Tuesday, January 23, 2007

I am Gold-Plated?!!

by Ken Houghton

It is generally considered unseemly to talk about how much one makes, or spends. (Also, to some extent, unwise.)

But in this case I will make an exception. Because according to George W. Bush, I suffer from being "gold-plated."

To be specific, in round figures, the health insurance for myself and my family (two children, putting us in the same bucket as those with two or more) last year cost me just under $4,500 out of salary. My employee, a large firm based in NYC, puts on your pay stub how much they chipped in. For the past calendar year, they contributed just over $15,000.

So, per George W. Bush, I (in my various forms) paid about $4,500 too much for insurance.

Here's the catch: I could have opted for the "cheaper out-of-pocket" plan (which, I suspect, still would have been over $15K out of pocket). But the insurance company provides a "calculator" to tell you, based upon your estimates of costs, which plan is best for you.

So I went with the plan that provided the optimal utility. (And, especially after Shira's back went out in November, I am glad I did.)

Now, George W. Bush wants to tell me that I spent too much on insurance. But the insurance company—and my receipts for the year—disagree.

Keep this in mind as you watch the State of the Union tonight. The centerpiece will be a pence-wise, quid-foolish, suboptimal, economically idiotic decision that is fragrant for all the wrong reasons.
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