Affordable Healthcare Act, ObamaCare, whatever you call it.. here is my opinion…. for what it’s worth.
It should also be noted that this current “ObamaCare” is not actually what President Obama proposed, but is instead a compromised plan that was destroyed from it’s original state by Republicans in order to gain passage. For Republicans to now say this is all President Obama’s fault and they did not support it is simply disingenuous. Republicans simply played politics with healthcare. They changed it to what they wanted in exchange for just enough votes to get it passed. Knowing it could turn out to be a political nightmare for a number of Republicans, just the gave just enough votes for passage, allowing the majority of Republicans to vote no, knowing the Bill would pass just the same. What we have now should be called “CompromiseCare” instead of ObamaCare.
Let me start by setting the stage. I am a REALTOR. That means I am self-employed. I do not have access to a work healthcare plan and must acquire my own insurance. This is complicated by the fact that I have a heart condition and high cholesterol. Two weeks before ObamaCare I received a letter from BCBS of SC denying coverage for the second time, due to these conditions. I am otherwise incredibly healthy, work out, run, hike and even completed a 23 mile bike ride this morning.
In the last few weeks I have had friends, close friends, feel the impact of the new law and I’ve seen that not everyone fully understands the new system. My aunt thought we was required to sign up for a plan on the Marketplace and would automatically lose her current plan. My best friend has seen his private pay insurance increase (he too is self employed) and yet another friend was deemed to have a “Cadillac Plan” and will now have a different plan at a different cost to him. My business partner will end up paying hundreds of dollars per month for insurance and will likely chose to pay the penalty. I’ve even seen one person claim you only receive the subsidy if you choose the silver plan on ObamaCare, which is not true. The true is that the subsidiary is based on the average price of a silver plan.
Let’s talk about that for a second. A huge deal is being made of people being FORCED to purchase insurance… otherwise you will be fined… but has anyone paid attention to what the fine amount actually is? No? Well let me tell you.. it is only $95 per adult and $47.50 per child or 1% of your taxable income (up to $285 for a family), whichever is greater, with a maximum of $285 per family. starting in 2014. Honestly with such a low penalty, I wouldn’t expect huge numbers of people who currently do not feel they need insurance to suddenly feel pressured to purchase it now.
So here we are.. middle of November… no one can sign up yet only have less than a month to do so in order to get coverage by Jan. 1st. The Administration needs several hundreds of thousands more people to sign up in order to make ObamaCare successful… in less than 30 days. Add to that the fact that President Obama clearly stated over and over again, “if you like your current plan you can keep it”, even adding the word “period” a number of times. Yet hundreds of thousands have received cancellation letters because their plans do not meet the minimum requirements under ObamaCare, essentially they are “junk plans” for the most part… though to most of those people, they are the “junk plans” they choose and what they can afford. A LARGE majority of those people would find they can get a better plan for the same price, however some of those cancelled will find they will now have to purchase a more expensive plan in order to receive any coverage.
In short, the implementation of ObamaCare has been a nightmare… not only from the sign up process but also with the general knowledge of what is going on by most Americans.
So here is what I think should happen.
A…. let people keep their plan as promised.. for however long they want to… with a few ***… one of which is that the insurance company itself can decide to drop the plan… just as they could have before ObamaCare.
B…. Republicans need to grow up….. ObamaCare is the law of the land… deal with it.
C…. STOP springing new things on us… two weeks ago we found out ACA will require mental health care be covered just like physical health care… awesome… but why did we just find out.. and who made this decision? Now we find out that there is a marriage penalty hidden in ObamaCare… huh? Again.. why did we just find this? Kids have read Harry Potter faster than anyone on earth has read ObamaCare apparently.
D…. Keep enrollment open past December 15…
Those things might not save Obama’s reputation but they certainly would help. No one likes change, ever, but confusing change with a horrible roll out, surprises and misinformation is even worse.
While I don’t think ObamaCare should be repealed… it needs to be fixed. Maybe once Hillary is in office we can switch it back to a single payer system as originally intended, though I’d imagine after this debacle, she will leave healthcare alone.
Just my thoughts..