It’s time to lay to rest the myths about Obamacare and come to grips with the reality of how helpful Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act, ACA) will be to our nation and to individuals.
Opponents like to say Obamacare is a “job-killer.” The fact is that both political parties are making wild assumptions to sell their visions of the ACA. No one knows at this point whether the new law will increase or decrease total jobs. All we know for sure is that the “job-killer” claim is discredited by the experience under the Massachusetts law on which Obamacare was modeled.
Some say the Affordable Care Act will be very costly for the taxpayers of our country. On the contrary, the Congressional Budget Office, FactCheck.org and health economists from Harvard and the Commonwealth Fund have calculated that over the first 10 years of ACA, total spending on health care, in part by employers, will be half a trillion dollars lower than under our present system. For example, the law required insurers to give out annual rebates by Aug. 1, 2012, if less than 80 percent of the premium dollars they collected go toward actual medical care. Rebates were mailed to individuals and employers in July.
Another claim is that Obamacare is a federal takeover of health insurance. Hardly In a boon to insurance, it delivers 30 million new customers to the private insurance industry. Make no mistake, there are some new regulations (like not refusing insurance due to pre-existing conditions, cancelling insurance because you got sick, or spending more than 20 percent of premium dollars on expenses other than medical care), but there are also subsidies to support the industry. The rise in health care spending, which is expected to be modest, will be due mostly to the baby boomers joining Medicare.
There are those who think that if given a voucher or tax credit, consumers will make the best decisions for their health care. The problem with that approach is that when you get injured or sick, you need care at that moment. There is no time for you to make cost-conscious, informed health care choices.
We really cannot imagine all the benefits of Obamacare because many benefits do not go into effect until 2014. Those of us who have already benefitted from it, every cancer victim, children under 26 years of age who are able to continue on their parents policy, everyone with a condition that would keep them from getting affordable coverage, can vouch for how difficult it would be to get through a severe illness without insurance.
The Supreme Court has ruled that the Affordable Care Act is constitutional. Let’s stop fighting it. Let’s reject those politicians who would throw it out. Let’s give the Affordable Care Act an honest chance to make a difference in our lives, to rein in rising health care costs and to extend health insurance to many more people.