Friday, June 29, 2012

What exactly is "Obamacare"?

I ran across this fairly concise yet thorough overview of what exactly the provisions of the Affordable Care Act (affectionately known as ObamaCare) at the web site Reddit.com

Rather than completely republish the article, I will merely link to it below. It is presented in simple information points. I encourage you to browse the key points; whoever did prepared this did an excellent job.


The underlying opposition to the Affordable Care Act come primarily from those who claim they don't want government making medical decisions about their health care. But just under half our population is already currently receiving government managed health through Medicare and Medicaid with few complaints and at administrative costs far under that of private sector insurance companies which have a profit incentive to reduce costs. Employees of government medical insurance providers do not earn multi-million dollar bonuses and salaries.

It is an established fact that the USA has the highest medical costs with the lowest outcomes of any developed country. The facts speak for themselves. If you don't like the Affordable Care act, what is your alternative in a system where these costs increase far greater then inflation every year? Opponents, I'm listening.

27 comments:

Wow, that was awkward said...

Robert, don't try to be rational and display sound reasoning when it comes to politics! Thank goodness this passed!

Robert the Skeptic said...

Awkward *Slaps his forehead with the palm of his hand*... What was I thinking!?!?

Beach Bum said...

Was just watching a rerun of last night's Cobert Report. That genius Stephen just proclaimed proudly that "Romneycare" was just declared constitutional. He went on to say that the modest Mitt would never take credit for his idea.

Irony can be one mean bitch.

Returning to the question of what is Obamacare to me? It is a beginning, a good beginning, especially with the Hell Obama had to go through to get it passed but nothing good is ever easy.

billy pilgrim said...

it's insurance reform. i think you need a little health reform to try and tackle the 100 million obese ticking time bombs.

healthy increases in tobacco and alcohol taxes as well as a junk food tax would be a good start.

chlost said...

I just don't understand the complaints about the "government" deciding healthcare issues. The insurance companies have been practicing medicine for decades now. Nothing your doctor recommends can be done without insurance approval, so that becomes the standard practice model. My doctor prescribes a medication, but if the insurance company does not cover it, I can't have it. No one complains much about that.

Robert the Skeptic said...

Beach Bum I love it, what a pie-in-the-face for Romney. During the presidential debates Obama should thank Romney for providing the foundation for his health care plan.

Billy Oh no, "Nanny Government" telling citizens what they can and cannot eat - no, that'll never fly in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.

Chlost Just went through that myself... incurred an expensive procedure at the doctor's office, waited two weeks thinking they were getting 'prior approval', then AFTER I incurred the expense the insurance company tells me it's not covered! There ought to be a law against that!! Yes, it's not government bureaucrats but private insurance company bureaucrats coming between me and my doctors. When will people get a clue?

Infidel753 said...

Chlost makes a point which has always struck me about this. If a government agency makes decisions that hurt people, it can ultimately be held accountable by the public, because it's answerable to politicians, who want votes. An insurance company that makes similar decisions is accountable to nobody.

Jono said...

I had cancer last year and my treatment decision was based largely on what the insurance would cover. After I paid in my deductible which was about 20% of my annual take home pay. Yes, it is the insurance companies, not doctors, that ultimately determine what medical care you will or will not receive.That is assuming you even have or can afford insurance. The Affordable Care Act is a start, but dismantling insurance companies would be a good next step. Single payer would be much more efficient.

Rubye Jack said...

Part of me likes to think it is simply lack of education. But then I realize that those against decent healthcare obviously don't think.

Infidel753 said...

RJ: "Think"? You're talking about people who are threatening en masse to move to Canada to avoid socialized medicine. The average fern is an intellectual giant by comparison.

Kay Dennison said...

Well said. I am so tired of this. The bottom line is that the rest of the civilized world has universal healthcare -- people are dying because of its lack.

@Infidel753: LOL I love your analogy!!!

Rush says if it is passed, he's going to Costa Rica (which has universal healthcare. Sounds like a winner to me!!!!

goatman said...

Doesn't seem to be much opposition here - choir preaching abounds.
You may have to start a republican/teaparty blog to get the opposing view.
But please don't . . .

Robert the Skeptic said...

Infidel Well the insurance company IS accountable to their sharheolders.

Jono Indeed, in all this health care debate, I haven't heard people complain about the level of care they receive under Medicare, only from providers who don't like the amounts Medicare pays them... amounts that rise double-percentage points each year.

Rubye The same people who are against medical care reform are also against education being affordable. The 1% are "deserving" because they somehow have earned the right.

Robert the Skeptic said...

Infidel I heard about that threat of nuts saying they were going to move to Canada to avoid socialized medicine... probably the exact same group who demand government stay out of their Medicare!! I'm guessing Canada will refuse to admit them claiming they have already reached their quota of Morons.

Kay Well you see, the USA doesn't fall under the guise of "civilized", so we have an out. BTW, if you aren't following Infidel753's blog, you need to; extremely well written.

Goatman A Republican/Tea Party blog would require little content - Simply whatever Obama is for, they are against and Liberals = Communists. Nothing more to write!

Kay Dennison said...

LOL I knew that!!! And yeah, I added Infidel, today -- my list is getting far too long. Time to do some editing!

Ingineer66 said...

One of the things that I did not like about it is buried in the thousands of pages are several references to racial preferences. We are supposed to be a colorblind society, but this law expands color based preference for medical schools, nursing schools, insurance companies, health clinics and more.

Robert the Skeptic said...

Kay Difficult to keep up with so many blogs.

Ingineer I didn't know the new law contained that. What do you suppose the rationale' behind that is?

MartyrMom said...

I'm curious about what INGINEER's is talking about. Can you reference it?Robert, I asked to one of my very conservative friends your same question. She had no good reasons tor opposing this except government telling us what we can to do. When I brought up the conservative view on abortion she backed up. Florida's governor has said he will not comply,......I'm wondering if he'll get re elected.

Ingineer66 said...

I don't know what the real or perceived rational was. I just know it will create new bureaucracies to oversee all the new rules and increase costs with all the new reporting requirements to make sure that protected classes are given wha the law says they should be given.

Ingineer66 said...

When the bill was being voted on, I downloaded it and skimmed through it. I was shocked how many references there were to race. I guess this is part of that "We have to pass it to find out what's in it" that Ms. Pelosi spoke about.

Robert the Skeptic said...

MartyrMom Florida's governor might want to speak to his health insurance buddies in the business first... the law mandates a mandatory whole new customer base for them. They might not be all that excited to have their governor step between them and a whole lot of paying customers!

Imagineer Well lots of laws have boilerplate about not discriminating based on race, gender, etc. Your implication is that the law is granting some privileges to specific racial categories that the rest of us won't have... is that the case?

I alwasy chuckle at the equation of the term "bureaucrats" and "government" which kind of reeks of stereotyping. Anecdotally talking with my buddy who has been on Medicare for the last three years has no complaints. I, on the other hand, am constantly on the phone wrangling with Providence who either refuses payment or pays the incorrect amounts. Which entity do I consider is run by "bureaucrats"?

Murr Brewster said...

That's exactly what I want to ask them. What is it about the current system that you like so well?

Robert the Skeptic said...

Murr I think most people really take a hankering to their "Non-government Medicare". Why would anyone want the Guver-Mint to mess that all up?

Ingineer66 said...

I don't pick on government employees just because of who they work for. There are very many hard working and necessary government workers. But I am not a fan of the job for life no matter what you do government situation. And adding a bunch more employees that really have nothing to do with healthcare seems like a waste of money at time when money is tight.

Robert the Skeptic said...

Imagineer Thanks for reading and commenting, I do appreciate your perspective. - I'm going to preface my reply with the admission that for the first half of my career I worked in the private sector (banking), second half in government (social services). I had held a lot of myths about government and taxes and waste... I even voted for Reagan back then. My "off the top of my head opinions" about government changed when I went to work for it. You can read about my evolution between these two divergent worlds here.

My wife, as an example, was a Children's Protective Services caseworker, my brother-in-law was a fisheries hatchery manager. These careers (and I use the term "careers" rather than jobs) do not exist in the private sector. In my wife's case it requires a master's degree, years of experience to become proficient. Comparing these to working in some management position at different business concerns is like comparing apples against bicycles.

The fact remains that the US has the most expensive cost deliverry whether you measure it by cost-per-patient, percentage of GDP or medical outcomes... hands down. It's not rocket science and other countries are delivering it better than we are. Believe me, when you are looking at having a yard sale to pay for your kids chemo or losing your house due to bankruptcy over medical bills, you have to ask yourself the question that Murr asked - what is it about the current system that you like?

Quote: "... the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has found that administrative costs under the public Medicare plan are less than 2 percent of expenditures, compared with approximately 11 percent of spending by private plans under Medicare Advantage." NY TImes

Will Wagner said...

Wow, you end your article by asking opponents what the alternatives are. Have you been living in a cave? This is exactly the problem with you Obama supporters - you tune out when anyone else speaks. There are lots of reasons why medical costs are high here, and many folks have proposed solutions that don't involve government takeover. If you don't want to acknowledge those alternate solutions, fine, but then don't stand there and preach that there aren't any.

Robert the Skeptic said...

Will You made some very sweeping generalizations about me personally and you put words in my mouth. You then make unsubstantiated statements but provided no argument, no links, no references... I sought the wisdom from your blog but... apparently you don't have one. I've spent more effort than you deserve responding to your rudeness.