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ObamaCare: What you should know

Last Updated:2018-Nov-15
Principal Writer:Barry Shatzman

Issue Sections

Understanding The Issue
Court Cases
Issue Status
What You Can Do
More Information
The Rumor Mill

Reported News

Health Care Policy

Related Bills

Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act

2010 (HR-3590)

Related Court Cases

(2018) Texas v. United States
(2015) King v. Burwell
(2014) Burwell v. Hobby Lobby
(2012) NFIB v. Sebelius


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How much will the government help pay for your insurance?

This report from the Kaiser Family Foundation explains how the government calculates the amount of your premium that would be subsidized under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Though the actual amounts are adjusted each year, the policy described by the article remains accurate.

Large companies must cover employees - but with a glitch

The law requires that companies employing 50 or more people provide health insurance to their employees. The employee may be expected to pay for part of the coverage - but only up to about 10 percent of their household's income.

The law also requires the company to offer coverage to the employees' children. Many also offer coverage to their employees' spouses. However, the company is not required to pay for covering family members. In these cases, employees would need to pay the entire cost of insuring their families.

This has led to a situation referred to as the family glitch. Because the spouse and children are being offered health care coverage, they are not eligible for subsidies through the health care exchange. So unless the company pays a large portion of the extra premium, the employee must pay the (often expensive) full premium for family members.

Explaining Health Care as Public Policy

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is an example of a public policy that sets up a health care system for Americans. A successful policy would result in good health care for the most people provided at a reasonable cost.

To learn about the issues of health care as a public policy, read the News in FiVe discussion.

As with any policy, ObamaCare involves tradeoffs

No public policy is perfect, and any law will have strengths and weaknesses. In the political world, proponents of a bill typically tout only its strengths, while opponents say its weaknesses are a reason to reject the entire policy. Nowhere has this been more evident than with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

This analysis discusses the strengths and weaknesses of the law, identifying who is likely to gain ground and who is likely to end up somewhat worse off.

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