthier produce any longer. I don’t treat myself to anything but the least expensive entertainment outings and very few of these. I’ve also had to switch to the cheapest cat and dog food for my pets. I could go on and on, but suffice it to say that I’m now looking at a reverse mortgage to get some needed income.”
Even those receiving government subsidies are still finding the coverage unaffordable, causing USA Today to question, “Is Affordable Care Act really affordable for all?”
“The promise of the Affordable Care Act is right there in its title: Affordable. Yet, anti-poverty agencies across the country fear that even with the federal financial assistance available under the law, health insurance will remain unaffordable for significant numbers of low-income Americans.
“For those with very low wages trying to raise kids, after paying for housing, electricity, food, transportation, and child care, asking people to pay another $50 or $100 a month, that’s just out of reach,” said Sireesha Manne, a staff attorney at the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty.”
The Californian retiree is fortunate to absorb the increased healthcare costs, but she’s upset a law – promised to help lower premiums – has had such drastic financial consequences. “This is not the way I imagined spending my senior years.”
Editor’s Note: With the IRS targeting conservative groups and individuals, this elderly lady was afraid to reveal her name, specifically citing fears of retaliation. This “chilling” effect may further curtail honest discussion of Obamacare and its consequences.