Here we go again. As both sides battle over Obamacare funding, Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., is trotting out the Democrat mantra that Republicans are continuing “their war on women.”
Eye roll, please.
Of course, a government shutdown doesn’t affect Obamacare. But why let facts get in the way of feminist propaganda to drum up political support?
In fact, it is Boxer, Reps. Mike Michaud and Chellie Pingree, Sen. Angus King and every other politician who voted for or supports “affordable” health care waging the war on — and against — women and thinking we will be fooled by slogans.
For individual coverage, the Manhattan Institute estimates Obamacare will in fact increase insurance rates for younger women. A 27-year-old Maine woman is facing a 17 percent increase as she carries the weight of older, sicker patients on her shoulders. That’s more than a few lattes. Starbucks had better be bracing for a dip in sales.
Better health care? Currently, two-thirds of all adult Medicaid patients are women, but a Health Affairs survey found one-third of physicians nationwide won’t accept new Medicaid patients. Fewer providers means less access to health care and longer waits.
Good for families? The median U.S. household income is $50,052, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and, according to the 2012 Milliman Medical Index, health care costs eat up more than $20,000 for a typical family of four. That’s the dollar equivalent of a brand new Toyota Corolla (without the financing bit). The total cost of employer-provided health insurance for the average family was $15,745 in 2012, with families generally shouldering more than a quarter of that cost, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services expects to see total spending on private health insurance increase by about 6 percent annually over the next decade.
Add to this higher investment income taxes for higher earner families, a new payroll tax, a higher threshold for tax-deductible medical expenses and a $2,500 limit on the amount of pretax income that can be put into flexible spending accounts. Tell me how we women are supposed to balance our family budgets, let alone save for our old age or pay for such luxuries as, say, food and housing?
How about the Democrat war on women who are covered under their husband’s plans? The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projects that in 2018, 7 million fewer people will have employer-sponsored coverage than if Obamacare weren’t law. Women are more likely to be covered as dependents (23 percent for women versus 14 percent for men), making a woman much more vulnerable to losing coverage if she becomes widowed, divorced or her spouse loses his job.
War on struggling women? Almost two-thirds of minimum-wage workers are female. Lower-wage service businesses can easily switch from full-time to part-time labor to avoid Obamacare’s employer mandate. State Senate President Justin Alfond, a Democrat, estimates there are 14,000 minimum wage workers in Maine. If two-thirds of them are women, that’s 9,240 Maine women likely to be affected by the Democrat war on women. Fewer hours for women, smaller paychecks, fewer opportunities to get ahead.
Considering starting a business? Fantastic. Now you and more than 40,000 other Maine women business owners will have to face Obamacare’s employer mandate, stifling expansion and driving you to use part-time, contingent or contractor labor.
Planning on getting married? Congratulations! But you may want to think twice. Under Obamacare, many married women will be stuck paying more for insurance than single women. So much for the deposit on your first house together.
Obamacare also links taxpayer subsidies to the federal poverty guidelines, so couples may find that marriage means their health insurance will cost more. Government subsidies shrink, increasing premiums, as income rises.
So Boxer is right — there is a war on women. But the real war on women is the devastating policies used to buy votes on the backs of the hard working American taxpayer. Those policies are coming from the left.
Democrats, if Obamacare is so great, why have you given yourselves as elected officials one set of taxpayer-subsidized Obamacare rules on the law you enacted while the rest of us hard working taxpayers are burdened with another? If you aren’t with us, you are against us. Game on.
Susan Dench of Falmouth is founder and president of the Informed Women’s Network, which motivates fiscally responsible women to make an impact on the political process. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.