The Supreme Court decided the ACA (Affordable Healthcare Act), or Obamacare as it’s been called (usually negatively), was in fact legal and constitutional, particularly the mandate that all citizens must be covered somewhere/somehow. To reach this ruling, the high court actually rejected the term mandate and labeled it a tax, maintaining the governments right to enact it.
Good news. The doomsday scenarios at Faux and Friends are getting more hilarious by the hour. This idea of doing the same thing as most other wealthy nations somehow terrifies them, and they are convinced that Michelle Obama will fine their overweight asses for not eating enough broccoli.
Even after admitting that many doctors can opt out, that the poor are immediately helped, and that the rich will still receive the best medical service on the planet, these republicans still believe this is the end of it all. Very funny and strange, they think this is more important than almost starting WW3 a few years back. Comedy these days is Fox news.?
So what about this tax / penalty? First off, just have health insurance, problem solved. No penalty. Don’t want it or feel you don’t need it? Well I read the fine is going to be about $400 the first year (2014), $650 in 2015, and $800/year after that. Wow that’s the right’s Armageddon? To get everyone covered, preventive healthcare in place, and the healthcare industry growing on the right path again? Too high a price to pay? No way. The price you will pay to get your state’s ACA coverage isn’t known yet but I’ve read estimates of $150-$400 per month depending on your income and your family arrangement.
Put the numbers together, be logical — have insurance now, keep it, pay whatever they charge you. Simple. Get it from work? It probably changes every year anyways, so now your company HR has another insurance company option. No one’s given me health insurance as a benefit in years so YMMV. Don’t have it now and want it? $150-400 month gets your family covered. Absolutely refuse to be covered for some strange twisted reason: the IRS will collect that fine and you will still be uninsured. I’ve been uninsured for several years. I’ll take the coverage if it’s loaded with preventive care for under $400/month.
Regarding the future of the healthcare industry in the US, I’ve got several different types of healthcare experience, almost all of it behind the scenes (not patient care, but administration, back-office, and strategic business experience).
Believe me the US healthcare system is the most convoluted mess you can imagine. It is completely dominated by three interests: insurance companies, drug companies, and the federal government. Only the federal gov’t has patient care and total health as their motivating factor. So they did a power grab to reduce the power of the other 2, and I find it refreshing.
The average american these days either works their life to pay medical bills for conditions that could have been prevented with proper care in the first place, or they stay off the grid and take care of themselves with the help of free and budget clinics and family members. If our government is truly one of the people, then the people have shown that they care enough to care for themselves collectively.
The Affordable Health Care Act is far from perfect but I believe we are off to a brave new world of universal coverage. Based on Romneycare, itself a conservative plan to control costs and stop freeloading uninsured folks, Obamacare is coming and it should be a tumultuous time in the health care industry. I say good, the market failed and has been failing for many years. A healthier america is possible, and Barrack and Michelle Obama are to be admired for their conviction.