With the Supreme Court ruling on the health care plan, which was passed by Congress and signed into law back on March 23, 2010, we have a huge situation about to hit the fan.
For those of you that do not care about insurance there is a reason this law came about. Think about every time you go to the doctor because you are sick and you cannot afford to pay the bill, guess who pays them? That is right, the tax payers. The tax payers pay the bill for your sore throat or your child's fever while the rest of us are finding it harder and harder to find doctors that take our health insurance. Not to mention the fact that every year insurance premiums go up due to the fact that people with insurance actually use it. God forbid I have to go through cancer treatment when this Act is thrown out, my insurance company can pretty much drop me if they want to! (I won't be but I am at risk for developing breast cancer thanks in part to my genetic makeup!)
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), otherwise known to Republicans as Obamacare, is actually a good thing for this country. PPACA requires that individuals who do not have insurance through their employer or have government provided health care (medicare) to maintain minimal essential health insurance coverage or pay a penalty unless they are exempted for religious beliefs or financial hardship, a provision commonly referred to as the individual mandate. It requires employers to pay more in taxes if they do not provide health insurance to employees. It gives a subsidy of up to 50% of the insurance premiums if they qualify effective January 1, 2014. "Two years of tax credits will be offered to qualified small businesses. In order to receive the full benefit of a 50% premium subsidy, the small business must have an average payroll per full-time equivalent ("FTE") employee, excluding the owner of the business, of less than $25,000 and have fewer than 11 FTEs. The subsidy is reduced by 6.7% per additional employee and 4% per additional $1,000 of average compensation. As an example, a 16 FTE firm with a $35,000 average salary would be entitled to a 10% premium subsidy."
Now I can see why Republican's might not like this idea of making (forcing) people to get insurance, but do they see the benefits that many who do not have insurance gain from it? OF COURSE NOT! The Republican's only see this, Obama wants something, anything, and they do not want to give it to him. They have been playing hardball with the President since he first took office.
PPACA has many benefits that out weights the "mandate" provision. My bestest and dearest friend Daniel, who is suffering from Crohn's disease, can now get insurance because it forces insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions such as Crohn's. If I were diagnosed with breast cancer tomorrow and lost my job at the same time I would still be covered even if I had to get my own insurance because of this mandate to insurance companies to cover pre-exisiting medical conditions. I see nothing wrong with this, do you?
Republican's were up in arms when Obama made birth control 100% covered by insurance, essentially making birth control free to women. Do I see a problem with this as a woman? HELL NO! This sparked Rush Limbaugh to speak out on his radio show about Sandra Fluke and calling her a slut and that she should be paid to have sex. This was because Sandra testified in front of an independent panel who wanted to hear from a woman and not the religious men that the Republican's felt could speak for women and their health care during the congressional hearings on PPACA.
I am sorry but since when can a man speak for a woman? Have we gone back to the 1950's when women were made to feel they had no rights other then to vote? I for one would kick a man in the shins if he stood up and told me what I could and could not do with my body. I am not going to let a bunch of religious men say that I am not allowed birth control because it is killing an unwanted child while I have wild and crazy sex. Birth control is more then just giving women the right to sleep around. I was on birth control since I was 20 because I had cramps that would put me out for days, feeling like something was being ripped form my body, like the scene from Aliens. Benefits from being on the "pill", no more cramps and feeling like I am giving birth to some alien life when really you are just going to shed the uterine lining. Sorry readers, it is a fact of life. Other women benefit from having their hormones leveled out like a cousin of mine, what men call being "emotional." For more added benefits of the pill, fee free to brose the Women's Health artical "A Pill For Every Ailment."
Some of the other provisions that PPACA provides individuals are (this is not all of them, just some that I picked that have already been enacted or will be enacted between now and 2020):
1. Adults with existing conditions became eligible for insurance (Like my friend and fellow blogger Daniel with Crohn's Disease. By the way, go to the link I posted and help him raise funds for TeamChallenge! 82 cents of every dollar raised by CCFA goes towards research and patient support.)
2. A 10% tax on indoor tanning (Yes you are putting yourself at risk for cancer doing this so you pay for it dummy)
3. Dependents will be permitted to remain on their parents' insurance plan until their 26th birthday
4. Insurers are prohibited from excluding pre-existing medical conditions for children under the age of 19 (Very important if you have a child that might have leukemia for example)
5. Insurers are prohibited from dropping policyholders when they get sick (Very important for me since I am at risk for breast cancer and this will prevent my insurer from dropping me when I am diagnosed)
6. Enhanced methods of fraud detection are implemented (Doctors/Hospitals will no longer be able to perform unnecessary surgeries on patients and charge insurers or medicare for them, case in point Edgewater Hospital)
7. Medicare is expanded to small, rural hospitals and facilities (If you live in the middle of no where and have a small hospital you will be covered and not have to drive hundreds of miles to see a doctor that takes medicare)
8. A temporary credit program is established to encourage private investment in new therapies for disease treatment and prevention (You mean I will be able to get a new kind of treatment that doesn't have me popping 25 horse pills every 8 hours?)
9. Insurers must spend a certain percent of premium dollars on eligible expenses, subject to various waivers and exemptions; if an insurer fails to meet this requirement, there is no penalty, but a rebate must be issued to the policy holder (This means if your insurance company does not pay to the provider enough money they collect from you on your healthcare they have to refund you the difference. This makes insurance companies very sad because this is how they make their millions!)
10. All new plans must cover certain preventive services such as mammograms and colonoscopies without charging a deductible, co-pay or coinsurance. Women's Preventive Services – including well-woman visits, support for breastfeeding equipment, contraception and domestic violence screening – will be covered without cost sharing. (I see this as beneficial for me since I am in a risk group for breast cancer. I would rather prevent cancer then have it invade my body and then have to go through treatment which costs more in the long run then a simple mammogram would!)
11. Insurers are prohibited from discriminating against or charging higher rates for any individuals based on pre-existing medical conditions (I will not have to pay more for insurance when the plans change at work if I am diagnosed with breast cancer on the previous plan, or at least I would like to hope that is what this means!)
12. A state may apply to the Secretary of Health & Human Services for a "waiver for state innovation" provided that the state passes legislation implementing an alternative health care plan meeting certain criteria (States like Romney's Massachusetts where they have Romney Care already in place can apply for this. This should be appealing to the Presidential Candidate, but he neglects to remember he was the first to implement this time of health care law while he was the governor of MA. SHOCKING ISN'T IT!!!)
13. All existing health insurance plans must cover approved preventive care and checkups without co-payment (This means no more paying up front to the doctors office when you are going in for your annual check up. This is good because I pay double to see a specialist!)
This is just a short list of items that have been, are in process or will be processed from 2010 to 2018. If you are like me you will what the Supreme Court to uphold the PPACA in full. If you are a female reader you need to stand up and say I want my body fully covered by insurance! Why should a man be covered if his penis doesn't work but I can't get preventative coverage for breast cancer or cervical cancer? Why should I pay more for insurance if I have a disease that can kill me vs someone that plays sports that could potentially cripple them for life or even cause death? PPACA will make the insurance game better in ways then they currently are. Why can't the Republican run Congress see this? Why can't the Republican Presidential Candidate see this?
I pray to all that is living that the Supreme Court reconsiders repealing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. I cross my fingers as I await their judgement!