Obama's New Health Care Plan

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People commentWe the People of the United States received some of the “change” voted for during the last election cycle. Of course I’m talking about the passage of President Obama’s health care reform bill last month. I admit I haven’t personally read and understood all 2,409 pages of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. But since no one who voted for it did either I don’t see why that should prevent my comments today.

What I find particularly interesting are the polls a week after signing which show a growing majority of Americans continue to disagree with its passage.So why the disconnect between the votes of our elected representatives and the clear will of the American public? Maybe it has something to do with the growing understanding of what’s really in the law — and some of the long-term health, financial, and free choice implications that we and our children will face as a result.

Here are literally just a few of the substantial negative impacts:

Health Savings Accounts — These used to have no cap, but are now limited to $2,500 per year starting in 2013. The penalty for using HSA money for unapproved purchases has doubled from 10% to 20%. Unapproved purchases will now include non-prescription over-the-counter medicines starting next year.2

Home health services — Significant cuts to home health care services funding mean many folks, especially in rural areas, are going to find themselves forced into hospital settings when they can no longer get the care they need at home. Cuts begin next year and increase in 2014 and 2015.

Increased regulation — While many applaud increased government regulation of insurance companies and the medical industry in general, there is a real downside. Increased government regulation historically has increased both costs and inefficiencies in virtually every industry ever regulated. Many doctors have already indicated they may leave the field due to increased regulation coupled with mandated lower payments for service.

Loss of personal liberty & choice — Some Americans really do choose to opt out of health insurance coverage, but will now face fines in the form of tax penalties of $695 or 2.5% of income (whichever is higher) starting in 2014. On the other hand, those who choose to purchase a high end insurance plan also get penalized with a 40% tax starting in 2018.

Clearly healthcare is changing in significant ways. You’ll likely pay more than ever before for health insurance premiums as insurance companies are forced to take on more risk. At the same time it may become harder than ever to gain access to a dwindling supply of physicians. I won’t even go into how much this will cost our country financially.

Vice President Biden was caught on-mic during the signing of the health care bill saying, “This is a big f***ing deal.” Yes, Mr. Vice President, you’re right. The federal government takeover of American healthcare is a “big f***ing deal.” We the People will be sure to grade Congressional report cards accordingly this November and those of the Executive branch in 2012. Since we remain, so far, a constitutional republic, “change” may be coming real soon to the offices of those who voted for this ill conceived law.

This law may be overturned in the courts or by a future Congress. Or it may not. So take good care of your health. Finding a good doctor to see you when you get sick may become increasingly challenging in the years ahead.

Related references:
1 ABC News. Poll: Most Americans Remain Against Health Care Overhaul. April 2, 2010.
2 Star-Ledger Wire Services. How the health care reform will affect flexible-spending accounts. April 2, 2010.

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Comments

  1. Greg says

    The continued negativity and lack of knowledge of how this will work amaze me… especially when most other affluent western democracies already have much better public health care than the US… so it’s not hard to look to the experience of those other countries and see the benefits of a society where everyone can get medical treatment.
    It’s part of a healthy society guys.. people suffering and dying because they can’t afford care is a sign of a sick society.
    Did you know that prior to this bill, The US was the only industrialized country in the world with no universal health care insurance system.
    Check out the countries with the highest standards of living.. the thing they have in common.. public health care.
    Embrace this change.. forget the politics, it’s a good thing.

  2. Jim says

    I don’t think Greg has done his homework or knows his history very well. Socialzed medicine which is what we will have broke Argentina which was once a rich country. Look it up. Secondly the CBO report was only what Congress fed it. One Trillion dollars won’t scratch the surface. Get ready for VAT taxes and every other kind of tax Congress can think of to lay on you. I’m sick for my country.

  3. Linda Evans says

    I already have a doctor who won’t accept “medicare insurance”. I have heard that other doctors say they are sorry for going to medical school…they wish they had chosen a different profession, and others simply say they will leave the profession because of this bill. They have enough difficulty paying back their student loans for medical school…now the government will be limiting their incomes.

  4. John Parker says

    The government is going to provide health care for an additional 30 million people, create over 100 new agencies and offices to administer, and hire 16,000 new IRS personell to enforce health care AND cut the deficit at the same time! What could possibly be bad about that? To quote the famous columinist H.L. Mencken, “No one ever went broke underestimating the gulibility of the american public.” We truly have become a nation of idiots if we think the same government that has bankrupted social security, medicare and medicade is now going to efficently and effectively manage health care. Lets all relax our collective sphincters and remove our heads, and then get a grip on reality. We are being spent and pushed down the path to european style socialism. The new “health care” is a necessary piece of that sorry plan to end America as we once knew it. Come on November!!!!!!!!!

  5. Greg says

    Jim
    where’s the logic in picking Argentina as a single example, when there are many countries with a properly functioning public health system.. especially when you use the flawed logic that their economy was ruined by their health system when there are a plethora of factors that have hurt their economy.
    I think you guys are putting your personal politics ahead of what’s really best for your country in the long term, and failing to properly research the benefits of a decent public health system.. what a shame.
    BTW – I’m Australian.. we are lucky to have one of the highest standards of living in the world, and health care for everyone..

  6. Carol says

    Hi, I think you in America really need to look outside your own country to see what Public Health Service means. Some sections of your population have spread fear and loathing about something wonderful. The US is decades behind other western countries and cultures who embraced the vision of accessible medical treatment for all. The fact that US was so rich and had no universal health care was one that has sparked incredulity and dismay among other citizens of the world who looked in horror at the stories of people who were unable to get treatment because of the system. The system has caused doctors, health insurers and hospitals to get rich and very rich and forces incredibly ridiculous costs for services and treatments which are way over the top and makes it even harder for the uninsured to get needed medical treatment. It is time for you to recognise that medicine and health are a right for all citizens, universal health care is absolutely not the monster you seem to think it is and to have some compassion for the millions who have had not decent medical help for so long. It will probably take some time and effort to get acceptance and it will continually evolve as needs change. Please have open minds and open hearts.

  7. Charlene says

    I have already seen what happened just talking about the bill and not even having it voted for and put through. Our insurance TRIPPLED in cost for this year. All the cuts in medicare (which are paying down the national debt) are being passed on to senior citizens. Let alone if you are nuts enought to think that a program that is going broke with just seniors in it can support the rest of the country with cuts to health cost while paying down the national debt. My doctors here in Nevada have a surge of Canadians coming here to get health care in the winter and many with emergencies coming here all year. They have to wait so long for care they will pay the cost to get it in the US. I am sure all the new government employees with their perks and pensions will save us all. NOT! Anyone can go to an emergency room and get care. No one is dying without care in this country. We even take care of illegal aliens in our er’s many of which are struggling to pay for the cost. There are things that needed to be done but not the takeover of the intire system.

  8. Darin says

    Wow…thanks for writing/publishing this article. It takes a lot of courage to stand up for what you believe in, especially when you’re running a company that speaks to so many (and even more so when it has to do with politics).

    The people who can justify this TAKEOVER feel so good about themselves and their support of it. However, feelings and reality are often very different. The US did not become the most powerful, wealthiest, highest educated, job providing, technology driven and FREEest place on the planet by having a huge government that controlled so many aspects of our lives. If we continue down this path of giving up our liberties to the federal government, we will slowly start to look more and more like the rest of the world. People and their health are NOT empowered by this bill (the gov’t has proven over and over that it is inefficient and wasteful in everything it has ever done….now it will be inefficient and wasteful with peoples lives!). People that support it FEEL like they are doing a wonderful thing, but we already have the best healthcare system in the world and their is no debating that. …besides, the US PEOPLE don’t want it, as 80%+ are already happy with the healthcare they have, and they’ve said it over and over (so even if it was in our best interest, WE DON’T WANT IT)! The current system is not perfect and never will be. Every system can justify their side with examples of how great it is, but at the end of the day, the US system is better and people still have their Freedom and Liberty to choose what care (or lack of) they want…without a beaurocrat looking over them. Everyone agrees that changes need to occur, but the government is already more of a problem than it is a help, and now it is really going to get ugly along with sending our country into the deepest debt it’s ever known (and for what!?). I do hope the American public pulls their heads out (as John mentioned) and we CHANGE this bill by electing a new office who will destroy it before it destroys us.

  9. Denise says

    I totally agree with all the current posts, except Greg and Carol. Darin is so right about the fact that sometims your “feelings” get in the way of what is real and practical. Yes, it sounds so wonderful to say that everyone will get healthcare. But you fail to understand that the mechanism of the system they are trying to create is going to create the exact opposite effect. Eventually, fewer people will have access to healthcare. It’s not fear and loathing that has been spreading it’s the facts. Some of us have seen the real faces of what Carol calls “fear and Loathing” when we looked outside of America. I believe that without exception, all of the current national healthcare systems have ended up rationing care which result in taking away an individual’s ability to make their own health care decisions. Yes, I fear that. This becomes necessary because eventually your “system” runs out of other people’s money. Regardless of how wonderful it might sound, no arbitrary system of bureaucracy can equalize outcomes for all. But here in the USA doggone it, (at least right now) we have an equal opportunity to pursue our own happiness and we don’t want to lose that! You might like that other system, but there are many others who have hit the wall of one of those systems, and they look to our current system as a means of escape.

  10. robfor says

    Has anyone taken into account the cost to the taxpayer of setting up a program like this before one cent is paid toward anyone’s care? Another question of concern: rules are being made as the bill is read and interpreted. Who is doing the interpretating and setting up the rules of who will be covered for what, how often, at what age? A lot of countries that have socialized medicine could fit into one state of the US. Will private insurance companies be eventually phased out? I only have questions and fear for the future of healthcare and the total control being handed to the federal government. How will my information be used, for/against me? What about the friends of the administration who are exempt? Is that forever? I have to trust my fears to God. This is not intended to offend; we deal with our fears and concerns in differing ways.

  11. Gary says

    I’m always surprised when people fail to reveal where their loyalties really lie. NOT! Insurance companies have spent 100 million dollars to defeat this bill. That’s ONE HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS. How much of that did luntz or rove get to write this article receive?
    Before this bill was approved, 40%, Forty Percent of every dollar you spent on premiums went to executive compensation. That is, wages, bonuses, stock options, etc,etc,etc. The new Obama Care cut that figure in Half, The CEOs and organized crime bosses who run these insurance corporations are now wondering how in Mammons name are they going to figure out which mansion to sell, which football team to let go, which yacht to leave in dry dock, or which fat turd to fire because he failed to get the UNITED 6 STATES 6 DOLLAR 6, count them (666) message across.

  12. Gary says

    Some of you people who feel sorry for our country now should be very well rested up, because you obviously slept through the previously so called presidency. You should finish reading that goat book, the ending will floor you.

  13. Gary says

    I read somewhere that Jesus was in favor universal care for the meek. It sounds like the atheist Ayn Rand has spun her web and has all the republicans in love with her views. Look up Ayn Rand and the Paul Ryan and company view of her philosophy.

  14. Sharon says

    I make a point of asking people I meet from other countries with universal health care how they feel about their system and I have yet to meet one who doesn’t love it. Most of them have been from Canada but also England, Ireland and New Zealand. Not to say that I have spoken to everyone of course, but overall I have heard that their system works and that they can’t imagine having to worry about an illness or injury ruining them financially. We pay by far the most for our health care and yet we don’t get the best outcomes. Many people who claim to hate ObamaCare like such things as no exclusion of preexisting conditions, no lifetime cap on coverage, portability of coverage and being able to keep children under 26 on their insurance plan. I recently received a payment back from my insurance company because the Act requires that 85% of premiums be spent on direct medical care.

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