Who defines affordability?
By Bob | April 08, 2010
Last night we went out for Vietnamese food. The total with tip for the 6 of us was $31.60. That was affordable. Five minutes away there is a restaurant that would have cost us at least $400. That is not affordable for us.
For my friend John, $31.60 to eat out is not affordable.
For my friend Steve, $400 easily fits within his means.
What is affordability? The cost of an item/service relative to what the purchaser is able to pay. So it would seem to me that we each get to determine for ourselves a definition of affordability for an item/service.
Where am I going with this? Healthcare. I keep hearing that we are now going to be getting "affordable" healthcare for all Americans. Impossible. The recently passed healthcare legislation has been touted as doing three things: reducing the deficit, extending healthcare coverage to an additional 33,000,000 people and making no cuts to Medicare. Impossible. My college philosophy professor would be appalled at the lack of logic here. One bill can not do all three of these things. Can a baker bake more cakes without buying additional flour or using any of the flour she currently has?
This can only mean one thing: the cost of healthcare (direct or indirect) will be going up.
Congress is now going to define "affordable" for us. And it's going to be more than we're currently paying. If that's too much for you, Congress will assess you a fine that they determine is "affordable" for you so that healthcare can be "affordable" for everyone else.
I miss the old days when I could determine my own definition of affordability.