Until now, when relief is in sight*, I'd never really stopped to do the exact math. I'd guessed at it, sure, but I didn't have the hard numbers. Most of it gets taken out pre-net, of course, and it wasn't like I was going to change anything from the knowledge: Through long trial-and-error I knew that this clusterfuck was yet the most cost-effective way to manage my family.
But then, as I was listening to talk of co-ops and HSAs on the radio, I decided to get out a calculator. And I discovered that my family of three pays 19% of our household gross income in healthcare premiums.
I'm a little bit pissed, actually. If it had made it to 20%, I could have said 1/5, and then we'd be talking real money. But I guess 19% isn't too high a price to pay for the best health care in the world.
Except, as you might expect, I've experienced the US health care system - as a significant other, mind you - and let me tell you something: It ain't shit. I long ago ceased being dazzled by expensive tests and showpiece diagnostic machines, because it's all sound and fury signifying nothing. Our outcomes are terrible, and the "customer service" - in a free market, shouldn't customer service be paramount? - is one step above being beaten to death with a payphone receiver. Oh, I know, wingnut, you have your personal physician, and ze's practically House in the way ze diagnoses your kid's chicken pox. How could we ever have that under Obamacare?
By the way - after paying 19% of our gross annual income, we just got an ominous letter hinting that a recent procedure may not be covered, despite having been previously assured otherwise. The bill for this procedure? ONLY THE FUCKING OTHER EIGHTY-ONE PERCENT.
So keep carrying your AR-15s to townhalls, you fascist dipshits. Because that 19%? You're going to join me there very soon, if you get your way. Or, more accurately, you're going to follow me (and people like me) there, because if my own personal relief (the kind denied to almost everyone in my situation) wasn't on its way, I pretty much could expect 40% to be here inside a decade. And I have a weird feeling you're going to get your secret, masturbatory desire for massive civil unrest a long time before that happens.
* Due to reasons that are outside your need-to-know.
Update: Jesus, I just thought of something: 19% is a lot, right? I mean, it's only 3% lower than most peoples' marginal tax rates. Or am I just dreaming, that all of these jackasses at town halls (the ones that aren't already commie Medicare recipients) aren't happily swallowing similar premiums with no complaints whatsoever?
Update 2: Just to clarify: the 19% is not including employer contribution. It's not the largest employer contribution in history, but it's there. So the total premium is actually more. Contributing factors, without going into too much detail: Small group (employed by small business), chronic illness, double coverage *required* because OOP monthly expenses (including prescriptions, which have no OOP maximum) would actually be significantly more than the secondary insurance.