It’s remarkable to me that a law intended to help people who seem to need it the most has turned into such a political football.
It turns out that Jane and I are covered by insurance, we chip in a bit, our employer a bit, and there’s a convoluted system of deductibles and copays. We then struggle to do the math and put some pretax money into a flexible spending account to make our co-pays tax free.
I know that not everyone is so fortunate, I know a gal who is not able to work, and spends more than half her monthly worker’s comp payment towards insurance. But someone living on such a low income would not be expected to pay more than about 6% toward their insurance premium, so when the Affordable Care Act kicks in, she will see an upside to her spendable money of most of her current premium.
So far, the focus has been on the penalty aspect of Obamacare, instead of the benefit the needy will receive. As I read the numbers that would apply to low income families with 2 kids, they will be able to purchase insurance that would now cost $12000 per year for $2200. When you read the Summary of New Health Reform Law, you find that for the 90%, the plan looks to be a positive thing. I arbitrarily choose 90% because I know that this is a zero-sum game, someone needs to pay the supplement for those who are currently uninsured but will receive a discounted rate. For all of the money government wastes, the pork barrel spending, the bridges to nowhere, I’d be happy to pay a bit more knowing my money will keep a lower income family’s child from getting the care she needs.
The document isn’t that long, 13 pages compared to the near 100 pages of the recent supreme court ruling. As Kay Bell who writes at Don’t Mess With Taxes has discovered, it’s Congress who want to kill this plan because Killing Obamacare means better health benefits for members of Congress. You realize, our Congressfolk are above and beyond any of the laws they make for us common folk. They are not part of the social security system, and have medical coverage you or I would really envy.
Our Healthcare System is broken, and I can’t say that Obamacare will fix every aspect of it, but I think it’s a step in the right direction. Those who are uninsured won’t be turned away for emergency care, nor should they be, and a system to include them in the process is a good step in the right direction, in my opinion.
Last, a website, ObamaCare, The Truth, The Lies, offered an infographic on What Obamacare Means to New Yorkers. It focused on the added cost, the penalty for people of different incomes and showed their total tax burden. Unfortunately, the accounting firm that offered the numbers didn’t calculate the taxes correctly. They published number that showed a tax on one’s gross income, skipping the forms, and all potential adjustments. A single gal making $80,000 does not have a taxable income of $80,000. I guess they never read my article on marginal rates.