[Tired about all the lies and mischaracterizations being made about ObamaCare? Want to know what the bill actually says and does? Well, someone on Reddit posted a very concise and easy to understand description of the bill. I’m reprinting (most of) it here (he said I could). The same guy is also creating a post where he goes through the bill point-by-point. Enjoy!]
What people call “Obamacare” is actually the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. However, people were calling it “Obamacare” before everyone even hammered out what it would be. It’s a term mostly used by people who don’t like the PPACA, and it’s become popularized in part because PPACA is a really long and awkward name, even when you turn it into an acronym like that.
Anyway, the PPACA made a bunch of new rules regarding health care, with the purpose of making health care more affordable for everyone. Opponents of the PPACA, on the other hand, feel that the rules it makes take away too many freedoms and force people (both individuals and businesses) to do things they shouldn’t have to.
So what does it do? Well, here is everything, in the order of when it goes into effect (because some of it happens later than other parts of it):
(Note: Page numbers listed in citations are the page numbers within the actual document, not the page numbers of the PDF file)
Already in effect:
- It allows the Food and Drug Administration to approve more generic drugs (making for more competition in the market to drive down prices) (  Citation: An entire section of the bill, called Title VII, is devoted to this, starting on page 747 )
- It increases the rebates on drugs people get through Medicare (so drugs cost less) (  Citation: Page 216, sec. 2501 )
- It establishes a non-profit group, that the government doesn’t directly control,  PCORI, to study different kinds of treatments to see what works better and is the best use of money. (  Citation: Page 665, sec. 1181 )
- It makes chain restaurants like McDonalds display how many calories are in all of their foods, so people can have an easier time making choices to eat healthy. (  Citation: Page 499, sec. 4205 )
- It makes a “high-risk pool” for people with pre-existing conditions. Basically, this is a way to slowly ease into getting rid of “pre-existing conditions” altogether. For now, people who already have health issues that would be considered “pre-existing conditions” can still get insurance, but at different rates than people without them. (  Citation: Page 30, sec. 1101, Page 45, sec. 2704, and Page 46, sec. 2702 )
- It forbids insurance companies from discriminating based on a disability, or because they were the victim of domestic abuse in the past (yes, insurers really did deny coverage for that) (  Citation: Page 47, sec. 2705 )
- It renews some old policies, and calls for the appointment of various positions.
- It creates a new 10% tax on indoor tanning booths. (  Citation: Page 923, sec. 5000B )
- It says that health insurance companies can no longer tell customers that they won’t get any more coverage because they have hit a “lifetime limit”. Basically, if someone has paid for health insurance, that company can’t tell that person that he’s used that insurance too much throughout his life so they won’t cover him any more. They can’t do this for lifetime spending, and they’re limited in how much they can do this for yearly spending. (  Citation: Page 14, sec. 2711 )
- Kids can continue to be covered by their parents’ health insurance until they’re 26. (  Citation: Page 15, sec. 2714 )
- No more “pre-existing conditions” for kids under the age of 19. (  Citation: Page 45, sec. 2704 and Page 57, sec. 1255 )
- Insurers have less ability to change the amount customers have to pay for their plans. (  Citation: Page 47, sec. 2794 )
- People in a “Medicare Gap” get a rebate to make up for the extra money they would otherwise have to spend. (  Citation: Page 379, sec. 3301 )
- Insurers can’t just drop customers once they get sick. (  Citation: Page 14, sec. 2712 )
- Insurers have to tell customers what they’re spending money on. (Instead of just “administrative fee”, they have to be more specific).
- Insurers need to have an appeals process for when they turn down a claim, so customers have some manner of recourse other than a lawsuit when they’re turned down. (  Citation: Page 23, sec. 2719)
- Anti-fraud funding is increased and new ways to stop fraud are created. (  Citation: Page 699, sec. 6402 )
- Medicare extends to smaller hospitals. (  Citation: Starting on page 344, the entire section “Part II” seems to deal with this )
- Medicare patients with chronic illnesses must be monitored more thoroughly.
- Reduces the costs for some companies that handle benefits for the elderly. (  Citation: Page 492, sec. 4202 )
- A new website is made to give people insurance and health information. (I think this is it: http://www.healthcare.gov/ ). (  Citation: Page 36, sec. 1103 )
- A credit program is made that will make it easier for business to invest in new ways to treat illness by paying half the cost of the investment. (Note – this program was temporary. It already ended) ( Citation: Page 830, sec. 9023 )
- A limit is placed on just how much of a percentage of the money an insurer makes can be profit, to make sure they’re not price-gouging customers. (  Citation: Page 22, sec. 1101 )
- A limit is placed on what type of insurance accounts can be used to pay for over-the-counter drugs without a prescription. Basically, your insurer isn’t paying for the Aspirin you bought for that hangover. (  Citation: Page 800, sec. 9003 )
- Employers need to list the benefits they provided to employees on their tax forms. (  Citation: Page 800, sec. 9002 )
- Any new health plans must provide preventive care (mammograms, colonoscopies, etc.) without requiring any sort of co-pay or charge. (  Citation: Page 14, sec. 2713 )
- If you make over $200,000 a year, your taxes go up a tiny bit (0.9%). Edit: To address those who take issue with the word “tiny”, a change of 0.9% is relatively tiny. Any look at how taxes have fluctuated over the years will reveal that a change of less than one percent is miniscule, especiallywhen we’re talking about people in the top 5% of earners. (  Citation: Page 818, sec. 9015 )
This is when a lot of the really big changes happen.
- No more “pre-existing conditions”. At all. People will be charged the same regardless of their medical history. (  Citation: Page 45, sec. 2704, Page 46, sec. 2701, and Page 57, sec. 1255 )
- If you can afford insurance but do not get it, you will be charged a fee. This is the “mandate” that people are talking about. Basically, it’s a trade-off for the “pre-existing conditions” bit, saying that since insurers now have to cover you regardless of what you have, you can’t just wait to buy insurance until you get sick. Otherwise no one would buy insurance until they needed it. You can opt not to get insurance, but you’ll have to pay the fee instead, unless of course you’re not buying insurance because you just can’t afford it. (Note: On 6/28/12, the Supreme Court ruled that this isConstitutional, as long as it’s considered a tax on the uninsured and not a penalty for not buying insurance… nitpicking about wording, mostly, but the long and short of it is, it looks like this is accepted by the courts) (  Citation: Page 145, sec. 5000A, and  here is the actual court ruling for those who wish to read it. )
Answer: There are all kinds of checks in place to keep you from getting screwed. Kaiser actually has a webpage with a pretty good rundown on it, if you’re worried about it. You can see it  here.
Okay, have we got that settled? Okay, moving on…
- Medicaid can now be used by everyone up to 133% of the poverty line (basically, a lot more poor people can get insurance) (  Citation: Page 179, sec. 2001 )
- Small businesses get some tax credits for two years. (It looks like this is specifically for businesses with 25 or fewer employees) (  Citation: Page 138, sec. 1421 )
- Businesses with over 50 employees must offer health insurance to full-time employees, or pay a penalty.
- Insurers now can’t do annual spending caps. Their customers can get as much health care in a given year as they need. (  Citation: Page 14, sec. 2711 )
- Limits how high of an annual deductible insurers can charge customers. (  Citation: Page 62, sec. 1302 )
- Cut some Medicare spending
- Place a $2500 limit on tax-free spending on FSAs (accounts for medical spending). Basically, people using these accounts now have to pay taxes on any money over $2500 they put into them. ( Citation: Page 801, sec. 9005 )
- Establish health insurance exchanges and rebates for the lower and middle-class, basically making it so they have an easier time getting affordable medical coverage. (  Citation: Page 88, sec. 1311 )
- Congress and Congressional staff will only be offered the same insurance offered to people in the insurance exchanges, rather than Federal Insurance. Basically, we won’t be footing their health care bills any more than any other American citizen. (  Citation: Page 81, sec. 1312 )
- A new tax on pharmaceutical companies.
- A new tax on the purchase of medical devices.
- A new tax on insurance companies based on their market share. Basically, the more of the market they control, the more they’ll get taxed.
- The amount you can deduct from your taxes for medical expenses increases.
- Doctors’ pay will be determined by the quality of their care, not how many people they treat. Edit: a_real_MD addresses questions regarding this one in far more detail and with far more expertise than I can offer in  this post. If you’re looking for a more in-depth explanation of this one (as many of you are), I highly recommend you give his post a read.
- If any state can come up with their own plan, one which gives citizens the same level of care at the same price as the PPACA, they can ask the Secretary of Health and Human Resources for permission to do their plan instead of the PPACA. So if they can get the same results without, say, the mandate, they can be allowed to do so. Vermont, for example, has expressed a desire to just go straight to single-payer (in simple terms, everyone is covered, and medical expenses are paid by taxpayers). (Citation: Page 98, sec. 1332 )
- All health care plans must now cover preventive care (not just the new ones).
- A new tax on “Cadillac” health care plans (more expensive plans for rich people who want fancier coverage).
- The elimination of the “Medicare gap”
Aaaaand that’s it right there.
The biggest thing opponents of the bill have against it is the mandate. They claim that it forces people to buy insurance, and forcing people to buy something is unconstitutional. Personally, I take the opposite view, as it’s not telling people to buy a specific thing, just to have a specific type of thing, just like a part of the money we pay in taxes pays for the police and firemen who protect us, this would have us paying to ensure doctors can treat us for illness and injury.
Plus, as previously mentioned, it’s necessary if you’re doing away with “pre-existing conditions” because otherwise no one would get insurance until they needed to use it, which defeats the purpose of insurance.
Of course, because so many people are arguing about it, and some of the people arguing about it don’t really care whether or not what they’re saying is true, there are a lot of things people think the bill does that just aren’t true. Here’s a few of them:
Obamacare has death panels!: That sounds so cartoonishly evil it must be true, right? Well, no. No part of the bill says anything about appointing people to decide whether or not someone dies. The decision over whether or not your claim is approved is still in the hands of your insurer. However, now there’s an appeals process so if your claim gets turned down, you can challenge that. And the government watches that appeals process to make sure it’s not being unfair to customers. So if anything the PPACA is trying to stop the death panels. (  Citation: Page 23, sec. 2719 )
What about the Independent Medical Advisory Board? Death Panels!: The Independent Medical Advisory Board is intended to give recommendations on how to save Medicare costs per person, deliver more efficient and effective care, improve access to services, and eliminate waste. However, they have no real power. They put together a recommendation to put before Congress, and Congress votes on it, and the President has power to veto it. What’s more, they are specifically told that their recommendation will not ration health care, raise premiums or co-pays, restrict benefits, or restrict eligibility. In other words, they need to find ways to save money without reducing care for patients. So no death panels. In any sense of the (stupid) term. ( Citation: Page 407, sec. 3403 )
Obamacare gives free insurance to illegal immigrants!: Actually, there are multiple parts of the bill that specifically state that the recipient of tax credits and other good stuff must be a legal resident of the United States. And while the bill doesn’t specifically forbid illegals from buying insurance or getting treated at hospitals, neither did the laws in the US before the PPACA. So even at worst, illegals still have just as much trouble getting medical care as they used to. (  Citations: Page 122, sec. 1402, Page 123, sec. 1411, Page 125, sec. 1411, Page 132, sec. 1412 )
Obamacare uses taxpayer money for abortions!: One part of the bill says, essentially, that the folks who wrote this bill aren’t touching that issue with a ten foot pole. It basically passes the buck on to the states, who can choose to allow insurance plans that cover abortions, or they can choose to not allow them. Obama may be pro-choice, but that is not reflected in the PPACA. (  Citation: Page 64, sec. 1303 )
Obamacare won’t let me keep the insurance I have!: The PPACA actually very specifically says you can keep the insurance you have if you want. (  Citation: Page 55, sec. 1251 )
Obamacare will make the government get between me and my doctor!: The PPACA very specifically says that the Secretary of Health and Human Services (who is in charge of much of the bill), is absolutely not to promote any regulation that hinders a patient’s ability to get health care, to speak with their doctor, or have access to a full range of treatment options. (  Citation: Page 165, sec. 1554 )
Obamacare has a public option! That makes it bad!: The public option (which would give people the optionof getting insurance from a government-run insurer, thus the name), whether you like it or not, was taken out of the bill before it was passed. You can still see where it used to be, though. (  Citation: Page 92, sec. 1323 (the first one) )
Obamacare will cost trillions and put us in massive debt!: The PPACA will cost a lot of money… at first. $1.7 Trillion. Yikes, right? But that’s just to get the ball rolling. You see, amongst the things built into the bill are new taxes – on insurers, pharmaceutical companies, tanning salons, and a slight increase in taxes on people who make over $200K (an increase of less than 1%). Additionally, the bill cuts some stuff from Medicare that’s not really working, and generally tries to make everything work more efficiently. Also, the increased focus on preventative care (making sure people don’t get sick in the first place), should help to save money the government already spends on emergency care for these same people. Basically, by catching illnesses early, we’re not spending as much on emergency room visits. According to the Congressional Budget Office, who studies these things, the ultimate result is that this bill will reduce the yearly deficit by $210 billion. By the year 2021, the bill will actually have paid itself and started bringing in more money than it cost.
Obamacare is twice as long as War and Peace!: War and Peace is 587,287 words long. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, depending on which version you’re referring to, is between 300,000-400,000 words long. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still very long, but it’s not as long as War and Peace. Also, it bears mention that bills are often long. In 2005, Republicans passed the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users, 2005, which was almost as long as the PPACA, and no one raised a stink about it.
The people who passed Obamacare didn’t even read it!: Are you kidding? They had been reading it over and over for a half a year. This thing was being tossed around in debates for ages. And it went through numerous revisions, but every time it was revised, it was just adding, removing, or changing small parts of it, not rewriting the whole thing. And every time it was revised, the new version of the bill was published online for everyone to see. The final time it was edited, there may not have been time to re-read the entire thing before voting on it, but there wasn’t a need to, because everyone had already read it all. The only thing people needed to read was the revision, which there was plenty of time to do.
Pelosi said something like, “we’ll have to pass the bill before reading it”!: The actual quote is “we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of controversy”, and she’s talking about all the lies and false rumors that were spreading about it. Things had gotten so absurd that by this point many had given up on trying to have an honest dialogue about it, since people kept worrying about things that had no basis in reality. Pelosi was simply trying to say that once the bill is finalized and passed, then everyone can look at it and see, without question, what is actually in the thing (as opposed to some new amendment you heard on the radio that they were going to put in).
I think those are some of the bigger ones. I’ll try to get to more as I think of them.
No where have I seen written that cost of goods should go down if companies start dropping insurance. And if the goods don’t go down, another company can compete with lower prices without health insurance costs. With each item at the supermarket, we pay for their health insurance. Having lower prices for goods gives us leverage to compete with China. Brings back our jobs and our quality items. Has anyone found an article on this?
“Kids can continue to be covered by their parents’ health insurance until they’re 26. (  Citation: Page 15, sec. 2714)”
Do you know how to get this? My sister-in-law just finished college and is having trouble finding a job (so far). My mother-in-law insists that to keep her on their insurance they have to pay an extra $300 a month or something, so they’re refusing to do it.
Chelsey, without knowing the details, I believe your mother-in-law is correct. It’s important to note that PPACA just raises the age of *eligibility*. Prior to PPACA, the day you turned 24, you received a lifetime ban from your parents’ insurance plan, regardless of how much your parents were willing to pay. A lot of insurance plans come in three flavors: single, couple, couple+more. So if your sister-in-law is the youngest child, yeah, keeping her on will mean the difference between couple and couple+more, which could be $300 a month. The plan does not say that the children can stay on *for free*.
I’m disappointed that the quality-of-care metric for doctors (1/1/2015) is still in there. (There were a few versions, so I never saw the final outcome of that part of the law.) These types of “objective metrics,” like those used in education, are typically pushed by business-oriented people (if you aren’t measuring it, you can’t manage it!) that have astonishingly little sector knowledge. As a_real_MD points out, these types of metrics create perverse incentives for rational actors. Not good.
Whatever happened to the “hardship wavers”? I remember at one point there was talk of allowing people who were out of work or who didn’t make enough money to be able to purchase insurance that they would be able to apply for a “hardship waver” to avoid paying the fee. Is that still part of the law or did they do away with that at some point?
Micheal: I understand now. Thank you for clearing that up. While I was reading this entry to my SIL, she told me, “That one is a lie because Mom said *blah blah*” so I wanted to double-check that. Thanks again!
#1) I notice you (the author) neglected (accidentally, I’m sure) to state what would happen if your appeal to the government gets turned down after your coverage for a particular situation gets turned down. If the government turns you down because the cost-effectiveness of the procedure doesn’t work well for them (since they are the single payer, they control the money), how is that NOT a “death panel”?
#2) Of course ObamaCare “allows” you to keep the insurance you have. It doesn’t force you to change your coverage. It eliminates that coverage you already have and forces you into their system. Funny, I thought the reason for the OC system is because our current system doesn’t work. If that’s the case, why would anybody create OC AND allow you to stay with the old system at the same time??? I’m curious to hear how you defend that logic.
#3) Public option? When private insurance is eliminated and businesses are forced to drop their coverages, the public “option” will be the only medical coverage left standing. By definition, that is NOT an OPTION, because OPTIONS imply CHOICES, and you won’t have one once this bill goes into full effect.
#4) Can you name a government program that doesn’t cost MAGNITUDES more than the original cost projections stated it would? I can’t. With OC, we’re STARTING at $1.7 trillion. There is one and only one direction that the cost of a government program goes, and that is UP.
#5) Why would costs go DOWN, anyway? Even assuming OC covers all 310+ million people in the United States (which the Democrat party AND Barack Obama have already admitted it won’t do even after all this), there is no increase in the number of doctors (but a MASSIVE increase in the number of IRS agents), therefore the cost of health care can only skyrocket. (By the way, could somebody please explain to me how 17,000 new IRS agents HELPS the quality and availability of health care in this country???)
#6) Who cares how long “War and Peace” is??? Leo Tolstoy isn’t determining the future of the American health care system any time soon.
#7) Sorry, but the people who passed ObamaCare did NOT read it. Yes, they started reading it AFTER they passed it into law (under very suspicious circumstances), but NOBODY read it BEFORE voting on it. At 2,400 pages, nobody COULD read it before voting on it (and legislation does not read like a book, either), and in fact, some Congressmen cracked jokes about all the bills they routinely vote on and pass without reading them. You can make all the comments you want about all the debates and smaller laws that have been written over the past 100 or so years, but THIS LEGISLATION was NOT READ before it was submitted for a vote.
#8) The recipient of tax credits and other free stuff “MUST” be legal residents of the United States? Does that mean that in order to get tax credits you must first be a legal US resident, or does that mean you must be a resident BECAUSE you’re getting tax credits? Maybe you should get a clarification on that before you make claims about illegals getting access to health care under OC.
#9) “Government efficiency” is an oxymoron, like “central intelligence” and “jumbo shrimp”. Thinking you’ll get more “efficiency” from a bill that’s 2,400 pages long has me rolling on the floor laughing. You cannot be serious.
I really hope this article reflects the “humor” and “hypocrisy” part of this Political Irony website, because if it’s serious…..man, I don’t know what to say, but somebody’s pretty misguided.
Dear OTown Dissenter. I find your comments hilarious. Can you back up any of your claims with anything resembling facts? I’m perfectly willing to rebut your claims point-by-point, but I get the feeling that you aren’t interested in listening. If I’m wrong, let me know and I’ll take the time.
Just for fun, let’s take your first point. The provisions allowing appeal when you are turned down by your insurance company are NOT to the government, as clearly stated. I don’t think you actually read the original post. The appeal process is handled by your insurance company. Second, the government is NOT the single payer. I wish it were, but it isn’t.
So you got that one totally wrong. Care for more?
I was reading something over the weekend (and I can’t remember where I read it right now so I might be totally full of it) re: “Obamacare won’t let me keep the insurance I have.” The jist of the article was that I can keep/get any insurance policy that I want, yes, but that the insurers themselves will likely not make the same policies available to us. That insurers may not find our existing policies to be affordable under new requirements so may change them completely. Does this sound familiar to anyone?
I’ll see if I can find the specific article.
Dear OTown Dissenter –
Since Iron Knee started on 1) – I will take up the rest.
2) – the ACA doesn’t eliminate the coverage you currently have. Some business will (and should) choose to change / eliminate their employee coverage. This happens every year (regardless of ACA) so nothing new here. The ACA is intended to first – expand coverage; second – improve quality of care; and third – curve the cost trend (i.e. reduce costs). The current system works “ok” if you have coverage – if you don’t – ACA will help. It will also work in conjunction with our current system to do 2) and 3).
3) There is no Public Option in the ACA. Unfortunately it was removed to get it passed. To the rest of this rant – if you are over 65 you get Medicare. That is the same as the public option and I don’t hear a whole lot of grief about folks being forced into Medicare…
4) You might be right on this one. But the costs of not doing anything dwarfs the 1.7 T. number over the long run.
5) OK – couple of things just terribly wrong about this. First – it covers 31 million more (and probably less then that due to the SCOTUS decision) not 310 million. Second – there is a doctor shortage, but its not like those folks just now getting coverage don’t go to the doctor. They just don’t go to a primary care physician, they go to more expensive emergency care and end up not paying for it (which costs all of us who do have insurance). Third – the whole IRS agent thing is b.s. The IRS said they need about 1300 more staff (not agents) in their 2013 budget. The 17000 is a Republican scare tactic that has been debunked numerous times.
6) OK whatever…
7) Surprisingly enough, there are people out there that can and do read 2700 pages at a time. For those legislators that cared and who have above a 8th grade education / reading level, they should have and probably did read it. That being said, I think the argument applies to both parties. There is alot of lazy and not so well informed legislators that probably took their talking points from Fox or MSNBC and didn’t read one of the largest peices of legislation in the past 50 years. Shame on them.
8) WTF are you talking about…
9) There is bureaucracy in gov and in the private sector. I have worked in both in health insurance at fairly high levels. The fact that “you” don’t like your government doesn’t really hold much water as an argument for why the ACA isn’t good for America. Sorry
Finally – Cudos to the author, this is one of the better articles I have seen – particulary since it cites all of the points. I didn’t see one citation in you entire rebutal. I realize that “facts” don’t really matter as much as opinion in alot of circles but don’t try and peddle the spin without getting your facts straight.
The plan is a bad plan for small business and self employeed and the younger people let big gov’t and the I.R.S control your life socialism here we come.
Why is socialism bad?
Stan, speaking as someone who has started a whole bunch of small businesses and helped other people start them, and has been self employed quite a bit, I can definitely say that “the plan” is very good for small business and self employed people. The only thing better would be single payer health insurance.
BTW, what is going on? Did we get noticed by Fox News or something? Where did these brain-dead comments come from? Are people getting paid to to distribute misinformation against the ACA?
The wingnut comments like Stan and OTown Dissenter are the standard fare on most comment sites. No logic, no facts, just pure propaganda. They stop talking when you point out their inanity.
Similar silliness on the Higgs Boson stories, wingnuts claiming its all a fake to get more money for science jobs. They don’t understand it. They think it’s magic.
Of course Arthur C. Clarke said any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, so that explains physics – its too advanced for them. And, apparently so is economics and climatology.
I just don’t believe this- almost everything positive and basically nothing- or very little- negative.
I have been alive too long to be so fooled by idealistic pie in the sky and I know there are no free lunches.
This isn’t the whole story. You can be sure of that.
The fact that this article tries to vindicate airhead Pelosi only makes me all the more suspicious.
Pelosi is an unbelievable ditz, completely out to lunch and could not get elected anyplace but San Francisco.
I have some misgivings that Amerikanisch seems to have expressed. It just seems to good. But it is better than what we have had.
Is the insurance industry really that big a part of medical costs?
is it true all americans will be required to have a radio frequency identification chip (RFID) implanted in their hands or forehead to access medical care?
Actually, we should have RFID chips implanted in people who start silly rumors about health care. 🙂
Amerikanisch: Conservative propaganda. The article doesn’t attempt to “vindicate Pelosi”, it only quotes WHAT SHE ACTUALLY SAID instead of the conservative propaganda about what she said. And this article is NOT all positive – just an accurate reflection of what the act contins.
Nor is it all positive. It is not a positive to cut medical flexspending accounts in half and restrict them to only being used for medication. That single provision will cost me abuot $1,000 next year.
It is always the conservative wingnut approach to claim that a factual accounting isn’t “right” because it doesn’t fit their pre-conceived narrative. Like the claim that Politifact (a non-partisan fact checking organization) is a liberal front because it finds Republicans lying about 3 times as often as Democrats. Have you considered that maybe they DO LIE three times as often?
RK – yes, the insurance industry itself is a significant part of the medical costs. The primary causes of US medical costs being significantly hjigher (for worse outcomes) than countries with social medicial systems are, in order:
1) Pharmaceutical costs (7 times higher in the US than anywhere else)
2) The for-profit system of insurance. There is no real competition in insurance as on average only 2 providers cover any given state, so proices are not “competitive” because it isnt a free market
3) The for-profit system of most providers. As most providers are also for profit businesses, they too try to maximize profits – so, for example, incentivizing Medicare patients to go to the emergency rooms because they make a higher profit on those treatements – and we pay a much higher cost.
4) Overuse of reactive treatments like emergency rooms instead of proactive, preventive care.
5) The legal burden of malpractice insurance (which goes up every year and the more experience a doctor has, the more it costs them because eventually they will all get sued) and defensive medical practices (to minimize being sued). Actual costs of malpractive awards are not that high in comparison.
Obamacare is not only imprefect, it is a far cry from what we really need – but it is far better than what we had before, so we should support it.
ObamaCare has a provision that no one over the age of 72 may be treated for cancer. Sounds like a Death Panel to me…
75% of the tax burden for ObamaCare also falls on people making less than $125,000 a year. It is misleading to suggest only those making over $200,000 will feel the sting.
Jed, Nobody in here is going to listen to you unless you provide some references for your silly claims.
You’re more than welcome to join in the discussion, but you’re going to have to do better than that.