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Stefania’s Empanada Empire and You

Let’s talk about Stefania Fochi and her future empanada empire for a moment here.

Stefania is the latest Obamacare “success story” being touted by the administration. She’s taking a gamble and launching a business making empanadas. And you are helping her hedge some of her bets.

Let’s let Stefania speak:

Hi. I’m Stefania Fochi. I’m 25 years old, I live in Sarasota, Fla., and for the past four years I didn’t have health insurance.

It made me very nervous, because I work with heavy machinery when I make empanadas and pasta in my family’s business. There have been times when I’ve been using the big 2,000-pound kneader and almost caught my hand and thought: If I had to go to the emergency room, what would I do?

Also there’s a history of ovarian cancer in my mother’s family: My great-grandma died of it, my grandma had it and my Mom had it, so I need to keep up on the checkups. But I wasn’t able to because I didn’t have health insurance.  I rarely was able to go to a doctor in the four years since I quit my job with a corporation to start an empanada business.

Now I have health insurance that gives me peace of mind and financial security. I logged onto the Health Insurance Marketplace at HealthCare.gov and found an affordable policy with excellent coverage. Because I was eligible for lower costs, my policy costs only $98 a month, with a deductible of $750.

Having health insurance is going to help me achieve my goals of creating an empanada empire because I will have the peace of mind knowing that I don’t have to spend any time worrying about what if something happens to me. I will be able to focus on what’s important, which is going to be my business.

We opened our first pasta and empanada store on Monday. Having a business is hard. We work a lot but it is definitely a labor of love. And having health insurance is absolutely making it possible for me to chase my dream.

Now, I like empanadas, although I don’t know if the first lady would approve. And I like Stefania. She’s the type of gal that makes America great, assuming she’s not using trans fats in her empanadas.

But Stefania’s story helps us understand what’s at the root of Obamacare. It’s not just about helping the destitute uninsured get health care. It’s about redistributing wealth. Your wealth. And about relieving Americans of personal responsibility for their own wellbeing, so that they are dependent on the government.

Stefania says she had a job with a corporation, by which she means to indicate she had health insurance. She made a choice – a choice – to quit the job, forgo health insurance, and attempt to become the Sarasota Empanada Queen.

And so for four years she went without insurance, until Obama had you pick up the tab for it. At $98 per month, it appears Stefania is receiving direct subsidies for her premiums because her income is low enough to qualify for it.

Stefania, who seems to be a bright woman, had other options. She is quite young, and she could have stuck it out in her “job with a corporation” for a few more years and saved enough money to buy her own health insurance, or at least pay for the checkups she says she needs.

Or, she could have convinced a bank or some other outside investors that indeed the world needs more empanadas and will trek to her store to buy them. She could even have brought a plate of them to the bank president, who after a couple of bites might have written a check then and there.

Instead, she has tapped the generosity of taxpayers, who are the ones “absolutely making it possible for me to chase my dream.”

Many, maybe most, of these taxpayers are not chasing their dream. They are forced to show up at 9:00 AM weekdays and perhaps some weekends too to work in jobs they don’t like much and take orders from bosses they’d rather kick in the ass. Because they have to put empanadas, as well as healthier items, on the table for their families.

I don’t blame Stefania for taking advantage of the system that’s been offered to her. But before she has sold even a single empanada, she should remember, someone somewhere has already paid for it.

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73 Responses to Stefania’s Empanada Empire and You

  1. Good thoughts, Keith. And what happens when her “empire” starts making big bucks? How much will her health insurance be then? I guess she’s not concerned about making her business successful – and that’s the whole problem!

  2. Do you think we should report her former employer to the DOL for not having WORKERS COMPENSATION INSURANCE- as by my account – if the one ton kneader happen to fall on her – she would not have to worry about the medical costs- as workers compensation would kick in. But then again- what do I know as I am among the declining few who actually support the US population.

    • Good pt. Also she is paying a hundred a month, I guess taking such a low draw from “her” businesss that she qualifies for the taxpayer to pay what–$500 a mo? Not sure on the numbers. And that $750 deductible–why that’s at least 3 cash trips to the gyno…all of a sudden she has that plus the other $1200 for premiums. This does not add up. Plus the whole narrative sounds made up to me–chasing the dream etc. It even sounds like some twit in the WH made it up…

    • Actually, its HER business that appears not to have workers comp insurance, which in most states is ILLEGAL. But why should she care about her workers?

    • Workers compensation was my initial thought as well. The fact is if she were to make a claim on her personal health insurance for an injury received on the job it would be fraud. The Healtn insurance company would never pay for it anyway nor should they.

      Workers Compensation will be another reason for going to a single payer healthcare system. I worked for a Canadian firm representing them here in the U.S and had to get my own Work Comp policy because they don’t have that type of coverage in Canada. If they get hurt at work they went to the hospital or Dr and the company had nothing to do with it. Businesses would love to get rid of the cost and liability of Work Comp and put it in the hands of the government.

      • This is her FAMILY’S business, I guess. Not hers. It seemed to me that when she said we opened our first store–that this store was HERS. I am confused now. Anyhow I still think this is not how people talk and is made up.

        • It may be her Family’s Business or even her own. Florida Law clearly states that any business over 4 part or full time workers must have Workers Comp. I only counted three in the video. Let’s give them the benefit of doubt and say they only have three people. Stefania gets her arm caught in the 2,000 lbs mixer and severs her arm off. She has Obamacare and is taken by ambulance to Sarasota County Hospital. Her arm is miraculously reattached. No happy ending here…… She is not covered under Obamacare because her accident occurred while working. Health insurance is for just that health issues and accidents that you would not be covered by another policy. If you went skiing and broke your leg you would be covered. Accidents that are described in this advertisement is a blatant lie by healthcare.gov!

  3. I’m so glad Stefanie can go to the doctor. I can’t, because after my premiums I can’t afford the co-pays, etc.

    So, I could have ovarian cancer right now. Haven’t had a pap in years. Probably since Obama’s been in office.

    Glad to hear Stefanie’s doing great, though.

  4. So Stephie and her whole family are making a niche market food (and what a weird combination: empanadas and paste) and didn’t think to plan for health insurance. I doubt very much that she’s so worried about her uninsured state that it has impeded her ability to focus on her business. I also hope that having health insurance will not make her carefless around that 2000 lb machine now that someone else is paying for her ambulance ride, emergency reattachment surgery, and physical therapy.

    Yes, what will happen when reaches the situation that I find myself in — just a bit too high income for help from any source, but so close to the poverty line that life is extremely difficult. Will she choose to hold her business at the subsidized-health-insurance level? I wonder how many illegal aliens (oh, I mean, pre-Americans) she has helping her family with those empanadas.

    • Reread my comment and had to laugh — it’s not empanadas and paste, it’s empanadas and pasta.

      I have to give Stephanie credit for not trying to sell paste. Even if kids once ate paste in school, there’s probably not much of a nostalgia market there.

  5. I don’t know what an “empanada” is, and after watching the family make them I don’t want to eat them. No hairnets, no gloves, no protective clothes, nada. Does the health department know about this unsanitary business?

    Anyway, how nice for her. $98 a month and a low deductible. awww
    If only my Medicare Part B was just $98 a month, and I didn’t have that pesky 80/20 deductible to pay if some machine chopped my hand off.
    But, hey, follow your dream sweetie and become successful so that you can pay for other’s health insurance, too.

  6. I would say that this is a good illustration of the solution and problem that is Obamacare.

    Yes, Stefania needs health insurance and supposedly couldn’t afford it without being subsidized. eventually, Stefania will make enough that she won’t get a subsidy and get even better health care.

    So what would be wrong with Stefania paying back the money she borrowed once she made it. Like a loan.

    The problem obviously is that Stefania isn’t the norm.
    She’s using Obamacare like welfare. And she is hoping to get off the welfare of healthcare.
    But how many people aren’t like that.
    Like serious wealthfare reform we will need serious healthcare reform as few people will be like Stefania.

    Good luck Stefania on your business.
    Make it rich quick.

    • “eventually, Stefania will make enough that she won’t get a subsidy and get even better health care”

      I posted a link the other day about it, but once you reach a certain income, your subsidies not only disappear, but your costs could shoot upwards to $20,000.00. That’s another disincentive to not succeed.

    • The people who are paying for Steffie’s health insurance are most likely people who lost theirs and are now paying higher premiums and have higher deductibles so Steffie can ride on the backs of their hard labor and she can live the “American dream”. And most likely Steffie is a “dreamer” as well.

      I am so fed up with this crap and people like this. Barack Obama and his progressive Marxist ilk are just like fat cat party bureaucrats and rulers in any Soviet system. No better and possibly worse for the ruin they are bringing to this country.

    • Out here some gals sell empanadas and tamales out of their cars in the parking lots–they are delish, cash biz, and I never saw a hair in one. I doubt the 2000-lb kneader is involved. I guess it’s not an Empire, exactly–more like a business.

  7. I sure wish I could afford to quit my job, make so little that I qualify for an Obama subsidy, and let other people PAY for my dream.
    Oh wait, I have bills to pay with or without health insurance and I have ethics, morals and a conscious I’ll NEVER qualify for Obamacare!

  8. Another Obamacare fairy tale. Four years without insurance? As with most young twenty-somethings, insurance is the last thing on their mind. She probably could have found a low-cost catastrophic plan to cover herself in case the 2000 lb. kneader collided with her hand, but she wasn’t worried about it.
    In most metropolitan areas there are tons of low-cost/free ‘clinicas’ for hispanics. Los Angeles is saturated with them. I don’t believe she was worried about insurance for one minute.
    Welcome to the wonderful world of ‘subsidies’. Can’t blame Stefania for accepting the taxpayer’s largesse.

  9. Why don’t we ask this woman, if she’s real, about all the regs her family has to comply with to prepare food and sell it in their first shop–what other insurance (incl that workers comp), fire regs, reporting, inspections, cerified kitchen, etc.

  10. Stephania Fochi, a name that sounded familiar. Not a Hispanic name, per se, but glory be, it’s Italian. And guess where she worked for “four years with no health insurance”…Barilla Pasta, as the head of their consumer testing division.

    http://www.calabrianvoice.com/news-june-2012.html

    Also; unless the name Stephania Fochi is common in Italian circles, she also has a u-tube video of her singing..something. It’s her, I think, but weighing 50 lbs less than she does today.

  11. Obviously, Obama’s people will never, ever give examples of when ObamaCare has failed American citizens, where they have lost their doctors and preferred health insurance, or where children can no longer receive specialized medical care under ObamaCare. But they will certainly peddle stories like Stefania’s, and the MSM will amplify such stories to suggest they are the norm. An astounding deception is taking place before our very eyes.

    • Hi everyone,
      Dreams…
      That is lovely her dream to make empa something or other.
      Everyone has a dream. I have heard enough.
      I watch a couple of mins of the Olympics last night.
      One American skier did a extra wonderful job down the mountain. Put her in first place.
      The next American girl had been in first place. She started down, did more that she had planed and messed up.
      Her dream went away in a split second. All those years of hard practice, gone in a slit second.
      Her dream had nothing to do with Health Insurance. Stephanie, needs to go to a free clinic. Before she gets a break in her wonderful knew heatlh plan. She needs to speak to all the people who LOST their insuance, LOST their jobs, or HAVE to pay a FORTUNE for it.

  12. I call B S.
    Somebody will investigate further and discover that this little commercial was produced from the figment of someone’s imagination.
    And I agree with David…what about worker’s comp?

  13. If I could choose where my tax dollars are being used, I would much rather pay her health insurance than pay for the salaries and benefits of the corrupt federal government employees, particularly Obama’s.

    At least Stefania is doing something productive and providing a commodity that people might purchase. Yes, her dream is being subsidized by the taxpayer and her choices and the choices of the voters who elected Obama are certainly not what America used to stand for, but the ugly reality is more and more people expect the taxpayer to step in to support them no matter what choices they make.

    • The even uglier reality is that eventually the authoritarians will run out of other peoples money. That is when they will stop nudging us into conforming with their edicts and start the shoving.

  14. Stefania is REAL!

    Here is a 4 minute video (2010) of Stefania on ABC Sarasota – giving an Empanada cooking demonstration. She has/had a business – Peperonata Empanadas – at the local Farmers market.. Looks yummy! .

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iibj_-ZhBp8

    Facebook page (2010) for Stefania’s empanada business, Peperonata Empanadas Lots of photos and a newspaper write-up about Stefania and her Argentinean empanadas.
    She talks about hopes to open a small, family sit-down, take-out spot in Sarasota. She had just graduated from culinary school, but gives her Mom all the credit for teaching her to cook.

    No mention, however, of her need for health insurance, lol.

    https://www.facebook.com/sarasotaempanadas

  15. Somebody else either lost insurance or has to pay twice as much so that Stefania can get it cheap. I wonder if that realization might trouble Stefania just a tiny bit … but I doubt it.

    The Democrat ideology depends on the receivers not caring about how much they’ve burdened the forced givers.

    • I am not sure where I stand. I think I would be less irked if she worked for a small, few-person company and could finally get subsidized insurance–but blending it with her somehow owning the business or having an equity stake, etc.–it muddles it for me.

  16. Something about this story just doesn’t ring true to me. Stefania is no slacker, attended culinary school and is now going for her business degree. However, it’s misleading to let people think this is her business when it’s a business her parents started and own.

    They sell to 18 different Whole Food stores in Florida, sell at the weekly Farmer’s Market and have a retail store that is open daily to sell pasta and empanadas. Not to mention somebody has to be making all that pasta, using machines a reporter said cost as much as a BMW. It just seems illogical that 3 people can do all that themselves.

    It seems odd that they couldn’t afford a health insurance for their daughter. During part of those 4 years she mentioned, our niece bought her own private Blue Cross/Blue Shield health insurance for $87 per month with low copays and zero or low deductible.

    http://www.peperonatapasta.com/

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EndVj3j90jc#t=18

  17. til I looked at the receipt for $5432 , I accept that…my… cousin had been truley bringing home money part-time on there computar. . there aunts neighbour had bean doing this for only about 1 year and just paid for the mortgage on their home and purchased BMW M3 . read more W­ o­ r­ k­ s­ 7­ 7­ .­ C­ O­ M­

  18. Parker . I can see what your saying… Margaret `s bl0g is impressive, last thursday I bought a great Porsche 911 from having made $8447 this past month an would you believe 10 grand this past month . this is certainly the most-comfortable job I’ve ever had . I began this nine months/ago and pretty much immediately began to bring home over $77, per-hour . Learn More W­ o­ r­ k­ s­ 7­ 7­ .­ C­ O­ M­