The debacle that is the Affordable Care Act took on a new wrinkle recently when many of the nation's employers called the president's bluff. Instead of providing health insurance for their employees, as they do now, these corporations are going to give their employees a cash stipend and let them buy insurance on the new, "Open" marketplaces – some of which give buyers only one or two choices by the way.
Why are these employers taking this route? Because for every employee who earns under the threshold – about $43,000 – the government will subsidize the cost of the insurance.
What it means in lay terms is the government never anticipated having to subsidize many million more Americans than it originally planned. Where will the money come from? The rest of us, of course. So in addition to paying for our own insurance we'll be paying for theirs as well. This in essence, is the "welfare state" Obama has envisioned all along.
A Sad Farewell
Barrister's, the Southampton eatery that has been part of the local fabric under one name or the other for as long as anyone can remember, sadly, closed its doors this week.
This was a place that was for locals, despite the trendy address and the influx of tourists. Many of us remember it as the Ebb Tide, like Barrister's, an affordable restaurant with delicious food and a lively bar. Before that it was a popular luncheonette favored by the younger crowd, especially after school. It was a place to go on a bitter February night to warm up, and be greeted by a familiar face and surrounded by old friends.
All the best to Michael Ferran, who started the business with Digger McMahon more than three decades ago. Mr. McMahon passed last year, and the business is for sale. We bemoan losing another little piece of our past. Another restaurant will probably fill the space, but not with the allure — and memories – of Barrister's.