Honestly! I do not understand why, after 3 years, people are still complaining about Obamacare. Don’t Americans understand that the politicians who claim to represent the interests of the middle-class made sacrifices and compromises in order to get control of the private health insurance industry.
I just saw a commercial for a book explaining Obamacare. According to the author of that book, you should be willing to pay $20 in order to read politically motivated propaganda designed to make you fear the future under Obamacare.
I don’t think that you need to pay money just to understand what the politicians are doing to us. Whether you want to or not, if you are a law-abiding American you will be changing your health insurance plan in the near future.
In this post I want to try to eliminate all the “legislative language,” speculation and misinformation and explain both the good and bad parts of Obamacare that will affect you, the average American.
- Eliminating Child Underwriting – One of the first things you will find in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is the elimination of medical underwriting for children as of March, 23 2010. Insurance companies may no longer deny coverage for children who are already sick. (I just do not understand what this provision was not implemented for adults at the same time. Adults must wait until 2014 before medical underwriting is eliminated.)
- Age 26 – Under the terms of the ACA, adult children are allowed to stay on their parent’s health insurance until they are 26. (In my state previously an adult child was only able to stay on their parent’s health insurance until they were 25 if they were a full-time student. If they were not a full-time student, they were required to get their own health insurance at age 18.)
- Preventive Services – The ACA requires insurance companies to waive any deductibles, co-pays or co-insurance for certain medical preventive services. (The only catch is that in order to claim this benefit you must have qualifying health insurance.)
- Individual Mandate – The ACA requires all Americans, who are not specifically exempt, to buy private Essential Health insurance by 2014 or pay a tax penalty. According to the Supreme Court, it is legal for Congress to tell private citizens how they must spend their money as long as it can be classified as a tax.
- New Taxes And Fees – The ACA imposes new taxes and fees on insurance companies and other medical providers. In order to pay these taxes and fees those companies that are affected are anticipated to increase the prices and premiums they charge their customers. Although the taxes and fees are directed at large companies, the average American consumer must pay the bill through increased prices.
- Essential Benefit Plan – The Essential Benefit Plans, drawn up by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, require, in many cases, people to pay for benefits that they will never use and have no need for. For example, all Americans, regardless of their age or gender, must pay premiums for insurance that includes maternity coverage.
- Unelected autocrats – This may be the part of “Obamacare” that bothers me the most. (I waver between this and the Individual Mandate.) The most common phrase in the ACA is, “The Secretary Shall…” In the ACA, congress created the skeleton of a law but left it up to an unelected beaurocrat to flesh it out. The Secretary of Health and Human Services, who is making health care law (she calls it “rules” so that the Executive branch of government is not accused of making law) is appointed by the president. There is a person in D.C. with the authority to make law over 1/6 of our national economy who is not even elected.
GOOD IDEA BUT “UNFEASIBLE”
- 1099 over $600 – My wife is a “book-keeper.” When the ACA was signed into law in March, 2010 she screamed that the paper-work that would be required for every business to notify the IRS every time they paid more than $600 for something would be a night-mare. Apparently she was not the only one who saw that. The part of the ACA that required a form 1099 for every purchase over $600 was repealed in less than a year.
- Title VIII – This section of the law required the Secretary of Health and Human Services to develop a “voluntary,” government plan of Long Term Care insurance for American workers. In a congressional hearing in late 2011 the Secretary told congress that the idea, while good, was economically “unfeasible.” Within 2 months President Obama suspended all activity on this part of the law. Rather than finding a way to make it “feasible” the Department of HHS stopped working on the problem completely. Title VIII was officially repealed in the American Taxpayers Relief Act of 2012.
Obamacare is quite a lengthy piece of legislation. It can get confusing if you try to read the legal language of the law. However, it is not so confusing that Americans have to ignore it and hope it goes away.
Parts of the ACA, both good and bad, are here to stay. Those who have a political problem with it can bluster and blow all they want. However, if things happen on schedule, come Open Enrollment they will have to decide if they are going to abide by the law and purchase an approved Essential Benefit Plan or go without health insurance and pay the I.R.S. a penalty.
As I drive on the toll road around my city, I am reminded that it is rare that the government returns anything once they have gotten control.