Friday, December 09, 2011

An Explanation of Obamacare

I'm in a debate with a dude on Facebook who insists that Obama's healthcare law was a rightwing policy that primarily helped the insurers.  And his evidence for this was that insurance mandates were originally a conservative idea, as if that somehow trumps all the good things it did. 

Because, of course, the original plan didn't include subsidies, more regulations, and tax hikes on the rich; as ACA does.  And it's as if we're still in 2009 and these people get to speculate about how bad it is, and refuse to learn what the law actually did.  After all, they keep reading from so many progressives about what a sell-out it is, so that must be true.

And while this is far from the definitive summary of this, here's a quickie recap of the plan I gave him, to counter his idea that the plan is "overpriced" and that subsidies wouldn't apply to most people.  I'll let you know if he posts a reply that refutes anything I wrote, as I acknowledge up front that I am NOT an expert on this.  I'm just someone who knows how to use the internet and likes to know what he's talking about.

And in case you're interested in learning more, here's a subsidy calculator that will show how much you'll pay in 2014 for insurance if you can't get it through your employer.  And here's Wikipedia's page on ACA, which covers everything and a PDF summary for those who don't have time to read everything at Wikipedia. 

This stuff has been out for awhile, so anyone who still doesn't know what it does really shouldn't talk about it at all, as ignorance is no excuse for making shit up.

ACA Recap

Here's an overview: Employers now have big incentives to offer insurance to their employees and the larger ones will be punished if they don't. And it has to be GOOD insurance, and not the crappy stuff McDonalds and Walmart are currently getting away with. So the majority of people will be covered this way, as they are already, but will have even better insurance than before.

For those who can't get employer insurance and make too much for the newly increased Medicaid limits, you'll go to your state's insurance exchange (which will include at least one non-profit) and the rates will be capped according to how much you make and you'll receive a subsidy.  Out-of-pocket expenses are also limited, and you'll get to choose which level of coverage you want, depending upon how much you want to pay.  But the more you pay, the more coverage you're guaranteed to get.

For example, a forty year old with a family of four who wants a "silver" plan who makes $55k will not pay more than $4135 in insurance premiums a year. And that same person making $33k a year will only pay $1143.  If he makes less than $30k he won't pay anything, while the subsidies go all the way up to those making $90k a year. And of course, they can't raise your rates without government approval, can't rescind your policy when you get sick, and can't deny you coverage for preexisting conditions.  And that's just the tip of the iceberg, as ACA does a TON more than this.

Does that really sound like a rightwing plan to you? This is WAAAAY better than what we had before, and while it has elements that were once approved by conservatives, it's also stocked with lots of goodies that make it an effective liberal policy that will certainly save lives.

1 comment:

Davis X. Machina said...

Fun fact: The ancient Hebrew word shibboleth translates almost perfectly our word 'public option'.