ObamaCare: What you should know
|Principal Writer:||Barry Shatzman|
|Understanding The Issue|
|What You Can Do|
|The Rumor Mill|
Reported NewsHealth Care Policy
Related BillsPatient Protection & Affordable Care Act
Related Court Cases(2018) Texas v. United States
WHY CONTRIBUTE WHEN EVERYTHING IS FREE?
We're glad we asked.
If you've read some of our stories thinking...
... You want everyone to understand this
... You want better policies
... You want better conversations
... You want more like this
Then we need you to contribute.
It costs money to publish News in FiVe, and contributions are our only source of funding.
So if this article helped your understanding, please consider a small donation to help us keep doing this and help us reach more people.
Even a dollar or three every so often makes a difference.
In return, we'll keep providing you the most relevant, understandable, and accessible news and information.
It's secure and takes only about a minute.
Is this socialized medicine?
Some critics of ObamaCare have labeled it socialism, or socialized medicine.
We will not discuss the merits (or lack thereof) of socialism here. What we will say is that the law does not fall under the definition of socialism.
Under a socialized system health care providers would be employed by the government, and the government would own all of the health care facilities - including hospitals.
This clearly is not the case with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act...
Is this a "government takeover" of health care?
Some critics of ObamaCare have labeled it a "government takeover" of our health care system.
The requirements of the law are designed to protect the interests of Americans who could suffer severe financial hardship in the event of a major illness or injury to themselves or a family member.
Under the ObamaCare...
The law contains no provisions that would restrict the type of care you would receive.
For more, read the PolitiFact.com analysis.
Are you paying more under Obamacare?
For some people, the cost of health care insurance has increased under ObamaCare.
They most likely are people with incomes greater than four times the federal poverty level who buy their own insurance. Even they, however, can benefit from the law if they have a medical need that is more fully covered under a new policy.
Those who earn less may see the list price of their premiums increase. However, subsidies (if they earn less than 4 times the federal poverty level) likely will bring their cost to less than what they previously were paying. The best measurement of this is your own situation.
Those who previously were uninsured (and who earn more than the federal poverty level) need to purchase insurance or pay a tax penalty. Since they would pay nothing without insurance, they will be paying more by definition. Of course, those who choose to buy insurance will be covered in case they become sick or injured.
Note: As previously mentioned, the tax penalty was eliminated for 2019
Lastly, it is insurance companies that set rates. Prior to ObamaCare, rates were increasing much faster than the cost of living. ObamaCare created measures to reduce the rate of increasing insurance costs - such as requiring that insurance companies spend at least 80 percent of the money they receive on actual health care. Rate increases of more than 10 percent require federal approval.
Are Cost-Sharing Subsidies handouts to insurance companies?
Cost-Sharing Reduction Subsidies reduce out-of-pocket expenses for those with incomes lower than 2.5 times the federal poverty level.
Essentially, the insurance company pays more than the specific policy requires them to. In turn, the federal government reimburses the insurance company.
In other words, this benefit for low-income earners is paid for by the government - with insurance companies implementing it. Insurance companies make no additional profit from this benefit.
The website didn't even work
The federal and several health care exchange websites got off to a rocky start - in some cases not working at all.
It is important to keep in mind that the websites simply are doorways to view and purchase insurance policies available under ObamaCare. They have no impact in the merits of the law itself.
A good explanation of this came (inadvertently) from Sen. Mitch McConnell during his 2014 re-election campaign. McConnell argued that he would support keeping his state's exchange, though he hoped to repeal the law. However, this would render the website worthless, as its only function is to provide access to insurance policies provided under the law.
The exchange websites now have been stable for years.
For more on this, read The Hill report.