One of the biggest topics in the United States this year has been ObamaCare. The cost of health care has been skyrocketing for years, making it unaffordable for many people. The people who cannot afford it wind up without any health insurance at all and the cost of caring for them when they are sick gets passed on to all Americans in the form of higher insurance premiums. The Affordable Care Act was made to alleviate this problem.The official name for "ObamaCare" is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. ObamaCare was signed into law to reform the health care industry. The Act was signed by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010 and was signed by the Supreme Court on June 28, 2012. Even though the Act was passed over a year ago, people were just allowed to apply for ObamaCare on October 1st of this year. People can only apply for ObamaCare from October 1st of 2013 to March 31, 2014. Some aspects of ObamaCare will take until 2022 to be in effect. After you apply and are accepted for ObamaCare, you will have an alternative to private insurance. The plan for ObamaCare is not to replace private insurance, it is just an alternative for people who can't afford private insurance.
The main goal of ObamaCare is to be able to give more Americans access to affordable, as well as quality health insurance and to reduce the growth in health care spending in the United States. ObamaCare does not replace private insurance, so if you have coverage that you like you can keep it. There are a few rights, benefits, and protections that benefit Americans. Some of these rights are allowing children to stay on parents plans until age 26, insurance companies are not allowed to drop you when you are sick, insurance companies will be prohibited from making unjustified rate hikes.
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ObamaCare has done away with life time and annual limits and requires all insurers to cover people with pre-existing conditions. Another added benefit is that all insurance plans are required to cover preventative services such as yearly check ups, immunization's and screenings with no out of pocket costs.
There is a Tax credit to subsidize costs for low to middle class Americans.
There is also a Tax credit for small businesses. Both of these credits are to start in 2014. For large employers who provide full time employees with health insurance, an Employer Mandate goes into effect in 2015. Individual mandates go into effect in 2014. If individuals do not have health insurance they will have to pay a fee or get an exemption, based on their income. The fee for not having insurance is paid through your Federal Income Tax Return. A lot of employers in the United States have decided not to insure there employees, which has forced a lot more people to find there own individual health plan.
ObamaCare created marketplaces for state health insurances. They are also known as exchanges. Exchanges are where families, individuals, and small businesses can shop for subsidized insurance. You can also find out if you qualify for Medicare or Medicaid in the marketplace. Individuals making less than forty six thousand dollars per year or less than ninety five thousand as a family could be eligible for low cost or free insurance. Medicare is not part of the marketplace health insurance, they advise that if you have Medicare, that you should keep it. It is also supposed to help close the Medicare Part D donut hole, as well as give seniors access to cheaper prescriptions.
A movement to defund ObamaCare recently lead to a Government Shutdown on October 1st through October 18th 2013. House Republicans were refusing to pass a budget unless it included defunding, delaying, or repealing parts of the Act. Eventually the stalemate ended when the republicans dropped their demands. While the republicans stubbornly held firm to their ideals, the entire country suffered.
The biggest issue with ObamaCare so far has been the website. When people go onto the website to apply for ObamaCare, the website freezes and crashes. When you call the help line you can not get through, and when you do get through, you get referred back to the website. If not enough people apply for ObamaCare because they are frustrated with the website, than the entire system could collapse due to insufficient funding. It only works if everybody pays into it. Another issue with the website is that they overpaid for it to be built. The Government paid five hundred million dollars for the website to be built when they could have paid a lot less for a better job. The Government also used a Canadian to company design the website and not an American company. Many people are upset with the governments choice.
In conclusion only time will tell if the program is a success or a failure. Many of the ideas and principles of ObamaCare sound great but the practical implementation of the program is problematic. I personally do not know if ObamaCare will work, but I hope it will because private healthcare is very expensive and getting harder and harder to pay for.
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