Harvard’s Obamacare Chickens Come Home

January 8, 2015

In 1390, Geoffrey Chaucer introduced in The Parson’s Tale the idea of a curse returning to “hym that curseth, as a bryd that retorneth agayn to his owene nest.” [sic]  The modern equivalent “chickens have come home to roost” getting a very famous reciting from pastor to future President Barack Obama, Jeremiah Wright, Jr., when he blamed America for the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001.

Now enter a group of Harvard professors whose cackling could knock Wright off his perch.

Robert Pear, writing in the New York Times, informs us that members of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences are none too happy that their own, personal healthcare costs will be going up this year thanks to the university’s outrageous decision to, gasp, ask them to share in the increased costs associated with the healthcare reforms pushed by a President that they so vociferously support.

And the depth of despair from the Crimson elite is deep indeed:

“Richard F. Thomas, a Harvard professor of classics and one of the world’s leading authorities on Virgil, called the changes “deplorable, deeply regressive, a sign of the corporatization of the university.”

Mary D. Lewis, a professor who specializes in the history of modern France and has led opposition to the benefit changes, said they were tantamount to a pay cut. “Moreover,” she said, “this pay cut will be timed to come at precisely the moment when you are sick, stressed or facing the challenges of being a new parent.””

So just what pray tell is the evil that their beloved Harvard has unleashed upon these most special of special people that has them so upset?

Implementing a new healthcare plan that: “has an annual deductible of $250 per individual and $750 for a family. For a doctor’s office visit, the charge is $20. For most other services, patients will pay 10 percent of the cost until they reach the out-of-pocket limit of $1,500 for an individual and $4,500 for a family.”

In comparison, an analysis of 2015 Obamacare deductibles performed by healthpocket.com, a site dedicated to tracking and comparing coverage data, shows that the average deductible for a bronze plan is a whopping $5,200 a year for an individual and upwards of $10,500 for a family. (Silver plans, considered the “middle” plans are averaging single deductibles in the $2,900 range and $6,000 and up for families.)

Imagine the clucking in the faculty lounge if these professors had to deal with those costs.

Imagine the screams of indignance if these oh so much smarter than that “stupid American voter” (Johnathan Gruber) had to abide by the same rules and red tape they have imposed on the rest of us.

The “it’s fine for thee but not for me” attitude is as ingrained into the ivory towers of academia as the Presidential portraits on Mount Rushmore, but when one considers that even two year old data (Harvard Crimson, April 2013) puts the average full professor salary at $198,400 with associate and assistant professors having to scrape by on $109 to $120k a year, the hypocrisy is blinding.

When the House passed Obamacare in March 2010 I noted:

“It is a sad day indeed when two activist, liberal politicians can pass off as “reform” the largest government power grab in American history. IF only Pelosi and Obama had delivered real healthcare reform tonight, the cause for celebration across the country would indeed be universal.”

That those oh so insulated Harvard professors are now living the reality that they themselves helped wrought leaves me with just one question:

Do they prefer their chicken fried or grilled?

PUBLISHER’s NOTE:  An edited version of this column first appeared in the January 8, 2015 print edition of the Joplin Globe.

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