After posting five straight articles on Obamacare, you would think that I’d be ready to give up on the subject. I wanted to finish up my five part series with some free-flowing thoughts about Obamacare and what my feelings are after I have read the full document. I must admit that most of what I knew about the Affordable Care Act was what I would hear about in the news. I knew that Obamacare was putting in some protections and benefits that we didn’t currently have before and also adding some premium assistance that we absolutely didn’t have before. What I didn’t know was all of the oversight, data collection and intrusion that we were going to encounter in this government sponsored health plan. And lastly I absolutely cannot deny that there is a huge amount of funding that this program is going to require to keep going and I am not sure that this is the best answer. Hopefully my insights have helped you have a better understanding of this law and also assist you in developing your own conclusions.
What I knew about the Obamacare was that it is affording us some new protections such as; doing away with pre-existing conditions, no lifetime maximums and expanding maternity care to all policies. I knew that we were also going to receive rebates if our health insurer didn’t spend a certain amount (80-85%) on healthcare related costs. I knew that there was going to be premium payment assistance from the government and expansion of medicaid, medicare and chip. I was fairly positive and almost a down right cheerleader for Obamacare. I thought that this was the ultimate answer to lower the insurance costs of people that are self-employed. And since I don’t figure I’m going to go work for a major company any time soon, I was very optimistic when it came to this new law. I have had self-employed insurance now for over four years and the initial recommended insurance plan of action for people that were self-employed was to purchase a high deductible health plan and add a health savings account to it. Basically the strategy here was to get a catastrophic type policy with a $5,000.00 deductible or higher and use the health savings account to save the money tax free to save for your medical expenses. This way you get the tax break on the policy and the savings account and you can gain interest on your hsa and it eventually turns into a good tool for your retirement arsenal. In reviewing the entire text of Obamacare I continually found myself getting irritated more and more. I had just gotten everything lined up with the old system and my hsa was getting funded nicely. Now, it would appear that the new law is trying to limit hsa’s and fsa’s, this was the cornerstone of my healthcare strategy and I know many others had this strategy as well. I have tried to sign up for Obamacare about ten times now with no success. I have gotten stuck several times throughout the application process and even had to redo the forms several times. The first few times I couldn’t even log on to the website. I wish they would make an area where you could just look at the rates and compare without having to go through the application process. Everyone knows about the failure of the launch of Obamacare and now that it has failed so miserably to launch, I would have to agree with the Republican idea of to delay Obamacare for another year. I would still work to improve the website and get people signed up, however I would delay the mandate so that people didn’t get penalized for not signing up for Obamacare.
I started to realize that I was going to have problems with Obamacare when I was only twenty-percent of the way through the massive bill. We encountered the government giving waivers for people that are associated with the insurance process. I don’t believe that we should give preferential treatment to anyone in this new law, everyone should have to live under the same laws and regulations as everyone else, including congress and the health insurance regulators. We found out that they are going to have a huge data collection and processing center that will monitor all of us and make recommendations on what treatments patients should receive. And also so much oversight on different parts of the bill that it seems that your healthcare decisions will no longer be up to you and just your doctor. We also found some interesting stuff protecting our second amendment rights, which I am in favor of the second amendment, however I figured that the second amendment protected our rights without having to repeat it in the bill. I do like the extension of medicaid, medicare and chip but, I do think there should be provisions within all subsidies and welfare services where we try to rehabilitate the people that are able to work back into the workforce. The bill also affords the Secretary of Health and Human Services some pretty crazy and far-reaching powers. He or she will be able to modify programs and funding to wherever they deem necessary. I don’t like the idea that they will have control over the access to all of the vaccines nationwide either.
The most appalling part of Obamacare has got to be the spending and funding parts. I really do not understand how we should tax the very services and products that we are trying to make more affordable. It’s like robbing Peter to pay Paul to have Peter save money somehow? I can’t fathom the instance where insurance companies that will have to pay a fee for people they insure do not price this into their premiums? I cannot further deduce a way in which medical device makers do not pass along that tax to the very people that are trying to save money on their medical devices. In the Obamacare bill they are throwing around hundreds of millions and tens of billions of dollars around like it is nothing. If my memory serves me right, when we implemented this law we were in a recession and now we are in a recovery. This law hasn’t created an enormous amount of jobs, except for the people trying to fix the website I guess. Therefore I don’t see that it was a wise decision by our country to go in this direction. I guess it may create many jobs to comply with all the oversight demands that the doctors and hospitals will have to contend with?
Finally I was really disappointed after reading the Affordable Care Act. It just goes to show us that our lawmakers really do not have any understanding of what the average American needs. I believe that our system of government is extremely outdated and we have advanced too technologically and outgrown how government used to be done. I think that along with healthcare we need to reform our entire system of government. Let’s face it, the President doesn’t even have to win the majority of the votes to win an election. Most of the time our individual votes don’t even count. And the people that actually have good ideas get tainted by lobbyists early in their governmental service that we can’t even count on the fresh ideas to grab hold anymore. Let’s face it, unless you are a multimillionaire your voice is mute in this country. I am frustrated as ever with our government but, there isn’t a thing we can really do except write letters that go unread. However, we are now stuck with this abominable healthcare plan with no help in sight. Maybe the Republican’s will realize that it’s better to win an election than to make a point. Again thanks for taking the time to read my opinions, let me know if you have any suggestions, comments or questions. I have enjoyed this soapbox to stand on concerning Obamacare, and as always be safe out there!