Tuesday, October 8, 2013

ObamaCare: The Facts

I admit I've been a failing citizen.  I've listened to a lot of people's opinions on ObamaCare and made decisions without actually researching the subject myself.  So, I decided to rectify that.  After some research here's what I think about ObamaCare.

All in all, I think Obama was trying to do a good thing for our country.  I was reading a site called ObamaCare Explained, and I feel like I understand Obama a little better.  Here's what ObamaCare is supposed to do:

1- ObamaCare (OC) is supposed to provide competition for health insurance companies.  In a capitalist society, competition is our lifeblood.  As OC provides an alternative method of obtaining healthcare from the Health Insurance Marketplace, other companies are forced to lower their premiums in order to stay competitive.  The Health Insurance Marketplace is supposed to provide an alternative means for individuals to purchase affordable heath care.

 -Good Side:  Insurance companies who are raking in profits will be forced to lower their costs to stay competitive.  Premiums all over the country will have to decrease.

 - Bad Side:  Where is the money for the Health Insurance Marketplace going to come from?  Taxes.  Even if you already have insurance, you will have to pay in order to finance other people getting insurance.  Your own premiums will probably be lower, but your taxes will be higher.

2- OC allows children to stay on the parent's insurance until they are 26. 

 - Good Side: More young people will have health insurance until they are successful enough to get their own.
 - Bad Side: This insurance is usually limited.  It sometimes only covers medical emergencies.  It doesn't cover maternity, dental, or eye care. (I know, I was under 26 when I had my baby, but my parents' insurance didn't cover it.  Some expenses were written off, but that was it.)

3 - If you don't have health insurance, you have to pay a penalty until you get health insurance.  In order to understand this section, you need to understand a different section.  This fee is applied because ObamaCare is forcing Insurance Companies to accept everyone, regardless of preexisting health conditions or gender.  It also eliminates life time limits and makes it so insurance companies can't drop you when you get sick.  Due to this fact, the government wanted to keep people from simply not having insurance until they get sick.  The fee for those who don't have insurance is to help keep insurance affordable for the rest of us.

-Good Side:  Those who need insurance the most will be able to obtain it.  Those who have preexisting health conditions and terminal illnesses will be able to have assistance paying their bills.  People will not be able to take advantage of the system because they will have to pay a fee (currently $95 per adult, $47.50 per child, or 1% of your income, whichever is higher.  The family max is $285.)

-Bad Side:  People are forced to have Health Care, whether they want it or not.  This is probably one of the points that bother people the most.  In our country, people like to have choices, and yes, the government is giving them a choice: get health insurance or pay for everyone else's health insurance.  This also leads to another complaint that I've heard a lot about. You don't have a say on what your taxes go to.

There was a petition signed a little while ago by some major religious groups who were protesting because many of the things that they would be forced to pay for are against their religion.  Birth control was listed as the example.  Some religions don't believe in any kind of birth control, but due to the regulations, their money would go toward helping another person have birth control.  This is a moral dilemma for many people.  Personally, I would have a strong problem myself if my money was going toward something that I was morally objected to, such as abortions.  Many people are struggling with the fact that they have to pay for what they see as other people's bad decisions. 

4- If you have over 50 full-time employees, you must have health care for them.  If you are a small business, there is some tax credit you can receive for assistance.  If you can get health insurance from your work, you are not eligible for the Health Insurance Marketplace, unless they don't cover 60% of your health costs.  The less money you make, the less health insurance will cost you.  There are many other tax credits that you could be eligible if you are poor.

 -Good Side:  For most people, ObamaCare won't really affect their insurance.  They already have insurance through their work, and the competition may make premiums go down.  For those who weren't offered health care before, it will now be available for them.  If they can't afford it, the government will make allowances. 

 -Bad Side:  There are a whole lot of tax credits promised in this bill.  For everyone who has to pay less, those who can afford it will be required to pay more.  This signifies either an increase of taxes, or an increase of debt.  That frightens me a bit.  It's great that everyone would be able to afford health care, but not if it takes all my money away.  (We're not making that much.)

5- More people will qualify for Medicaid.  If you have it already, than you get to keep it.  If you are poor, you get federal subsidies or tax credits.  Meanwhile, they are cutting excess, "wasteful" spending from Medicaid, "taking the hole out of the doughnut," and putting the money back into Medicaid.

 -Good Side:  Again, those who can't afford care will be able to receive it.
 -Bad Side:  Not sure how removing funding and putting it back in is going to solve any problems.  Mostly, that part just left me confused.  Anyone care to explain it?

So, after looking at the good and bad sides of the ObamaCare mandates, I went to the oppositions website 50 Dangers from ObamaCare.

Here are some points that do worry me:

1- Less freedom, more government control.  A large number of the 50 complaints were about the government mandating our lives.  If you were qualified for Medicaid, you had to be on it.  All private health insurance companies must conform to the new regulations under ObamaCare.  The government could look at your income status whenever they want, and have access to your bank to withdraw the fees.  Again, it talks about being forced to have health insurance whether you want it or not.  I think that this is why so many of us are worried about this bill.  We don't like the government to have this much control in our lives.

Really, I wish they'd worry more about regulating gas prices than insurance.

2- Doctor's fees would be set and health care would be rationed.  I worry about this a bit as well.  Obama was modeling his healthcare after the one in Canada.  In some parts of Canada the healthcare system is working great (my friends from there love it).  However, in other parts of Canada, it isn't going so well.  You can be on a waiting list for months before you receive the healthcare you need.  Also, the fact that all doctors will receive the same pay regardless of specialty could be quite troublesome for our country.  Unless the government also limits the cost of college tuition, we are going to have some very poor and indebted doctors in our country.  This will most likely vastly reduce the number of specialists in our country, which will be both good and bad.

3- Higher Taxes - this one is concerning to many people, but especially those of the middle class.  The more you make, the more you pay.  Even though “The tax imposed under this section shall not be treated as tax.” Whatever that means.

Okay, so in conclusion.  ObamaCare does have some excellent ideas, but it is going about it in the wrong way.  The only way to have a true capitalist society (that's been working out pretty well for us, thank you) is to have competition.  However, competition only works if everyone is on an even playing field.  If the government (the competion) can regulate what its competitors can do, that isn't even ground.  If every other company can go under because they only have the money people give them while the government stays on top because they can keep raising taxes, that's not equal ground either.  Personally, I believe in small to little government influence in our country.  I don't really think that ObamaCare is going to solve all the problems.  I think, in fact, it might end up causing some major ones.


4 comments:

  1. Thank you for this. I had not had the time to research this. Very informative.

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    1. You're welcome. Thank you for reading.

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  2. Thank you for the article. If the government really wants to use competition to lower prices, they would legalize natural medicine. If natural medicine was legal, then I am sure more people would use it, and the current medical practices would lower their prices to compete and both sides would try to improve the way they do things to get more costumers; so both sides would learn and expand, and solve more problems.The markup in hospitals for drugs is outrageous and no one really cares because insurance pays for the markups. Insurance isn't the problem, we are fighting the smoke, not the fire. I don't get how no one sees this...

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    1. Thank you for your comment. That is a very interesting idea, it would be neat to see if it would work! I do agree that we are fighting the smoke. Bringing down insurance prices won't help the drug markup or the tuition markups.

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