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Real Estate Broker/Owner with Wilson-Shaffer Real Estate

January 27th, 2009

     Plenty!  Most people do not realize that almost all real estate agents are self-employed independent contractors.  They are affiliated with their real estate company, but are not employees and therefore are not covered by company paid health insurance.  Like every self-employed person, they are left to their own devices to navigate the treacherous waters of health care. 

     Americans need to get over their phobia of the word "socialized" as in "socialized medicine."  It just means that health care for all citizens is provided to them by their government as a basic human right. Most of the rest of the developed free world has it, and they are appalled that America is so backward!  When it comes to health care, we are a third-world country-not in the level of health care available but in the availability of that health care to all our citizens.  Through a comprehensive campaign, the medical, insurance, and pharmaceutical industries have convinced Americans that if our government provides health care the quality will be diminished.  Rubbish!!! To the contrary, nothing-nothing-would be better for our citizens or be a bigger boon for our economy.  As as for the cost to our government, we can afford senseless wars but cannot afford to pay for health care?

     So what would happen if we had "Medicare" for all Americans?  We could each pay a nominal monthly premium plus an affordable co-pay for doctors' office visits and drugs.  But the bulk of the costs would be covered by the government plan.  Yes, it would mean higher income taxes, but so what??!!!  We would all get  more than what we pay for, and the increased taxes would be far less than health care is costing us now.  And, yes, we are all paying right now in one way or another.  More importantly though, everyone would receive the care they need including preventative care.  Prescription drug costs would be regulated, so the government would not be paying the exorbitant prices we citizens now pay.  Right now, Americans are paying far higher prices for prescription drugs than people in other countries, another gross inequity. 

     But why would it be such a boon for the economy?  Well, think about it. The billions of dollars that is now being spent by corporations, small businesses, and individuals on health insurance and health care would be redirected into our economy.   Corporations and businesses large and small could be more competitive with those overseas, so more jobs would stay in this country. It's as simply as that. Consider this.  If General Motors was not burdened with horrendous costs of providing health insurance for all its workers, would they have needed a bail-out?  The cost of health care is a huge part of the cost of manufacturing every automobile made in America.  Automobile makers in other countries do not have that cost and therefore have a competitive advantage.  Consider my little real estate company.  There are two employees, me and my office manager.  Last year health insurance for just the two of us (not our families, just two people) totaled $18,400.  Every small business in this country is struggling with this tremendous burden because the smaller the business the higher the cost per employee.  Personally, since my company-paid insurance only covered me, my husband and I also paid for his Medicare supplement (Blue Cross/Blue Shield) which totaled just under $4,000 for the year plus nearly $7,000 for prescription drugs (not covered under the Medicare drug plan) plus the premium for Medicare of $1,400 deducted from his social security plus the monthly premium for the Medicare drug plan! 

     So, please, please people, start talking about this.  Contact your Senators and Congressmen and Congresswomen.  Demand the basic right of being healthy and being cared for when you are not.  Our tax dollars pay for health care for all our elected representatives.  Don't we deserve the same?


Real estate sales are slow these days, even here in gorgeous Door County, Wisconsin.  And it is cold--10 degrees below zero at my home in Fish Creek this morning and 12 degrees now at my office in Ephraim.  This is not normal weather for Door County-winter temperatures are usually higher than that-but this has been an unusually cold winter all over the midwest.  On the plus side, it is a great year for cross-country skiing and snowmobiling!  If you are so inclined, ice conditions for ice fishing are ideal as well.  If you are just in the mood for a mid-winter get-away, there are cozy motel rooms available (many with fireplaces) and the scenery is spectacular!  You could even check out the real estate for sale while you are here!

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