The Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, is an obviously misunderstood albeit slightly to incredibly complicated piece of legislator. Since much of the law will not take effect until 2014, both the benefits and pitfalls are yet to be fully realized. But there are some clear facts that explain why it is a tremendous step in the right direction to solving America's otherwise solely profit-driven health-care system. In fact the US was ranked 37th in overall healthcare by a World Health Report.
One of the most commonly and simultaneously inaccurate criticism lobbed against ObamaCare is:
“allowing the government to get involved with caring for the health of its population will make is a Socialist idea” Nevermind the fact that there are more than 180 capitalist countries that provide their citizens with basic health care services. Providing any form of health care does not decide the what form a government takes. “We the people” do that.
The problem with America’s healthcare system is simple. America in the only industrialized nation that relies heavily on a for-profit medical insurance industry to provide basic health care.
So how does ObamaCare help this? First off you need to remember it has been phased in, and will full take effect in 2014.
Changes That Have Already Happened
1. Parents can add their adult children (up to age 26) to their plans.
2. If anyone gets sick, the insurance company can't drop them from the plan or limit how much insurance your family uses.
3. If any children are chronically ill, a new insurance company can't deny coverage.
4. Most families will find that wellness or pregnancy exams are now free. In other words, they no longer have to make co-payments.
5. Insurance companies can't raise premium payments without getting the OK from the state government.
On top of this many already insured received a check from their insurance company this year. That's because Obamacare says that companies must spend at least 80% of premiums on providing actual medical services. If they spent it on advertising or executive salaries, they have to pay the excess back to policy-holders.
Honeslty would would be againt this? American politicians. Those who take money from lobbyists working for insurance and drug companies, and don’t forget media outlets (read Fox) who make over 3 billion a year on drug company ads.
So together they have used their collective power to scare ignorant citizens into somehow believing getting better cheaper healthcare is evil, all in the name of protecting profits. The best way to trick the under-educated into rallying against something is to use fear. So the right has continued to use “scary” and useless words like “socialism” and “death panels” when talking about the healthcare plan.
In-case you need further proof that the US health-insurance system is basically completely unregulated, why don’t you take out your insurance bills from 10 years ago and compare them to today. Our costs are always rising. This has become even more obvious during our countries “Bush Tax Cut recession.” Even as other costs go down, health-care premiums still rise, in a never ending hike straight up.
So what else is coming?
For those who are not currently insured as of January 2014, Obamacare requires everyone to buy health insurance. Those that don't will have to pay a penalty that could be as high as 2.5% of their income. (Find more about Obamacare Taxes)
To make getting healthcare easy you’ll be able to shop for insurance on a website run by your state. These websites will also let people know when they qualify for tax credits!
Congress will also be required to get their insurance through the same exchanges, instead of the government-provided health insurance they get now.
If everyone has insurance, more people will go to the doctor when they are getting sick, instead of waiting for their illness to turn into an expensive emergency. This will lower the over all healthcare costs for everyone. Over time, health insurance should cost you less. Insurance companies will be forced into competing against one other on the state run website, so they will be encouraged by the free market to charge less to get more business.
The elderly on Medicare will also have more of their drug costs covered. They will be able to afford to take all their medicine as they should, and stay out of the hospital, again lowering the overall costs.
For families that cannot afford health insurance in 2014, more families will qualify for aid. The limit will be raised to include those who make $14,000 a year or less, or $29,000 for a family of four. The Federal government will pay all the additional cost for the first three years. After that, the states will pay 10%. Find out more about Medicaid.
Small Businesses - Companies with 50 or more employees will be required to provide health insurance in 2014. If they flat out refuse, they will be taxed $2,000 per employee, except for the first 30 employees. To help them find the cheapest plans, businesses with fewer than 100 employees can use the state-run exchanges in 2014.