Mr. Obama, I'm Not a "Substandard" Father

by Dave Hamilton in , ,


I don't hate Barack Obama. I wish the man no ill will and, honestly, I originally liked ObamaCare's high-level concepts.

Ensuring that everyone gets some basic level of healthcare is A-OK by me, and I have gone on record stating that I am OK paying a little more to ensure that happens. I also like the idea of simply changing something about the system so that we'd break out of the status quo. In addition to those talking points, though, I also liked the idea that I could keep my health insurance plan if it suited me. As I posted yesterday, that seems not to be the case, but that's yesterday's news.

Today, though, I read something that really bothered me more than any of the rest of this. Today I read that Mr. Obama called the health insurance plan I have "substandard." That took all manner of politics out of it and hit home in a very very personal way for me.

I am not a perfect man. I am not a perfect husband (despite repeated assertions by my wife to the contrary!), and I am not a perfect father (for the record, my kids make no assertions to the contrary). But I do try really hard, and I care so very much, and I realized today that calling anything I do for my kids and family "substandard" hits a nerve.

Yesterday, Mr. Obama called the type of health insurance plan that has served my family for 10+ years "substandard." This type of plan has served us through the birth of a child, several sets of broken bones, major invasive surgery and related hospitalization, a concussion, Lyme disease, Bell's Palsy, and all manner of everyday maladies that happen to a growing family.

Every year I take the previous three years' numbers and run them against all kinds of insurance plans. I, too, like the "pie in the sky" idea of a no-fuss, $30-copay, and every year I hope that my math will show me that in at least one of the previous three years that would have been the smart plan to get. But every single time I do the math it shows me that the only correct move for us is the one I have always chosen: a high-deductible plan that does nothing more than protect us from bankruptcy. True insurance.

With this type of plan we pay for our healthcare starting with dollar one, and the plan essentially only kicks in when we've spent more than about $5,000 on any one person in the family. Yes, that means our cash flow is sometimes unpredictably impacted, but it saves us thousands every year. 

It's never made any sense whatsoever for us to carry maternity coverage, either. Even in the year our son was born it made more financial sense to pay out-of-pocket for the pregnancy-related costs than it would have to add maternity to our plan. It's important to note that while our plan didn't cover routine maternity costs (by our choice, of course), it would have (and did) cover any pregnancy-related complications.  Again, our insurance was chosen by us to minimize our yearly out-of-pocket costs (and protect us from bankruptcy, of course), nothing more.

Every year I put a lot of responsible thought and effort into choosing exactly the right health insurance plan for my family, and for our President — someone to whom we're supposed to look up and respect — to call it "substandard"  says to me that he thinks I'm a substandard father for actively and repeatedly choosing this path for my family.

Screw you, buddy. To call any human "substandard" is not something I'll tolerate from anyone. Not from my kids, not from my coworkers, and certainly not from you.