Posted by: viksav | June 29, 2012

Affordable Health Care Act…”Obama Health Care”

The thoughts expressed here are just my humble opinion and I’m not an expert.

I fail to understand the criticism of the new health care act. The act mandates everyone to have health insurance. It clearly states that you can keep your insurance and opt for the govt. offered insurance only if you like. The govt. offered insurance has various options based on your income level and affordability. We are being given options and not being forced to opt for govt. sponsored insurance.

How different is this from Car Insurance? Isn’t it mandated to have car insurance? You might never use it but you are required to have one. You might own a Ferrari, BMW or a Kia… you pay insurance for the benefits and coverage for that one off accident in future. Why’s healthcare different? Co-incidentally I had this discussion with my colleague and he expressed that one can choose not to have car insurance and not to drive but this healthcare mandates everyone to buy health insurance. My question was simple – Yes, I agree one may never drive a car but will a person without health insurance guarantee that he/she will never go to emergency care ? Or visit hospital? It’s practically impossible. The reason for spiraling health costs to an extent can be attributed to greedy insurance companies/and doctors but we cannot ignore the costs of “emergency medical services” catered to uninsured people. All of these costs associated to emergency medical services are supported by state/federal budget. As the funds from health budget keep depreciating, Medicare and other social services for elderly get affected. Their continued support spirals down to budget deficits. This in turn forces the govt. to borrow (resulting in debt) or increase tax?  Who gets finally affected? The working class people who have been paying taxes and who have insurance.

I see certain section of media has echoed and is misrepresenting the Supreme Court judgment that govt. has a right to penalize people who don’t have insurance just like a tax. They concentrated on the term “tax” and expressed that now everyone will have to pay taxes. What?? Yes, there will be a penalty for not having insurance because someday you are going to use the health care services and cause a burden to the govt. budget and in turn cause a burden to people around you for no fault of theirs. Since health care cannot be refused at emergency services you cannot misuse the service and not be responsible to contribute to the fund. The penalty of 2% of one’s income for not having insurance is being directed to federal healthcare budget that will help in catering to such irresponsible people in future.

In some cases even people have been refused insurance by the providers because of pre-existing conditions or because they have terminal diseases. The insurance providers fail to understand that eventually these people will take the health services through emergency care. Who pays for it? The new health care act mandates that all insurance companies should provide health care to everyone. People see that as a reason for health care costs going up. I can see their point that since more people are using health benefits it will result in increased costs. But, you have an option to choose more affordable govt. insurance. Private insurance companies have to be competitive else they don’t stand to have customers. Always in a bigger pool of people, the costs are distributed as only a small percentage is claiming the benefits (in this case availing the health care). This is how car insurance works now.

I think one has to really read and understand more in depth the law and the benefits it can provide instead of being misguided by the politicians or general media. Unfortunately we choose to be led rather than lead.


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