June 28th, 2012

How Will Obamacare Affect You?

As you well know by now, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as “Obamacare,” passed by a narrow 5-4 margin in the Supreme Court today – setting off a firestorm of reactions from both sides of the political aisle. Some view the landmark decision as a massive overstepping of bounds by the government, while others see it as a step forward for society. Regardless of your opinion of this law, it will no doubt have an effect on your life.


So how will this new law affect you? Here’s a simple breakdown by CNN, explaining how the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will affect you. The highlights are as follows:

The uninsured


  • The individual mandate requires Americans to purchase healthcare starting in 2014, or face a penalty.
  • In 2014, the penalty for not buying insurance will be $285 per family (or 1% of income). In 2016 it will be $2,085 (or 2.5% of income).


The insured


  • Because the requirement remains for people to have or buy insurance, the revenue stream designed to help pay for the law remains in place. So insured Americans may be avoiding a spike in premiums that could have resulted if the high court had tossed out the individual mandate but left other requirements on insurers in place.


Young adults


  • The law requires insurers to cover the children of those they insure up to age 26.
  • About 2.5 million young adults from age 19 to 25 obtained health coverage as a result of the Affordable Care Act, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


People with pre-existing conditions


  • Insurers are required to cover people with pre-existing medical conditions.
  • Children under the age of 19 can no longer have their benefits limited or denied because of a pre-existing condition.
  • Insurers will no longer be able to use pre-existing conditions to exclude, limit, or set unrealistic rates on coverage.


All taxpayers


  • There is heated dispute over what impact the health care law will have on the country over the long term.
  • The federal government is set to spend more than $1 trillion over the next decade to subsidize coverage and expand eligibility for Medicaid.


Small business owners


  • Small firms with more than 50 full-time employees would have to provide coverage or face expensive fines.


While it’s unclear how the law will affect the country in the long-term, it will no doubt be a highly controversial law for years to come, and could have a major impact on this year’s elections. The pros and cons of this law are many, but I want to hear from you!

Tell me, do you think the Supreme Court made the right decision by upholding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act? (While this is a hotly-contested topic, please be respectful of the opinions of others when commenting).

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