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‘Obamacare’ benefits everyone

By Jay MacDonald · Bankrate.com
Friday, January 13, 2012
Posted: 11 am ET

This March, the Supreme Court will hear arguments on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, which for the first time will require all Americans to obtain health insurance two years from now under a provision called the individual mandate.

If the nine justices rule that the individual mandate is unconstitutional, those 26 states challenging health care reform will urge them to take the next step and scrap the rest of the Affordable Care Act as well.

I'm a big fan of President Obama's historic health care reform. Without it, health care's ruinous fee-for-service paradigm that has hijacked patient care in the name of profit could very likely drive our economy off the cliff.

The individual mandate would insure an additional 30 million Americans, some with the help of government subsidies. Since we're already essentially subsidizing the uninsured who are forced to use places such as emergency rooms as their primary care provider, reallocating tax dollars toward their preventive care seems to me far more humane and sustainable.

I understand that being forced to purchase health insurance rubs many Americans the wrong way. Should the Supreme Court agree with them, so be it.

But before they toss the baby with the bath water, I hope the justices will consider the benefits that health care reform is already providing to millions of Americans. For example:

  • 2.5 million young adults have been allowed to remain on their parents' health insurance until age 26.
  • All Americans who enrolled in a health care plan after Sept. 23, 2010 now enjoy access to free preventive services, including cancer and cholesterol screenings, mammograms, colonoscopies, flu and pneumonia shots, vaccinations against measles, hepatitis and meningitis, blood pressure checks and nutrition counseling.
  • 20.5 million Medicare recipients reviewed their health status at a free Annual Wellness Visit or received other preventive services with no deductible or cost sharing this year.
  • 1.8 million Medicare recipients received a 50 percent discount on brand-name drugs in the Medicare Part D coverage gap known as the "doughnut hole" in the first nine months of 2011.
  • 4 million small businesses are now eligible for tax credits of up to 35 percent to help cover their employees. The credit jumps to 50 percent in 2014.
  • Your health insurance company is now required to spend at least 80 percent of your premium (85 percent for large employer plans) directly on your care and well-being or rebate the difference to you beginning this summer.
  • Americans with pre-existing conditions can now obtain coverage through a pre-existing condition insurance plan.
  • Insurance companies can no longer place lifetime dollar limits on essential benefits for policies written after Sept. 23, 2010. Annual dollar limits will be prohibited beginning in 2014.

I hope the individual mandate stands. I want all Americans to have access to health care coverage. Don't you?

But even if it doesn't, by what logic would anyone undo all of the good listed above?

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253 Comments
K_Diaz
March 08, 2012 at 2:10 pm

Everyone should be insured but to keep 26 year old "kids" on anyone's health plan instead of "allowing" them to find AND PAY for their own is ridiculous. It is even more ridiculous to think that I have no choice regarding payment for my health insurance and the riders that will be mandated (i.e., if I'm past child-bearing age, I will still be paying for birth control). The individual mandate progresses entitlement philosophy. If you really want to change healthcare, mandate the insurance companies and healthcare entities - not the citizens of the United States. I too pray that this is found unconstitutional - the government has no right to tell me what to purchase.

Stunned
March 06, 2012 at 3:18 pm

Seriously?! You are ALREADY paying for everyone's healthcare - anyone that goes to the expensive emergency room is guaranteed care and guess who pays for that? ...and I don't even know where to start on FedRed - have you read the Act? Are those provisions actually in there? Of course not! And if you think your insurance company isn't rationing care, then you're in for a rude surprise when you need an expensive procedure that either isn't covered or they 'find' something that allows them to legally cancel your coverage. You worry about the government, how about a business that's incented to make a profit?! You don't think they aren't trying to find ways to avoid paying?

BTW: Physicians were completely against the 'socialized' medicine plan called Medicare when it was introduced - bet you won't find many doctors OR patients criticizing it today.

Disgusted
March 06, 2012 at 2:03 pm

Hasn't everyone learned yet that "free" is not free, someone has to pay for it. I do not want the government to have access to my bank account...it's none of their business. I don't want to subsidize the healthcare of illegal immigrants with my tax dollars ( if I am going to pay someone else's bill, it should be up to me to choose who) And finally, I don't want the federal government to make decisions for me, I have earned the right to do that for myself by being a responsible, working adult. If the government would get out of the entitlement business and do only the duties it is authorized to do under the constitution, we would all be better off.

JAO
March 06, 2012 at 11:53 am

It is not about the benefits of ACA or who benefits. It is about constitutionality.

leo
March 06, 2012 at 10:31 am

Government programs, all of them reward and encourage bad behavior and poor decisions because there is no downside, simply live anyway you choose, and someone else will foot the bill. Whenever there is no incentive to act appropriately people simply choose not to behave appropriately. Drink, smoke, and eat excessively, regardless of the outcome someone else will pick up the tab. Our way of life in the US is in rapid and uncontrolled decline because of lack or personal responsibility.

FedRed
March 06, 2012 at 10:21 am

If you like Obama Care you better read this.......At age 76 when you most need it, you are not eligible for cancer treatmentWhat Nancy Pelosi didn't want us to know until after the healthcare bill was passed. Remember she said, "pass it and then read it!!." Here it is! Obama Care Highlighted by Page Number THE CARE BILL HB 3200

FEDERAL JUDGE KITHIL IS THE 2ND OFFICIAL WHO HAS OUTLINED THESE PARTS OF THE CARE BILL. Judge Kithil of Marble Falls, TX - highlighted the most egregious pages of HB3200

Please read this........ especially the reference to pages 58 & 59
JUDGE KITHIL wrote:

** Page 50/section 152: The bill will provide insurance to all non-U.S. residents, even if they are here illegally.

** Page 58 and 59: The government will have real-time access to an individual's bank account and will have the authority to make electronic fund transfers from those accounts.

** Page 65/section 164: The plan will be subsidized (by the government) for all union members, union retirees and for community organizations (such as the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now - ACORN).

** Page 203/line 14-15: The tax imposed under this section will not be treated as a tax. (How could anybody in their right mind come up with that?)

** Page 241 and 253: Doctors will all be paid the same regardless of specialty, and the government will set all doctors' fees.

** Page 272. section 1145: Cancer hospital will ration care according to the patient's age.

** Page 317 and 321: The government will impose a prohibition on hospital expansion; however, communities may petition for an exception.

** Page 425, line 4-12: The government mandates advance-care planning consultations. Those on Social Security will be required to attend an "end-of-life planning" seminar every five years. (Death counseling..)

** Page 429, line 13-25: The government will specify which doctors can write an end-of-life order.
HAD ENOUGH???? Judge Kithil then goes on to identify:

"Finally, it is specifically stated that this bill will not apply to members of Congress. Members of Congress are already exempt from the Social Security system, and have a well-funded private plan that covers their retirement needs. If they were on our Social Security plan, I believe they would find a very quick 'fix' to make the plan financially sound for their future."

JAM
March 06, 2012 at 8:23 am

We should just delete the word "free" from our vocabulary. What mindless boggle.

Zippy Doodah
March 06, 2012 at 2:41 am

"T" you assume too many things. Obese? Diabetic? What you are assuming is probably from the fact that "YOU", not others is in horrible health. I for one am 62 years old and I'm in better health than most people half my age. Why? ..because I'm responsible. I don't smoke, drink or use drugs. But now with the ObamaCare catastrophy I'll have to pay for all the irresponsible ill health losers. As for someone breaking an arm. If you were responsible in the first place and saved some money for a rainy day, you'd be able to pay for that care in an outpatient scenario. I have paid for my own health care with cash for years, simply by going to Urgent Care Clinics and I've always had the best care. Most Doctors you talk to will tell you how horrible this Socialized medicine will be. If more people would just be responsible in their life they would be able to take care of themselves and not expect everyone else to carry them!

Tigerblood24
March 06, 2012 at 1:59 am

Whoa Jay,

Here's one question that the supporters of Obama care have never been able to answer-----What will be the limit of a centralized federal government if this monstrosity is deemed constitutional?
Jay, think quick----ALL ASPECTS of your life will be subject to federal scrutiny.

Yes, I pray for the complete dismissal of this scheme. You and I can disagree on particular aspects, but lets focus on Health Care and NOT federal control of my life. Have you noticed the attack on religious liberty by the tentacles of this devious plot?

Dienekes
March 06, 2012 at 1:45 am

This article is partisan propagandist drivel.