News and Views

From my kids accomplishments, to my heretical perspective of the world

News and Views header image 2

Affordable Health Care

June 28th, 2012 · 5 Comments

That’s what this Supreme Court decision means to me: affordable health care, and complete coverage.

It means that I can have coverage over my urinary tract, the whole of which is excluded by my current insurance because of a benign bladder polyp removed 12 years ago. As a 61-year old man with an excluded urinary tract, I’m a little nervous. You know, prostate and all that.

I still have to wait until January 2014 when insurance can no longer exclude pre-existing conditions. That’s also the date when insurance companies can no longer set dollar limits on the annual amount of coverage, though lifetime limits on essential care were already abolished in 2010. And if I made an error on my insurance application, since 2010 my coverage can no longer be rescinded.

A plurality of Americans disapprove of the overall AHCA, though a majority approve of many of its specific requirements. The individual mandate is the part that most bothers me: Can Congress require everyone to buy insurance? I’m surprised the Supreme Court approved it; I really expected it to be struck down. But I think it’s an essential part of the overall plan.

It remains to be seen how it will all fall out in practice. Many people who are working just so they can afford insurance will be able to retire, which may open up job vacancies and reduce unemployment. Will overall medical costs go down, as the bill intended, or will medicine become more expensive from increased bureaucracy and loopholes in the law?

One thing I do know: Our current system has long been “socialized medicine”. If a person without insurance and no money to pay a doctor needs health care, they go to an emergency room which cannot legally turn them away, and the rest of us end up sharing the cost.

Tags: Opinion

5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Richard // Jun 28, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    The health care system in this country has been badly broken for many years. While this legislation is far from perfect, it is the first step toward fixing some of the most pressing problems and a lot more needs to be done. Just like social security, which forced people to pay into a retirement system, the AHCA will soon be viewed as an indispensable part of our social and cultural systems.

    Justice Roberts reason for approving the individual mandate was how I viewed it all along. It’s just a tax, although framed unusually.

  • 2 Donna // Jun 28, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    There are a lot of good pieces included in the AHCA. A lot more needs to be done. The bill needs to be whittled a bit here and there and other benefits considered, but you are right, our system needs some overhaul.

    I remember when I was in Poland and had to go to the ER for a kidney problem, and when I got ready to leave, the doctor (yes, the doctor!) told me there was no charge, even though I was an American with health insurance. That was really surprising to me, and made me realize there are some benefits to socialized medicine.

  • 3 Don // Jun 28, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    It will never cease to amaze me how the left can use the word “affordable” when talking about this.

    How can you add 30 million more people to the health docket yet not add any more doctors or hospitals and expect it’s going to be cheaper?

    I also think healthcare in this country was broken but Obamacare goes so far overboard it’s pathetic.

    One good thing that came out of it was SCOTUS ruled that Obama is a liar. Of course anyone who’s paid attention and wasn’t kidding themselves already knew that.

  • 4 Daryl // Jun 28, 2012 at 6:41 pm

    Regarding “affordable”, I’m yielding my limited budget analysis abilities to the CBO, which estimated that the AHCA “would result in a net reduction in federal budget deficits of $104 billion over the 2010-2019 period”, and that repealing it “would cause a net increase in federal budget deficits of $210 billion over the 2012-2021 period.”

    Regarding the “Obama is a liar” comment, I’m puzzled. I assume you are echoing Palin’s comment that Obama said it wasn’t a tax, and the Supreme Court opinion said it was. You could argue that it is a matter of interpretation. You could read from Robert’s majority opinion: “Whether the mandate can be upheld under the Commerce Clause is a question about the scope of federal authority…. Upholding the individual mandate under the Taxing Clause thus does not recognize any new federal power. It determines that Congress has used an existing one,”

    It makes it clear to me that he also thought it could be called a tax or not, but by calling it a tax it could be allowed to stand, and it sounds like he wanted it to stand.

  • 5 Don // Jun 28, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    $2,000,000,000,000 over the next 10 years. That doesn’t sound “affordable” to me but then I don’t have near as much money as some of you do.