Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Obamacare is good for Americans…Here’s why

But first some statistics that should energize both sides of the issue leading up to the forthcoming Supreme Court decision.  24% want to keep the entire law, 27% want to get rid of the mandate and keep the rest of the law, and 41% want to dump the entire law.  This would indicate that the mandate to buy insurance is the problem and without it a majority, or 51%, like what they see. 

The question arises, why should those with insurance pay for those who elect not to have it?

And then there is another figure that might change the mind of that 27% that want to get rid of the mandate.  The President’s health Care Law is patterned somewhat after the one Mitt Romney passed when he was governor of Massachusetts.  Only about 1% of the state’s residents had to pay a penalty for not taking insurance. 

The nonprofit policy think tank Urban Institute predicts that only around 2% will have to pay under the federal health reform law.

Of those uninsured, millions will jump at the right to get insurance now with pre-existing conditions.  For those who still don’t have health insurance, many will avoid the mandate’s penalty due to financial hardship or religious exemptions, and those earning too little to pay income tax can’t be penalized.  Most of the rest, except for that one or two percent, already have health insurance.  These are the facts that the GOP ignores and doesn’t want the public to know.

Some think Justices’ decisions will be based on personal beliefs, others strictly on the law.  Another interesting figure, 37% think the law went too far while 27% feel it didn’t go far enough, according to a CBS News/New York Times poll released on June 7.  A majority of those polled claim to know a little about the law with only 28% who know a lot.  Obviously it is that 78% who haven’t taken the time to understand what many criticize that is the problem.

Obama signing health care bill

I decided to do some fact checking and found The Fact Checker from the Washington Post that led me to three other sites: Factcheck.org; PolitiFact.com; and an examination by Kaiser Health News.  I recommend a look at all four sites.  Fact Checker cites some of the major points, starting with whether or not Obamacare is a government takeover of the health care system.  Absolutely not and PolitiFact labeled this the “lie of the year.”

There are many provisions that will (must be) controlled by the feds but the core of the health system will remain in the hands of the existing private insurance market. 

Next, will Medicare benefits be cut as well as payments to doctors?  The answer is that Medicare spending will continue to increase but at a slower rate.  With Medicare one of the fastest growing parts of the budget, “the health bill will reduce projected Medicare spending by $575 billion over ten years, primarily by reducing projected fees to hospitals and other providers and by reducing payments to private Medicare Advantage insurance plans.”

Repealing the bill will increase the deficit is technically true.  But Democrats should not be laboring over this aspect of the law since its original intention was not to reduce the deficit; rather to reduce the number of uninsured Americans.  And this has happened with 6.6 million young adults signing up for coverage under their parents’ plan.  This will be a welcome addition to the futures of recent college graduates who are already starting out in a tough work environment.

NEXT: What’s in the bill, what’s bad, what went wrong, etc.

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