Social Question

trailsillustrated's avatar

I am following this affordable care act. I see so much derision. Why?

Asked by trailsillustrated (16799points) September 26th, 2013
64 responses
“Great Question” (8points)

I am no one special in a socialised country. I have love ones in the US. Why the derision? Won’t this be better? It makes my heart ache that something that cost me a whopping 6$ is out of reach for my sister.

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Answers

tom_g's avatar

Propaganda, ignorance, pride? Much of the derision I am exposed to is simply that we’re not implementing single payer health care system. We (the U.S.) should be embarrassed.

But I think there is also a ton of misinformation out there. Here are a few of the myths that are apparently floating around.

janbb's avatar

Ignorance (not necessarily willful) and fear.

trailsillustrated's avatar

Wow, @tom_g thank you for that .. my sister has been telling my on scype that she is going to hang herself because she can’t get the care she needs- If I went up the street to my dr. and alluded to that, I would be in hospital in 45 minutes. She is in a similar smallish town but there… thanks again.

KNOWITALL's avatar

The Supreme Court ruled Obamacare was a tax, and the Constitution says that there shall be no taxation without representation.

When you’re poor, health care is a luxury. If you cannot afford Obamacare, you will be penalized and have to pay money each year, and I don’t think that is right either.

There’s a lot to this that I don’t have time to go into, but I’m reserving judgement or trying to, until I see the actual real life effects.

Judi's avatar

@KNOWITALL, the penalty for not getting insurance is a tax, not all of “Obamacare and if you’re poor you’re exempt.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Judi I think the poor are in for a few surprises unfortunately. I also think Congress being exempt is interesting, even Obama won’t have Obamacare.

http://www.forextv.com/forex-news-story/obamacare-penalty-fees-who-pays-and-how-much-fact-sheet

In addition to the penalty fee, the offending individual will have to pay 100% of all costs of their health care. However, the Open Enrollment period extends until March 31, 2014. After the open enrollment period ends, individuals won’t be able to get coverage through the Marketplace until the next annual enrollment period, unless they qualify for an exemption or extension. Penalty fees for 2014 will be due and payable with your Federal tax return by April 15, 2015.

These two exemptions may combat what I’m hearing.
•The lowest-priced coverage available to you would cost more than 8% of your household income
•You don’t have to file a tax return because your income is too low (Learn about the filing limit.)

tom_g's avatar

@KNOWITALL: “I also think Congress being exempt is interesting”

That’s #5 on this list of myths.

Regarding the penalty fees, see your link about exemptions.

Judi's avatar

First, Obamacare is NOT an insurance policy it is a law that requires people to have insurance and sets up exchanges in the states for people who don’t have it and can’t get it to buy it at a “group rate” in the exchange.
Congress is exempt because they already have insurance through their employer (the US government ) just as many Americans are exempt because their employers provide insurance.
If someone willfully chooses not to buy insurance and makes more than (I think might be more) $75,000 per year they pay a penalty of less than $100. Of course they will be responsible for their medical bills. They chose not to get insurance!
Getting all your info from a Fox News link is sort of like asking a drug dealer for rehab advice.

Judi (39880points)“Great Answer” (14points)
KNOWITALL's avatar

Cool, I guess we’ll see. Doesn’t apply to me anyway.

Cupcake's avatar

@tom_g Holy crap. I hadn’t heard most of those myths.

rojo's avatar

Will it be better for whom? The populace? That we cannot answer yet but the present system is in dire need of redress so in my opinion it will probably be better. The medical profession? Again, questionable at this time.. The insurance co’s? Most definitely, this is like a big fat welfare check for them.

All the wailing and gnashing of teeth! I have read that similar arguments and fears were expressed with the implementation of SS and Medicare/Medicaid.

I look at it as a good first step toward providing a single payer system here in the US and that WILL be an improvement.

rojo's avatar

And, my two cents worth on Congress being exempt, this should not be allowed. Congress should ALWAYS be subject to the laws they write. And in this case they are. It is just that we provide them with excellent medical insurance so they will not have to worry about it. We should ALL be afforded the same level of medical insurance they have.

One final thought, I read today someone in Canada was asking why in the world businesses would want to be involved in providing heath care insurance in the first place? It is just more of a headache for them.

Health care is something that we should look at as a societal responsibility, not a business expense.

Judi's avatar

(@rojo, congress isn’t exempt. They have to have insurance too. )

Pachy's avatar

With all due respect to @trailsillustrated, I’m really tired of this topic. Not disinterested, just tired of reading the same questions and the same comments about it over and over on Fluther (I asked the same question myself) and elsewhere. So here’s my last rant on Obamacare, and by the way, I’m completely in the pro camp.

Like it or not, the Affordable Care Act is the law of the land. I credit O for getting it passed, but at the same time, fault him and the Administration for doing such a poor job of educating the public. Had he started a well-thought out education push sooner, there might be greater numbers of citizens supporting rather than opposing it. Notwithstanding that, a key provision (the state Exchanges) kicks in on Oct. 1 and the naysayers had better get used to that fast.

The people I fault the most are Republicans and Tea Party people who are attempting to blackmail the president and all of us by threatening to approve a debt limit increase only if Obamacare is defunded. A congress hell-bent on depriving millions of Americans of affordable health insurance and at the same time risking default on U.S. debts and thus risking a new national and global economic crisis are, in my judgment, criminals.

More on Facts and Myths

Judi's avatar

The last time this question came up it was in general and I got modded. Many newbees don’t know, but in the fluther archives are some awesome conversations about the ACA as it was being created and debated. At the time I felt like an expert on the subject because of the fluther conversations. I have forgotten a lot but I do remember that the creation of this LAW was debated heavily and Republicans got A LOT of what they wanted. This is a very moderate law and most people who get their insurance through their employers will be unaffected. The only time they WILL be affected is when they quit their job. Instead of paying huge COBRA payments to keep their insurance they will have an opportunity to stay covered at a reasonable rate in the exchange.

bea2345's avatar

If only I could hear why the objection to single-payer system.

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

U.S. health insurance companies are large, wealthy, powerful, and self-serving. They’ve done an effective job of convincing Americans that any form of universal health care = socialism = communism. They have the resources needed to buy-off public officials in the name of lobbying. They’ve been equally effective at telling people that the U.S. has the greatest healthcare in the world, and that any changes would be disastrous.

The truth is, there’s no U.S. healthcare system. There’s an ugly, inefficient patchwork quilt of people covered by private insurance (often costly and inadequate), uninsured people with no access, and practitioners who scramble to work within this convoluted mess. There’s also tremendous redundancy; every insurance company has staff, overhead, and highly-paid executives. And, let’s not forget shareholders; when a venture is held by investors, its obligations are to the owners, not to the constituency it supposedly serves.

It’s all a disgrace.

trailsillustrated's avatar

@Pachyderm_In_The_Room thank you. I am trying to glean information from real people but I won’t ask about it anymore, I will try to get from the internet.Good luck, Americans.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

When logic and intelligence can’t make an argument work for your side, turn to sarcasm, putdowns, derision, insults and being an asshole. It’s so much easier than research, intelligence, reason, and calm debate.

Seek's avatar

As a working poor American, Obamcare is going to make absolutely zero difference in my life.

I can’t afford insurance.
I don’t qualify for a penalty.

Whee.

I still have an asthmatic husband who can’t afford to breathe regularly.

ETpro's avatar

The fundamental reason people are laughing at the Republican histrionics is that they are saying there are two main problems, and those two problems contradict one another. The can’t possibly both be true. 1—We absolutely must stop it from going into effect, because once people have it, it’s going to be hard to take it away from them. 2—If it goes into effect, women, children and the elderly will die and the world as we know it will come to an end. Actually, I am pretty sure that if the Affordable Care Act makes care far more expensive and lots die, it will be VERY easy to take such a plan away. But no, the GOP is holding the American Economy hostage, threatening to blow it up and plunge the world into a depression unless the ACA is stopped before people have a chance to find out how it actually works. It’s already actually decreased the cost of insurance. It will be a huge cost control agent for small businesses, most of which already insure their workers at prices far higher than large businesses pay.

Here’s Stephen Colbert savaging the idiocy and lies in segment one and two. They do all this, then ask, “Why, if it’s so great, is it taking so long to implement?”.

@Seek_Kolinahr Have you actually checked? If all that is true, you could qualify for government assistance in obtaining healthcare insurance.

Judi's avatar

@Seek, even with the subsidy?

Judi's avatar

I just looked on the California database and it looks like hubby and I will save $400 per month if we join the exchange.

Seek's avatar

Coverage for my family is in the hundreds of dollars per month. Right there, not happening. Add copays, deductibles, and prescription deductibles, and it comes out costing more than it would for us to pay out of pocket for his medicine. Which we already don’t do becausethe money is simply not there.

No, I can’t afford $500+ per month.

And I do qualify for what they call Medicaid for the medically needy. If I rack up over 2000 dollars in medical debt in one month, Medicaid will cover the rest of that month. It does not cover prescriptions. So far, I haven’t seen any private practice that takes the program anyway. Just emergency rooms.

Good if I get my leg chopped off, bad if all you need is about $500 worth of prescriptions

Aethelwine's avatar

Can someone answer a question for me so I don’t have to litter the site with another question about this topic?

If you have insurance through your employer, does that mean you have to keep that insurance? Can you shop around now come October? And what about spouses and children? Do I have to stay with my husband’s insurance that is very expensive (I’m a stay-at-home parent) or can I look elsewhere now?

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr That is going to change. That’s the whole point of the ACA. Situations like yours are going to change.

On Tuesday you can start looking around and comparing companies and plans. The ACA has put insurance companies in competition with each other, and that’s a good thing. They now have a market of millions of potential new customers, like you, and want to snag the most currently uninsured persons they can. The premiums will be lower than what they have been historically (hopefully MUCH lower) but getting a whole bunch of them will still allow them to function. Like, getting a discount rate due to quantity.

But we won’t know until Tuesday when you can start shopping around. I’d like to hear what you come up with! :)

@jonsblond I don’t know the answers to your questions. We have BCBS through my husband’s work. Haven’t heard that the ACA is going to affect our current insurance in any way so that’s good, IMO. But I don’t know if you can get other insurance when you’re already covered. I’d like to know what you find out!

Yes, you can shop around as of Oct 1st, but it doesn’t go into effect until Jan 1.

I WANNA KNOW WHAT EVERYBODY FINDS OUT!!! I’m really excited. I went for many years without insurance and it was not a good feeling.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Also, @Seek_Kolinahr, be sure to check with your human services (SRS, whatever you call it) because their guidelines as to who is eligible and who is not is most likely going to change too.

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

I purchase my own insurance coverage (i.e. I’m not part of a group policy). I pay $411 per month for premiums, I have a $2,700 annual deductible, and there’s a co-pay for every incident of medical care.

Is there any question that the status quo is a broken and ineffective disaster? I’m very lucky that I can afford this insurance. I also know that the provider can cancel my coverage arbitrarily, at any time and for any reason.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Are you going to be looking around @SadieMartinPaul?

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

@Dutchess_III Yes. I’ll keep my existing coverage until the end of 2013. I’ve already paid a portion of the 2013 deductible, and I can’t predict what might happen during the next 3 months. If something goes wrong, I’ll be glad that the deductible is partially satisfied. As of January, however, I plan to have something else in place.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Cool. I really hope this works like Obama says it will. I really, really do. I’m prepared to pay a bit more in premiums if I have to, to make it so for folks like you and @Seek_Kolinahr and…..everyone else.

The programs he’s put into place so far are working. We just changed insurance companies (hubs got a new job) and they weren’t allowed to consider pre-existing conditions, of which I had a major one!

Thanks to Obama, my unemployed, full time mom daughter has government-sponsored health insurance which wasn’t available for her a few years ago.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Taking that to fb @ETpro. Thanks.

Seek's avatar

Aah, Florida..

source

Some, however, will be left without any health insurance. Florida is one of more than 20 states that did not expand Medicaid.

The Legislature’s decision not to accept more than $50 billion in federal funds over 10 years to bolster Medicaid has left an estimated 995,000 people—mostly Florida’s poorest residents—without options for medical coverage. Those in the “coverage gap” have poverty-level incomes but do not qualify for Medicaid and are not eligible for tax credits to help buy insurance on the exchanges

Judi's avatar

An incentive to get those in the gap to vote!

Dutchess_III's avatar

Kansas didn’t either. Kansas is an asshole.

Seek's avatar

Haha. This is Florida. If you’re poor or brown they shred your ballot before you walk out the door.

I’m only slightly exaggerating.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, we need to vote the republicans out of office. That’s all there is to it.

ETpro's avatar

Here’s one more video which provides a good deal more info about what the Affordable Care Act actually does and does not fo. Hope this helps, @Seek_Kolinahr.

Aster's avatar

That no good, lying corrupt Fox News said last night that only one percent of Americans were able to apply for Obamacare because just the website is so screwed up. One expert on there said he could get the system up and running in two weeks. Then we may see two percent of people who can afford Obamacare. Just watch the whole thing crash making America even more of a joke than we already are. I know my daughter can’t afford even $100 per month and people in her situation are in the hundreds of thousands if not millions. All those poor souls in homeless shelters and living under bridges will “have to” pay a fine for not having insurance. How kind. You can’t get blood out of a turnip. Stay tuned for some sort of collapse. Have food and water and matches stored up somewhere. This is gonna get ugly.

Seek's avatar

@Aster People who don’t make enough to afford the ACA – that is, if the premiums would amount to more than 8% of your income – will either qualify for Medicaid (if they’re lucky enough to live in a blue state) or the non-insured fine will be waived for them (if they’re not). The guys living under bridges will be exempt from the fine, since on the offchance they actually file taxes, it’s not likely they’re making more than 170% of the poverty level.

Read the actual facts, please.

Judi's avatar

I heard someone say, you are entitled to your own opinions but not your own facts. Thanks for stating. Facts @Seek_Kolinahr .

ETpro's avatar

@Aster If the whole thing crashes, which is only going to happen if Republican propagandists succeed in demonizing it enough that they convince healthy young adults to just risk bankruptcy and not sign up, then all that happens is we are right back to where the heartless Republican Party wants us, with 50 million Americans uninsured and ZERO Republican plans to change that. In face, what plans they do have are aimed at making sure even more people lose insurance.

Aster's avatar

You cannot demonize a good thing @ETpro. If it’s needed, workable and is providing people with affordable insurance all will be well. But first, let’s give them six months to make the website work. lol I think there are Republicans in America who need insurance and are trying as we speak to get on the website. Good luck to them.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Aster That would be an interesting and informative statistic once it’s said and done. How many registered Republicans use Obamacare? :)

Aster's avatar

One or two , maybe less I’ll wager. Same with Democrats.

glacial's avatar

@Aster So you think a total of four people have registered? Actually, it looks like over 500,000 people have signed up so far. Or do you just think that 499,996 of those people are neither registered Democrats nor registered Republicans?

Aster's avatar

There have been 20 million visits to the website and half a million applications submitted. How many people that represents or how many have successfully enrolled in a plan is unknown, and officials are not expected to release that data until mid-November. NBCnews.com

glacial's avatar

@Aster Then I’m not sure what you were trying to say with your “One or two” comment.

Aster's avatar

@glacial Half a million APPLICATIONS were submitted. Have you ever applied for something and been turned down? It is not the same as enrolled. Can’t wait to hear the enrollment figures.
We were at $12K deductible and $1,700 a month premium to start. lol We were just experimenting. We have Insurance.

glacial's avatar

@Aster Ah, now I understand what you meant. Well, I guess we’ll have to compare notes in a few months. ;)

Judi's avatar

I have visited several times and not enrolled. I’m
Looking at the plans and waiting for the small group plans to show up next month. So far their rates are better than the group rates we pay now.

ETpro's avatar

@Aster “You cannot demonize a good thing…” Oh really? So the Sanhedrin was right that Christ was demon possessed and an enemy of Caesar. Hitler must have been right that Jews, Gypsies, union members and homosexuals were the cause of all the world’s problems. According to your “can’t demonize a good thing” claim, since those things were demonized they were all terrible things.

Why do you think it’s impossible to demonize a good thing?

bea2345's avatar

I amagine people all over the world are waiting for Obamacare to succeed or fail. I want it to succeed, and not just because I like both Obama and his Affordable Care Act. In developing countries the budgets of maintaining free health services are out of control. There must be some mechanism that would allow market forces to bring down costs. Obamacare just might be it. If the website had to be done on the cheap (which may be probable) it is not surprising that it is giving trouble; isn’t the U.S. supposed to be broke?

EDIT: in some developed countries. like the United Kingdom, the health services are creaking at the seams.

Seek's avatar

@bea2345 : in some developed countries. like the United Kingdom, the health services are creaking at the seams.

/citation needed.

Judi's avatar

My daughter just moved to Scotland and LOVES her NHS doctor.

bea2345's avatar

http://www.england.nhs.uk/2013/07/11/call-to-action/
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/nhs/10303403/NHS-patients-45-more-likely-to-die-than-in-US.html

@Seek_Kolinahr Sorry, these references should help. Don’t mistake me: the NHS is one of the best in the world. If it were practical I would emigrate tomorrow. Their problem is a world wide one: heightened expectations because of tremendous advances in public health; reduced delivery of care because of increased demand; poor lifestyles; increasing costs. And of course the enormous social changes since WWII, such as the rise of the nuclear family. That has affected the care of the indigent, the aged, children and the disabled.

The other day I heard some doctors on Crossfire (a CNN programme) discussing health services delivery. One said, if it paid him, he would be doing preventive mediciine instead of high end procedures at $100,000 a pop. The rest of the panel agreed with him.

ETpro's avatar

@bea2345 I’m not at all convinced free market dogma drives down healthcare costs. The US ranks at the very bottom of the developed world in healthcare outcomes. In plain English, our healthcare system is the worst going outside third world countries. And yet we pay nearly 1.5 to 3 times as much in GDP per capita as all the other developed nations. It just might be that those single payer systems are doing something right.

bea2345's avatar

@ETpro – Of course the single payer system still works but it is being overtaken by events. Have a read in this rather brief review, Stliglitz, The price of inequality. The book itself which I have read is an accessible text if, like me, you are not an economist. The author argues that were there a more equitable division of national resources, shared services – health, education, etc. would cost less because of increased productivity and growth. If Obamacare helps with the inequality of resource-sharing it will have done plenty.

One of my relatives told me that the Act has brought affordable insurance within her reach for the first time since she retired.

ETpro's avatar

@bea2345 It’s going to be a great cost saver for some but at the expense of costing others more. Single payer evens it out so all get the same deal. But with the years of prodigious propaganda work Republicans have done to benefit their big donors in Pharma and healthcare (Healthcare now represents 17.2% of the entire US GDP), they have so demonized actually workable systems that we probably have to wait till their insanity bankrupts the nation before we can change it.

trailsillustrated's avatar

If I had to pay even 1$ for healthcare right now I’d be spewing

Judi's avatar

One education glitch that is missing, at least in California.
There are certified insurance brokers who, at no additional cost can help you navigate the system and help you choose the best plan for you. You don’t HAVE to use the glitchy website. It’s great to have an advocate who is an expert in the industry do the hard work for you.
I’ve been paying close attention to the debate and I didn’t learn this until yesterday.

Cupcake's avatar

@Judi I knew there were brokers who would help you navigate the system… I did not know that it was at no cost. Thanks for sharing!

ETpro's avatar

I’m sure glad Mitt Romney set up the Mass. Connector exchange, which I will use in this enrollment period to get my wife new coverage, before he hated his own idea.

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