Editorial: Flagging attention and the $1,400 Obamacare premium

I’m back.

Hip, hip, hooray.

Incorrect.

Hip, artificial hip, hooray.

(Note: If it was my left hip, it would have been “Artificial hip, hip hooray.” Give that some thought if you are so inclined.)

Without getting into too many particulars, in the last five or so years I’ve had both knees replaced to go along with the right hip. I blame genetics, since Dad and all the siblings (four of us) have more artificial joints from hips and knees than we do the real thing. If my math is correct, it’s 11 artificials (55 percent) vs. nine of the real thing.

And for those who will want to know, the VA had nothing to do with any of the surgeries.

And now on to the opinions:

• The wonderful thing about the debate over standing or not during the pledge or national anthem is, in this country anyway, there are almost no wrong positions to take. The wrong position would be to threaten or actually harm people who don’t act like we’d prefer.

But getting upset because someone chooses not to show respect for the flag doesn’t make anyone un-American. That’s part of the give and take of the debate.

I’ve got my own trigger, and it has nothing to do with symbols and everything to do with the people who have stepped up for America and Americans. I get weepy when I read Medal of Honor citations. I teared up in the office last week when I heard of one of the exploits that will be featured in the Miner’s Veterans Day special section. Plug: It comes out Nov. 11, which is Veterans Day. Funny how that works. Mark your calendar.

So if people choose not to show respect, my only reaction is, “I wish they would.”

And I also wish more people in Germany in the 1930s would have stayed seated during ceremonies similar to our pledge. Where was Colin Kaepernick when we really needed him?

• My daughter the school teacher got a surprise in the mail last week – an Obamacare health insurance policy offer for her two sons (healthy and ages 2 and 5) for a mere $1,400 a month. With a pretty high deductible, I think it was $6,000.

There were other, less expensive options, but all substantially more costly than what she pays right now and with even higher deductibles. In fact, the current best deal would blow through 30 percent of her disposable income, which is already pretty much spoken for as soon as she’s paid. It was the same for me and my bride at that age.

This local story is developing, but on a national level Obamacare is such a disaster even the mainstream media seems to be catching on. Way to go!

The president’s sound bites on the Affordable Care Act, especially when he talks (lies) about how prices have come down, still get airplay. But the ongoing stories about how great Obamacare is pretty much are par for the course for this president, the guy who told us we could keep our doctors and our plans, and that it would save families $2,500 a year.

(I’m not an accountant, but I think everyone should claim that $2,500 deduction.)

It’s not all that different from the president bragging about how great the economy is, when those of us who are actually in the economy (and have been participating in it for more than seven years and nine months) know better.

The point: I am so tired of people who say we can’t give up on Obamacare now because more people have insurance, that instead it needs to be “fixed.” But are you willing to let the government – the same one that had a hand in that $1,400 policy proposal for my daughter – “fix” this? Seriously? Remember, these are the same aces who brought you the VA.

And understand that premiums are not going up despite Obamacare, they are going up because of Obamacare.

There hadn’t been an issue over insuring the poor for years, it was just a matter of how poor you would have to be in order to qualify for Medicare. And “poor” is relative, since the income eligibility charts I’ve seen don’t match my definition of “poor.”

Of course, when you factor in Obamacare premiums, that “poor” segment of the population probably grows substantially.

In 2009, Democrats didn’t want a debate about expanding who is eligible for federal health insurance, they wanted control over your health care. And they’ll likely get more of it if you-know-who is elected.

And speaking of that, can you think of two less appetizing candidates for president? Maybe we’ll talk about that next week.