Try Not to Complain When Doing the Right Thing

 

A facebook friend recently posted an article on her page warning all of us that Obamacare is about to cause an economic burden on all pet owners. Out of morbid curiosity, I clicked on the link and read an article about a veterinarian in Tennessee who was making the case that because Obamacare was adding a 2.3% excise tax on medical devices, this cost was going to be passed along to consumers, resulting in increased veterinary costs.

Similar tales of woe have been told by other conservative-minded business owners. The now notorious CEO of Papa John’s Pizza (John Schnatter) has informed us that because of Obamacare he will be forced to raise the price of a large pizza by 11 to 14 cents. And John Metz, the owner of a Denny’s franchise in West Palm Beach, Florida, stated that he was going to be forced to add a 5% surcharge to each bill to cover the cost of providing health insurance to his employees. Stories like these have been popping up since Obamacare passed more than three years ago and only intensified when the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the legality of Obamacare last June.

For the sake of argument, I’m willing to take these business owners at face value and assume their claims are accurate. That being the case, we are literally talking about pennies. A large cheese pizza from Papa John’s currently costs $14 (varying somewhat depending on location). According to Mr. Schnatter, this cost will likely increase to $14.14, a price increase of 1%. At Denny’s, a Grand Slam Breakfast will typically set you back anywhere from $5-7 (again depending on location). With the proposed 5% surcharge, the price of a Grand Slam will increase about 25 cents. The price tag on the increased veterinary costs is a bit murkier, but estimates are that the increase (if any) will be very small.

To me, this is a no-brainer. I’m willing to pay 14 cents more for a pizza if that means the employees who made it will have health insurance. I’m also willing to pay an extra two bits at Denny’s if it means the people who made my food will have health insurance. And I’m willing to part with a couple of additional dimes to have my cat de-wormed if it means the woman who answered the phone and made my appointment gets adequate healthcare coverage. These are not tough decisions. I wonder what kind of person sits at home, reads these articles, and stews over their nickels and dimes while apparently having no regard for the health of other Americans.

American tax dollars provide healthcare coverage for citizens on Medicare, Medicaid, people in the military, and people who work for federal, state, and local government agencies. Why is it so much to ask that we put up a few extra bucks here and there to make sure everyone else is covered? It baffles me that so many Americans enjoy healthcare that is paid for or subsidized by tax payers but then cry foul when they’re asked to pay 10 extra cents for a pizza to provide another worker the same coverage. The Republican Party has managed to turn the idea of Americans helping one another into a vast left-wing agenda.

No one likes paying more for something, even if it’s only a few cents; but I can’t think of a better way to spend our money than investing in the health of our fellow Americans. If you find yourself shelling out an additional 14 cents at Papa John’s, please don’t complain about socialism and the increased cost of eating bad pizza. Instead, look at the person at the cash register and realize that your 14 cents is helping that person lay his head down at night without worrying what will happen if he gets sick.

– Nathan

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