Wednesday, January 1, 2014

"Getting" ObamaCare



With major sections of the Affordable Care Act coming into law Wednesday, it is disturbing how little we understand of the fundamental changes coming to how we do healthcare.

Of course there is no letup in marketing efforts to get (young & healthy) people signed up on insurance exchanges. But there seems to be no effort other than political promises and threats to explain what the law means to those of us in the working masses.


For example, just a few weeks ago I saw a Facebook post posing the question "How many of you are getting ObamaCare?"

Of course there was a flurry of political commentary in the comments, and for many - this being Texas - the reply was No way, I'm not getting ObamaCare.

And that is ridiculous.

EVERY health plan will have to conform to the Affordable Care Act.  You WILL have ObamaCare.  You WILL have mandated coverages that you may not have wanted or needed.  You WILL pay higher taxes for it all.  And even if you qualify for subsidies, the real cost of coverage will be high for everyone that is paying into the system.

OK… so you are getting ObamaCare whether you want it or not.  And you have until March 31 to be in compliance.  Here is a good piece on upcoming deadlines that affect you if you aren't already insured from The Motley Fool.

For those who want to opt out and pay up come tax time next April, and I expect many people will do just that, it will save a lot of cash.  At least until 2016, when the fees top out and magically that occurs after then next presidential election.  Here is a USNews article detailing how that works.


While I'm ranting… how absurd does it feel to sit and watch your tax dollars being used to advertise during a football game, encouraging people to sign up on the insurance exchanges?  It is enough to make me throw things at the TV.

With more than $2 billion of borrowed money spent on the website, marketing and general startup of the system, it seems that money could have been better used setting up sustainable services for people who need help.

What is even more interesting is how the whole employer-provided insurance method got us in the mess we are in to begin with, maybe we should tackle that instead.  There should be individual responsibility, not an individual mandate.

Happy Thursday, peeps.

Don J.

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