What’s “ObamaCare”?

by Feeds of Today

Simply stated, “ObamaCare” is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). It’s a United States federal statute signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010. “After months of uncertainty about the law’s fate, the court’s ruling provides some clarity — and perhaps an alert — to states, insurers, employers and consumers about what they are required to do by 2014, when much of the law comes into force.”

That’s great, but what does “ObamaCare” mean for me?
The individual mandate was upheld by the Supreme Court, which makes American’s have to have health care. At the moment, it has been decided that if an individual does not have health care, they will get a tax.

What is everyone so upset about?
When it comes to many other countries, mandatory healthcare insurance has been required for decades and as a result, citizens of other nations may experience difficulty in understanding why requiring mandatory health insurance is even a debate.

As far as we understand, “opponents in the U.S. argued that requiring Americans to buy insurance is an intolerable intrusion into an individual’s right to purchase what he or she feels is necessary and amounts to a move to Socialism, which they reject.”

Also, when it comes to the GOP election, in 2008 President Obama said, “For us to say that you’ve got to take a responsibility to get health insurance is absolutely not a tax increase. What its saying is: we’re not going to have other people carry your burdens for you.” But when it comes to politics, it’s likely the people of congress are going to insinuate that it’s the same thing.

So, U.S. citizens are getting a new tax…?
Pretty much, but, this is only if you don’t have health insurance. However, “the White House insisted Sunday the consequence for Americans not having health insurance is a penalty fee, despite the Supreme Court ruling that it is a tax, and said the debate on the Affordable Care Act should finally end.”

We view it similar to how we view car insurance – you have a license, a car and you need vehicle insurance. If you don’t have vehicle insurance, you’re going to get slammed with a fine if you get into an accident. Similarly, you have a body, the degree to which you’re healthy is determinable, and you’re going to need health insurance. If you don’t have health insurance, you’re going to get slammed with a penalty fee disguised as a tax so that your community doesn’t have to carry your health burdens for you.

Now, why is this “penalty fee” disguised as a tax? Simply because it’s the only ‘legal’ way the Supreme Court can accept charging U.S. citizens for something, by calling it a tax.

How much is the penalty fee?
“In 2014, uninsured people will face a fine of $95 or one percent of their income, and in 2015, the penalties are even steeper. This fee is meant to encourage younger people in good health to take up insurance, and the money go towards funding for the older patients and those who aren’t in good health. Those exempt from this fine includes people make very little income, certain religious groups, and families who pay over eight percent of their income to insurance premiums even after employer contributions and federal subsidies.”

Update, 07/10/2012: According to The Daily Beast, the penalty fee will be $285 per year or 1% of your annual income.

Tell me the specifics. What is “ObamaCare” going to do?

  • “It allows the Food and Drug Administration to approve more generic drugs – which will place more competition on the market and will drive down prices.
  • Increase the rebates people get through Medicare.
  • Makes chain restaurants, like McDonalds, display how many calories are in all of their foods, so people can have an easier time making choices to eat healthy.
  • Increases a new 10% tax on indoor tanning booths.
  • Kids can continue to be covered by their parents’ health insurance until they’re 26
  • No more preexisting conditions for people under the age of 19
  • Insurers have less ability to change the amount customers have to pay for their plans.
  • Insurers can’t simply drop customers once they get sick.
  • Insurers need to have an appeals process for when they turn down a claim, so customers have some manner of recourse other than a lawsuit when they’re turned down. (Previously, you had to file a lawsuit.)
  • Insurers must cover the cost of all preventative tests and procedures without requiring any sort of co-pay or deductible.
  • Reduces the costs for some companies that handle benefits for the elderly.
  • The court also substantially limited the law’s expansion of Medicaid, the joint federal-state program that provides health care to poor and disabled people.”

How will consumers fund the new law?
“In 2013, people who make more than $200,000 have to pay an additional 0.9 percent tax for the Medicare Part A payroll tax, on top of the 1.45 percent they already pay. This will help fund the healthcare changes. Those who make money through investments might have to pay a 3.8 percent tax on what they make on capital gains and dividends. The mandate to buy insurance or pay a fine will also help fund these new efforts.”

When will the law go into effect?
“Actually, parts of the plan have already gone into effect. For example, new health plans are required to provide free preventative care for services like colonoscopies and mammograms, and young adults are covered by their family’s insurance plan until they turn 26. So parts of the plan have already been implemented, but with this ruling, we’ll see more changes to come. And many of the major changes will happen in 2014.”

Is this law here to stay?
That’s hard to say. “It will stay in effect for now, but the future of the plan depends on the outcome of the November elections.”

Sources:
“Supreme Court Upholds Health Care Law, 5-4, in Victory for Obama” (NY Times)

Philip Defranco Show “Obamacare Upheld and What It Means For You” (PDS on YouTube)

“White House says health care debate is over: Fee for uninsured is a penalty, not a tax” (FOX News)

“Obamacare Ruling: A Simple Breakdown of What It Means For You” (Savy Sugar)

“Obamacare: It’s Cheaper!” (The Daily Beast)

What do you think, Newsfeed viewers? How do you feel about “Obamacare”? Do you think anything should be changed? Do you see any problems? Do you want the U.S. to keep or get rid of “Obamacare”? Let us know in the comments below!

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