A Long Brief Opinion on ACA Ruling
Here’s how I see it and what I’ve found through research. This bill is not perfect but it is far better than what we had and far better than any alternative that was offered. With that said, here’s why?
1. I make a decent amount of money, but not a lot. As it is right now, health insurance is not even an option for me. Way too expensive. Which means, something needs to happen to bring down the costs. As of now, if you have insurance you and/or your employer pay through the roof for mediocre coverage. If you get sick, there’s a very good chance that the insurance company will either raise your rates or drop you. And that’s legal right now. If you don’t have insurance (as I do not), then whenever I need to go to the doctor, I go to the emergency room (or a clinic) and it’s relatively “free”. I use quotes because someone pays for it, and that is the average taxpayer. So, right now, being unemployed, I don’t pay as many taxes as a $50k+ citizen, but I get health insurance from it and you pay for it, though none of that money goes anywhere near insurance companies. So, now, the government is telling me that if I want to enjoy that “free” health care, I need to pay for it (by 2016, 2.5% of my income in ‘fines’ or possibly now taxes if I DO NOT buy insurance). This means, if you have insurance, not only will your rate probably be lowered, but you will owe nothing in fines. Now, this was the mandate but now that the fine is deemed unconstitutional and SCOTUS claims a tax would be constitutional, sadly, everyone will now probably face the brunt of cost rather than just people like me who have no insurance. Conclusion: If we had a single-payer system, nothing that we are arguing about would be an issue, but (and before you scream, this is not a partisan statement but fact) the republicans in Congress blasted Obama for even suggesting a single-payer system and the democrats (and obama) were too spineless to fight for it. So, now, we get a mediocre piece of legislation.
2. It’ll kill business: If you are a small business, you get a 35% tax credit under this law in 2014 and it goes up to 50% in 2016, so, small business is going to be just fine.
3. The plan, as originally created, pays for itself. The cost it incurs is offset by the mandatory payments of the 50 million people like me who now pay absolutely nothing for the healthcare we receive.
I align myself with no party and I only support this current president about half of the time, but, to link SCOTUS’s opinion (on making the mandate a tax) to Obama is entirely unfair. The Supreme Court brought that up and it needs to be approved by Congress (which is almost primarily run by conservatives…definitely not Obama-friendly). I agree that the government should not mandate us to do anything, but, we live in a global world right now so that is a must. The real question of our modern-day, technological society is “how much should the government be allowed to mandate?” Almost 50% of my income taxes goes towards military spending. So, when I look at my check and $100 was taken out in federal taxes, $50 of that goes to the Pentagon. 6% goes to physical resources and almost 40% goes to human resources. So, on average, I am mandated to give about 60%-70% of my taxes directly to programs and institutions that I would be very happen to be seen gone. If I am going to give that much money away, I’d like to be able to take care of the myriad of health issues I have right now but cannot afford to.
What this comes down to is balance. We focus on only the amount of dollars rather than the value of those dollars. Everyone agrees that the healthcare industry, like most other major industries these days, is abhorrently corrupt and cares not about healing but about making money. A lot people also agree, though, that the government should not be a regulatory entity and has no right in telling someone else how to run their company. Well, there needs to be a balance. I was watching Fox during the decision and I found it fascinating that they were arguing against the ACA and saying that we should have a single-payer system when, again, that was what the original bill was that they railed against. This DOES matter because outside of metropolitan USA, this is the news source most people follow. Anyone who has read the bill knows that there is good here and that it’s going to cost us a little now to have “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” later.