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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Obamacare is good for Americans…Here’s why – Part 2

Mitt Romney on Obamacare
In Part 1 of this report, we covered some statistics, a few of the basic issues under contention in Obamacare, and touched on Medicare.  Also included in that post are some excellent links with comprehensive understanding of the facts in this massive reform of health care.  It only seems appropriate that, after the pros and cons of the legislation, there is a need to know what’s in the bill.  It is clear this is a problem when 78% indicated knowing only a little about the law.

First, how much will it cost?  Answer: $940 billion over 10 years.  What about the deficit?  According to the Congressional Budget Office, it will be reduced over a 10-year period by $143 billion, which is more than their first estimate, and there is another $1.2 trillion reduction in the second 10 years.  Individual mandate: Starting in 2014, all Americans must buy health insurance or face a $695 annual fine.  As reported yesterday, this would only be between 1 and 2%.

Coverage would be extended to 32 million individuals in the U.S. who do not have health insurance.  There will be state health insurance exchanges for consumers and business making it more affordable.  There are subsidies for those making between 100 and 400% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), which is $22,050.  There will be a new 3.8% Medicare Payroll tax on investment income; families with income of $250,000, $200,000 for individuals.

Starting in 2018, an excise tax on insurance companies of 40% on high cost income plans ($27,500 for families, $10,200 individuals).  Dental and vision plans are exempt.  And there is a 10% excise tax on indoor tanning salons.  Interesting.  Medicare expands to include 133% of the federal poverty level which is $29,327 for a family of four.  Illegal immigrants are not eligible for Medicaid.  It isn’t clear yet how the Latino community views the latter in term of immigration reform.

By 2014, insurance companies will not be allowed to deny coverage to adults for preexisting conditions.  Children are already covered.  No federal funds can be used to pay for abortions except in cases of rape, incest or health of the mother.  Illegal immigrants will not be allowed to purchase health insurance in exchanges, even if they used their own money.  There are more points in the plan and you can see them by going to a CBS News report, here.

So what’s the baaaad in Obamacare?  I looked at several sites with this kind of information and settled on Spectator.org because it was adamant that “If not struck down, it must be repealed.”  I figured this should provide some interesting insight into the opposition.  They leap into the battle with the question of whether they can force us to buy “broccoli” if they can make us purchase health insurance.  I kind of like broccoli so don’t have a problem with that.  Stupid!

On a more sane level, Spector proclaims: it is legislation-in-haste-repent-at-leisure mentality.  Dem. Nancy Pelosi did say, "We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what's in it."  There is no impartiality in the bill simply because it is 2,700 pages long and riddled with empirical language.  It takes the decision-making process out of buying health insurance and leaves it to bureaucrats.  Quoting a study, half of employers plan to drop health insurance in 2014.


Medicaid at work

The law will increase Medicaid enrollment by an estimated 24 million new beneficiaries by 2015.  Now I find it hard to believe that a country that is built on individual rights not doing everything it can to help the needy.  And that can be done with a combination of new taxes on the wealthy and eliminating unnecessary federal spending designed simply to get the politicians reelected. 

Anyway, some of these folks are in their position due to economic conditions for which they are not responsible.  Like a financial melt-down that resulted in a wave of home foreclosures that is still going on.

NEXT: Seniors against Obamacare, what went wrong and a wrap up.

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