Back in 2007, I had a patient who was uninsured with a strong family history of breast cancer. At the time, the only place you could get tested for the gene mutations strongly associated with breast cancer, BRCA1 and BRCA2, was this company called Myriad. They had a monopoly on the test. I thought the patient really needed to know her risk (which could be as high as 87% likelihood of getting breast or ovarian cancer). I called up Myriad and asked how much their test would cost a cash-paying patient. They said $4000. I asked if they had some sort of financial assistance programs. They said nope. Of course this made me angry.
And now it’s 2013. Back in January I joined 23andMe, spit in a cup, sent it off to them, and found that I have none of the three most popular BRCA mutations. And this only cost me $99 cash. So…in 5 years or so, the cost of understanding your risk went from $4000 for testing two genes to $99 for sequencing much of your DNA. And that’s a beautiful thing.
I applaud Angelina Jolie for being open and honest about her decision to have a double mastectomy to prevent breast cancer. Celebrities can shed a vital light on important and difficult issues to popularize. And she’s done a remarkable job, unlike Jenny McCarthy. By being science and data-driven, you can save lives. By being emotional and scientifically ignorant, you can take lives.
Essentially, brands have to prove to Lego that they’re worth the time and effort the toy maker must commit, laying out not just a product’s appeal to kids but also its appeal across borders. “It has to have global clout, which is very different from other partners in the industry,” explains Manuel Torres, svp of global toys for Nickelodeon. “[Others] will have a strategy for what they do domestically and another for what they do overseas. For Lego, you have to show that you have interest in Europe, that you have interest in the Americas—and then they’ll pursue a partnership.”
In 2014, when the mandate goes into effect, the average health insurance premium for a family of four will be about $16,000 per year. You make too much money to qualify for federal subsidies to offset the cost of health insurance premiums.
Therefore, 17% of your pre-tax income will be spent on health insurance that you are mandated to buy. You are exempt from the fine because the cheapest plan is more than double the 8% of your income limit that exempts you from the fine.
According to today’s SCOTUS decision, you and your family must pay a “tax” to a private, for-profit corporation called Aetna or Wellpoint of 17% of your pre-tax income.
$16,000/17% of your pre-tax income? Will you be able to afford this? Probably not. And then you are still uninsured.