Self-Employed React To Pres. Obama's Health Care Proposals

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Self-Employed React To Pres. Obama's Health Care Proposals

Sep 17, 2009

Jere Smith, Accountant

Liberty, Missouri


“I thought the speech was good. The fact that he is still interested in compromise is amazing. I hope he does call out those who would rather forgo fixing our broken heath care system then fix it for political reasons. People in this country need help. Who cares if it comes from a Democrat or Republican?


I thought the immediate benefits were exciting. I liked hearing legislation would immediately go into effect prohibiting insurance companies from canceling us. One of my biggest fears is that my individual insurance company will find some obscure excuse to cancel us once me or a family member gets sick. The other concern he says will be immediately addressed is preexisting conditions. We are scared to speak openly with our doctors because some insurance company will refuse coverage based on a prior privileged conversation. Finally, President Obama said there would no longer be limits on coverage. If you have ever seen bills from a cancer patient or difficult pregnancy you would understand this concern.


I would like to know how much this immediate coverage will cost me each month. My suspicions are that the cost, since I assume it will initially be provided by insurance companies, will be prohibitive.


As an employer I would be interested in seeing the income limits that would require me to pay if I don't provide employee insurance.


I would like more specifics on the exchanges or government option. I like the idea of being a part of a large group with the ability to negotiate benefits.


President Obama said he would eliminate the “donut hole” for prescription medicine in Medicare. I'm not sure how to work this but...when we eventually use Medicare I understand at some point the government will take all our assets. I know my grandmother has to use her own limited funds to pay for her assisted living. Once she runs completely out then the government will pay for it. Of course she will be otherwise broke. Is there any consideration for this?


In my heart I would prefer a single payer plan. I don't trust insurance companies. The fine print not to mention difficulty level of understanding different coverage is insane.”




Alyssa Turk, Graphic Designer

Grand Rapids, Michigan


“I am so frustrated.


I feel the same as I did before: not enough details. President Obama didn't address my concerns about minimum levels for "qualified" plans through the exchange. In addition, I was very confused about many of the numbers he threw out about paying for the plan. Funding 2/3 of the plan through eliminating Medicare waste, fraud and abuse is a dubious claim. Also, if the public plan is only available to the uninsured and only 5% will participate, how is it going to provide true competition?


My concerns remain the same: Is there a possibility that my premiums may actually increase because I can no longer purchase the kind of coverage I currently have? The media has become so obsessed with talking about the public option that many troublesome areas of the legislation have been completely ignored.


This line that Obama uses that if you like your health care, you can keep it is blatantly false with regard to individual plans. We can keep our current plans for a period of time but then we will need to go into the exchange and choose from a government qualified plan. I believe the general public does not understand this aspect of health care reform because the media has chosen to place so much focus on the public option. Even without the public option, this plan will introduce a HUGE amount of government regulation and dozens and dozens of new entities that will need to be managed and ultimately reevaluated, reformed etc.


Regardless of how you cut it, the government will be much more involved in the health care choices of those who purchase health care privately. This is what I am opposed to. I am happy to be responsible and have health insurance; I simply don't trust the government to determine my plan.”



Jean Freeman

Fairfax, Virginia


"I've just listened to both the President's address and the minority rebuttal. First and foremost, I am encouraged by the attitude of our leadership towards this most important topic. Obama appears to have a grasp of what are my major concerns -- coverage for the self-employed, unemployed, and those with pre-existing conditions. He also made it quite clear that his solutions would not in any way contribute to our national deficit. I was quite favorably impressed by his address, and it made me more optimistic about our eventual health care reform legislation.


I have experienced the terror of having been unable to secure insurance as an individual, the frustration of not being able to secure insurance as a self-employed proprietor, and the futility of trying to be insured as someone with a pre-existing condition. The President's approach addressed each of these concerns.



Chris Humphrey, Photographer

Tulsa, Oklahoma


“As small-business owners, I see most of us just taking the 8% penalty for not insuring our employees and letting our employees just use the government option. It's sad but true. I can't afford a massive hike in healthcare rates and I know most other small businesses can't either. Let the free market work and let the insurance companies compete across state lines.


The numbers just don't add up. There is no financial way to raise coverage for everyone, lower the costs and retain the standard of care that we currently have. Something has to bend. I have two parents that will soon be eligible for Medicare. It kills me to think that they are ones who will suffer the most under the current plan.

We need to focus on those who don't have or cannot get the healthcare they need, not overhaul the entire medical system. We have the greatest healthcare in the nation and any more government interference will destroy that.


Two things that will solve our healthcare problems: Tort Reform and Interstate Insurance Options. Tackle these and healthcare and insurance costs will go down and quality of care will go up. And it won't cost the taxpayers a dime!”

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