Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Healthcare Reform and You

There is a slew of arguments and misinformation out there. I was told this new unihealth plan was going to hurt my small biz, that I'd be fined if I didn't pay into the insurance companies, that there will be long lines, that this was a power grab, abuse of power, there would be death panels, a cap on those helped, bad for senior citizens, that the biggest benefactors were the insurance companies and this is just a really bad idea and so on and so on.

I was also sold on all the poor people and kids who didn't get proper health care, the tax burden of illegals using all our health care while we paid for them, how this will help the 30 million currently uninsured Americans (including me) and lower costs (I don't have insurance because it would be a whopping $500/month for me to get this on my own and I'm young and healthy with no previous medical problems).

Now that the bill has passed and the Pres signed off on it (though there may be some changes coming down the line from the Congressional version) here's what you should know about how it will affect you now (meaning in 2014 when most of it takes effect):

-Kids are all insured
-Kids under 26 are insured under their parents plan
-Anyone who makes under 44,000 as an individual is insured
-Anyone with a pre-existing condition cannot be denied coverage
-Businesses must provide insurance for their employees or pay a fine (this does not include small businesses with 50 employees or less - thank goodness for my sake)
-You must have insurance or you will be fined (unless you earn less than 44,000 - which is a lot of Americans)
-However, there is nothing in there about irresponsibility over one's own health (like smoking, drinking, lack of exercise and eating globs of fat and sugar) so our taxes will be paying for those who don't seem to want to take care of themselves.
-Also, if you don't believe in modern medicine, you still gotta pay in to the system.
-Also, there's nothing in there providing for alternative treatments not sanctioned by the AMA. Not unless your insurance company covers that sort of thing. Most don't. That's a problem.

On the whole, it's good people will no longer be denied. It's good kids are covered and a lot of the poor and middle class are covered. However, for those now required to pay, the belief is that with all the new people it will lower the insurance premiums (Um, not if the insurance company doesn't have to. They're a business, not your grandma). Also, it kinda sucks I have to pay for a new lung for some guy who won't quit smoking. But all in all, this is good for me. I didn't have insurance. Though I'm quite healthy I do think about accidents or other things. You just never know and it's nice to have access to regular check ups and all that without paying through the nose for it. I really hope this is all Obama cracks it up to be.

3 comments:

mj said...

Good summary! I get your point on the negatives but I'm guessing proving a person's medical conditions are/aren't due to their own negligence would be hard and probably a LOT more paperwork to clog up the system -- though, yes, it still sucks. Overall the bill does seem like a decent start. It does a lot to help insure the uninsured. You're right that it doesn't seem to do much to lower costs of the currently insured or those making more than 44,000 though. Perhaps more will come to help make care more affordable. I wish the repubs would focus on that side of the equation rather than crying about our precious freedom to not buy insurance.

SJ said...

Amen! The whole trying to repeal right now is so desperate and lame! They would basically have to get 113 votes to swing the entire opposite way to make it happen right now. Reality check, this is happening. Now, let's improve what we have here.

George Marie said...

Hi Sarah~

You raise some very good points here. For the first time in my life, I am without health insurance. I just didn't feel like going into more debt just so I could buy student health insurance. It's very interesting how your outlook on life changes when you don't have health insurance. I'm very careful when I go up a flight of stairs...I don't ride my bike, and I don't do any sports where there is even the slightest chance of getting hurt...interesting, huh?