Obamacare…An Opinion

obamacare-logo_full
http://blog.heartland.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/obamacare-logo_full.png

Unless you’re Patrick Star and you live under a rock, you’ve heard about the new health care law that went into effect on October 1st, when public health care exchanges opened up to the uninsured public. This means that hundreds of thousands of Americans- whose lack of health insurance was driving up rates- will be able to get affordable health care and visit a doctor for the first time in years.

However, along with this landmark piece of legislation going into effect came the inevitable fight over its continued existence. As of September 13, the Republican controlled House of Representatives has voted to repeal The Affordable Care Act (henceforth known as Obamacare), 42 times, knowing that the repeal bill will be dead upon arrival at the Democrat controlled Senate. Ever since its passage on December 24th, 2009, shenanigans surrounding its implementation and possible repeal have been constantly floating around. It seemed to be the most controversial pieces of legislation that President Obama had ever passed.

But on June 28, 2012, in a 5-4 vote, the United States Supreme Court upheld the law, citing that “Because the Constitution permits such a tax, it is not our role to forbid it, or to pass upon its wisdom or fairness.” The fight over its constitutionality ended, but the arguments only seemed to increase.

When the threat of a government shutdown loomed, one party used this dark cloud as a bargaining chip for getting a budget passed. Delay, change, or repeal Obamacare, or the government shuts down, was the message sent to the President and the American people. That was literally the only reason an agreement couldn’t be met. The House would pass a bill that would avert the shutdown and cripple Obamacare, and the Senate would remove the Obamacare provision and send the almost identical bill back to the House.

The government did shut down, for 16 days, over a piece of legislation that has been held up by the Supreme Court, and passed by Congress back in 2009. The approval rating of Congress has hit a record low of 5%. Only 24% of Americans approve of Congressional Republicans, and an even lower 21% of Tea Partiers.

What are they all fighting over, exactly? What is it about Obamacare that the Republicans despise so much? Is it the fact that it puts us on the same playing field as other first world nations like Canada, the UK, and Germany, who all have functioning and rate-lowering free healthcare? (The healthcare in the United States is at a severely reduced rate under Obamacare, it is not free). Is it the fact that they don’t want 48.6 million uninsured citizens to get affordable health insurance?

Let’s talk about what Obamacare does.

  • If you already have insurance, you get to keep it. Period.
  • Preexisting conditions will not be a cause for denial of insurance. This means that people like my father, who survived throat cancer, will never be denied heath coverage should he lose his job and have to find insurance away from his employer.
  • All plans must offer comprehensive coverage. Under Obamacare, there will no longer be such thing as being “underinsured.”
  • Currently, hospital rates are hiked up because of hospital compensation for the uninsured who come into a hospital, cannot pay, but under the law cannot be denied treatment. When everyone is insured, prices should fall.
  • States can choose to set up their own Healthcare exchanges, or go with the government’s version
  • If you don’t get healthcare, you will be required to pay a small fine on your taxes every year
  • There are no “death panels” or Muslim exemptions or healthcare rations. (Read the full list of Obamacare myths here)

It isn’t even a “government takeover” of health care, as some have claimed. As PolitiFact says, “Government takeover” conjures a European approach where the government owns the hospitals and the doctors are public employees.” But the law that Congress passed back in 2009 relies largely on the free market. The law does significantly increase regulation of health insurers by keeping prices low and getting rid of denials based on preexisting conditions. But the law at heart, relies on private companies for the health care and the free market. The majority of Americans will continue to get coverage from private insurers.

There have been some hiccups in the new online exchanges, but those shall easily be fixed. Hundreds of people have already gotten insurance through the individual state exchanges, and thousands are still to follow. Finally, the right to be healthy is being enforced in this country.

Get over it, congress. Keep the government open, get back to work, and stop fretting over a fight you’ve already lost. You know who won? The millions of uninsured americans, who will not thank you for your stubbornness at the polls next November. In 20 years, your rallying cry will be, Don’t touch my social security. Don’t touch my Medicare. And whatever you do, congress, don’t touch my Obamacare.

Sources

Decker, Cathleen. “NBC News/Wall Street Journal Poll Adds to Republican Shutdown Woes.” LA Times. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Oct. 2013.

Drobnic Holan, Angie. “Top 16 Myths about the Health Care Law.” PolitiFact. Tampa Bay Times, n.d. Web. 14 Oct. 2013.

“How Does the Affordable Care Act Help People like Me?” HealthCare.gov. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Oct. 2013.

“U.S. Health Insurance Survey: 84 Million People Were Uninsured for a Time or Underinsured in 2012.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 Apr. 2013. Web. 14 Oct. 2013.

9 thoughts on “Obamacare…An Opinion

  • October 21, 2013 at 11:39 AM
    Permalink

    I would have much preferred a non-opinionated breakdown of the topic. Questions of the political nature should not be addressed in such a one sided manor that focuses solely on disproving another’s opinion. Yes, there are many proponents of both sides of this argument, and a criticism of the bill passed by the legislature of the United States government is fine, but there are many negatives to the bill that were simply neglected and hidden from the view of the reader’s of this article.

  • October 21, 2013 at 11:46 AM
    Permalink

    I agree with the above statement

  • October 21, 2013 at 9:25 PM
    Permalink

    I would just like to correct some the errors that were made in this article. Before I start, you talk about the government shutdown due to Obamacare, in part. This coincides with the threat of the debt ceiling, a debt of almost 18 trillion dollars. The initial, claimed cost of Obamacare was supposed to be 96 billion dollars, which is good. However, the newly projected cost list it at 3.5 trillion dollars. The cost is extremely important to include if you are going to state WHY there was a government shutdown in the first place. Whether you agree with the cost or not, a 3.5 trillion dollar cost on top of the debt will eventually have to be dealt with. First of all, the premise that, “If you already have health insurance, you get to keep it, Period,” is untrue. Obamacare requires insurance policies to have certain coverage, even if you do not want or need these coverages. Due to this, there are policies being rescinded and people dropped from their insurances due to this. Some people are unable to their insurances they are satisfied with, for example, if they wanted higher premiums or lower maternity coverage, they wouldn’t be given this and would be dropped. This is already happening. This being true, this also means that you CANNOT keep your own doctor in a lot of cases. When people get dropped from their insurance plans, there is no guarantee they will get their doctor back. Another thing missing is that, with Obamacare, premiums across the board would all increase. The prediction that it would decrease premiums by 2,500$ has been proved false. Premiums are predicted to go up 3,500$ across the board. Obamacare IS a tax, Justice Roberts even ruled this in declaring it constitutional. It’s only Constitutional because it IS a tax, otherwise it violates the commerce clause. The point that, “If you don’t get healthcare, you will be required to pay a small fine on your taxes every year” is also not entirely true. It will be low for the first to years, around 96$ or 1% of your income. However, this tax is projected to be 600 to 700$ in only 7 years. So no, it won’t be a small tax every year. Remember that the combination of these newly insured and doctors leaving their practice (whether naturally or due to Obamacare), is projected to cause a doctor shortage (there’s going to be nearly 20 million newly insured, and there will still be uninsured people under Obamacare). With this, the quality of insurance will go down, and the cost of insurance will go up. Finally, who really pays for Obamacare? The government plans to do it through government subsidies, which, of course, come from the tax payers. This means there will be a big bill for all taxpayers to pick up. Health care reform is definitely necessary, that is clear, many people need help through reform, but is Obamacare the right answer? The only personal opinion I will state in this response is that I think we need to reform Healthcare and help those who are struggling. Some of the comments made in this article may be true, but I found it necessary to edit some of the inaccuracies as well as include some of the things you may have accidentally forgot to include.

    • October 30, 2013 at 10:52 AM
      Permalink

      Higher premiums are already a problem because of the uninsured. When they have expensive operations and treatment due to never receiving regular checkups, their medical bills are much higher. And because they are uninsured, guess who picks up most of the bill? That’s right, the taxpayers. I think this is the main point you’re missing about the uninsured.

  • October 21, 2013 at 10:47 PM
    Permalink

    It is a special thing in this day and age to find an article like this. It shows a delightful one-sided and clearly partisan view. It effectively addresses counter-points , completely lacks logical fallacies, and tells me as a reader much more than I could EVER hear by turning on MSNBC. I especially loved the bi-partisan sources you used, like the LA Times, Tampa Bay Times, and ScienceDaily. Your sources list looks like Hilary Clinton’s bookmark tab.

    (Note that this comment merely pointed out the logic/bias flaws with this article, it did not specifically address the Affordable Care Act. Remember in the future that an opinion article should have some original thoughts, it should not just spit back things you hear your mommies/daddies/favorite news outlets say)

  • October 22, 2013 at 4:47 PM
    Permalink

    Don’t touch my social security? Don’t touch my Medicare? Don’t touch my Obamacare? I have a question. What about don’t touch my tax rates? And stop this ridiculous spending of money we don’t have? Yes, the Affordable Healthcare Act helps those who need it, but there are far more efficient systems of healthcare where EVERY house owner doesn’t need to pay for something they neither want or need. This only increases national debt and worsens the economy. A high school news article should never be so one-sided/only try to reach the goal of destroying the opposing view point.

  • October 23, 2013 at 10:28 AM
    Permalink

    Why must we discontinue Obamacare? Because Obamacare only does bad for the country. Things like the individual mandate harm those who are not eligible for Obamacare but can not afford health insurance, now they are forced to pay for something the don’t need nor can they afford. Also they individual mandate violates everything that makes the free market so good, there is a system in place in other countries where people are forced to buy things, it’s called communism and if it goes unchecked it will eventually destroy this country. It is also does a major harm to those who already have health insurance. premiums have already been rising, but now they have skyrocketed! And then there are parts of the law that force religious institutions to fund their employees abortion. If you believed that something was murder, would you want to finance it, abortion goes against certain religions, forcing someone to pay for something that is against their religion is a blatant violation of religious freedom as provided by the first amendment.

  • October 25, 2013 at 9:39 PM
    Permalink

    To all of the negative posters above – what part of the article was factually incorrect? To poster “J”, you make many claims about rates going up, people being dropped from their insurance, etc. but you site ZERO sources. While there may still be uninsurance under the new act, the cost of covering their medial bills are to be offset by their tax.

    The author did an excellent job of stating facts and providing sources – feel free to do the same.

    • October 28, 2013 at 10:06 PM
      Permalink

      Realize that it was a comment and not a full article to opposed the one at hand. And although obviously, in any case, cited sources would be still sought after, but the facts the commenter stated can be easily found through more credible sources and even the same sources the author used. The main point of what the comment was demonstrating is the one sided bias approach to the argument brought up.
      p.s.- You spelled [medical] bills wrong

Comments are closed.

Menu Title