Defend and Amend the Affordable Care Act

What is it about the Affordable Care Act that makes people so viscerally opposed? The ACA seems so fundamentally irritating some Americans insist we repeal it instead of heal it. Repealing it would be tragic.

Feel the anger in the following quotes from website

“A right to services without charge, that forces someone else to provide for you, does not and should not ever exist.” Rep. John Campbell, ( R-CA).

Sir, those rights exist. I’m forced to provide teachers’ services in a free education of everybody else’s children despite mine being grown and gone. The US Supreme Court mandated that the public provide legal services to the poor to guarantee their rights to a fair trial.

“Healthcare is not a right. The Declaration of Independence guarantees the right to ‘pursue happiness,’ not the right to happiness.”

Are people able to pursue happiness if they die because they’re denied healthcare to cure breast or prostate cancer?

“Healthcare is not a right because the preamble of the Constitution says the purpose of government is to ‘promote’ the general welfare, not provide it.” People resent providing aid to the poor because they believe charity creates incentives to be lazy and leads to a welfare state.

The ACA does NOT PROVIDE free medical services. The ACA PROMOTES the general welfare with more affordable healthcare insurance and lower numbers of uninsured through expanded public and private insurance coverage, although it does subsidize the insurance for Medicaid. The Congressional Budget Office estimates the ACA will lower healthcare costs by increasing preventive medicine and less emergency care.

The ACA has accomplished several of those goals according to Health and Human Services (HHS). Three million young adults are on their parents’ health policies. Small businesses providing insurance coverage for less than 50 full-time equivalent employees are receiving tax credits. People with pre-existing conditions can’t be denied healthcare. There are no lifetime limits on total benefits. Seven million people have enrolled since October, more than originally forecast.

Problems need fixing. People were furious when they received letters canceling their insurance even though Obama promised people could keep their insurance. The problem was new insurance had to provide all the required benefits, meaning insurers had to raise rates or drop plans.What a mess!

The HHS permitted those people to continue their coverage until at least 2015, but with the warning their insurance doesn’t have all the ACA benefits. The insurance companies and the insured are searching for other options. But both are probably irritated and anxious.

Mandates have created a furor, but mandates are part of a democracy. Individuals and businesses are mandated constantly for a perceived public good. People are mandated to have automobile insurance and use ethanol fuel. I was mandated to pay taxes for Medicare and Social Security and am benefitting from them.

Mandated health insurance is designed to broaden coverage, cut individual costs and get people to use higher quality and less expensive preventative care. I consider the mandates essential for a desirable public good.

Employer mandates have infuriated some businesses. Some small businesses with 50-99 full time equivalent employees resisted the employer mandate to provide a qualified insurance plan to their employees or pay a per month “Employer Shared Responsibility Payment,” a federal tax.

The payment is $2,000 for per full-time employee, exempting the first 30. An employer with 55 employees would pay for 25 employees, a total of $50,000.

Businesses with 50-99 employees were given a reprieve until 2016 and employers with more than 100 employees until 2015, leaving some owners relieved but simmering.

The ACA has caused some employees to have their hours cut by employers who do not provide health insurance and are close to the limits of 25, 50 or a100 full-time equivalent employees. The website admits it’s a loophole affecting “less than a fraction of a percent of firms in the U.S., [but] many Americans are finding their hours cut.”

I support the Employer Shared Responsibility Payment for the desired public good.

Nevertheless, the small business problems should be corrected.

Tragically the Republicans demand repeal and Democrats are not defending the ACA.

The ACA is a public good that has already improved healthcare in the U.S.  It deserves to be defended, and amended.

About Russellsclearskies

Writing to poke fun at a retired klutz like me who's curiously exploring the absurdities and complexities of the good life. .
This entry was posted in Doing Justice and Having Compassion, Economics, Mercy and Humility, Politics and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Defend and Amend the Affordable Care Act

  1. Joann Anderson says:

    Well written, Jim. One question. First sentence, paragraph 4, “Sir, those right exist.” Those is plural, what about adding an “s” to right to make it plural also? Thanks. Joann


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