Is It Really A Failure?
So this is strictly an opinion piece and I do not care which side of the aisle you sit on, Republican or Democrat. As for me, I am squarely in the middle and can lean to the right or left depending on the issue. This is an issue i feel passionate about.
Today, July 28, 2017, is the day that all attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, (ACA), affectionately called Obamacare failed. There will be no attempts in the near future. Actually, the Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell ® Kentucky, stated,” it is time to move on.”. The bills that have been introduced have been defeated and there is no point in wasting more legislative efforts to a dead cause.
For Those That Have Obamacare
What this means is that life will continue to move forward as it has since 2013 when Obamacare started enrolling the more than 20 million people who were without health care. Is this a good thing? I believe it is more complex than a yes or no answer. Clearly there are some things that are really good about the ACA, Obamacare. And yes there are some parts not so good. Unfortunately i do not believe there will ever be a solution acceptable to all. There are far too many forces at work to reach a satisfactory compromise.
Let’s look at the facts as we know them. First, there are many people such as myself that the ACA has benefited greatly. How did i benefit? I have Asthma and Hypertension, I have a daughter with Asthma and Eczema, I have a Step-Son who is Autistic. I am a small business owner without the ability to buy into a large group policy which pre-existing conditions are usually waived for. As a matter of fact, i do not believe I could have gotten affordable insurance for my family if not for Obamacare. I forgot to mention, I am an Insurance Broker and no I do not sell ACA policies, I work strictly with Medicare clients. I have to ask the question, is it fair that I go to work everyday as an average american business owner who pays taxes, employs others, shops and gives back in my local community and not have access to healthcare in the greatest country in the world? My answer is NO!
Many small business owners and people who are unable to garner full time work where they have access to healthcare, have benefited greatly from the ACA. As more companies utilize employees with less than full time hours so they can save money that would be spent on benefits, those employees at least deserve to have an option of affordable healthcare for themselves and their families. I have often heard the debate brought up about healthcare being a privilege and not a right, which i somewhat agree with, but I do believe that every person living in our country should have access to healthcare if they are a contributing member of our society. If left to the Insurance Companies every applicant for healthcare insurance would be under 40, taking no medication, and jogging 5 miles a day. I exaggerate, but I am not to far off base.
Are Taxes On The Wealthy and Industry Giants Fair?
Should people who make a lot of money through their hard work be penalized with higher taxation to subsidize less fortunate people? Absolutely not. Why? Because if you strapped on your boots at a young age and made good choices and in the process became very successful, you should not be forced to give money away in taxation to support other people who may have made bad or at least different choices in life. That is not what makes this country great, penalizing those who achieve success.
Should Pharmaceutical, Insurance, and Medical Device manufactures pay an extra taxation? This is a trick subject because I rarely believe in high taxation, but we all know that many of these companies gouge the market with inflated prices to garner more earning and drive the price of their stocks up for shareholders. When you get get a drug in America for $90,000 for a 12 week treatment, but you can hop on a plane and get the same drug in India for $4/day, something is way out of bounds with our elected officials allowing this. So I guess my answer is yes. If these financially successful companies want to keep charging exorbitant prices for their services, then they should give back in additional taxation. Better yet they should see that more people have access to insurance gives them more opportunities to sell their product.
Should There Be A Penalty?
Finally, let’s talk about the penalty if you should choose not to participate in Obamacare. The Supreme Court basically ruled it is just another form of taxation. But is it fair? Well let’s look at the flipside. Prior to Obamacare, and even still so today, people use the Emergency Room like a clinic or their own personal Doctor’s office. Yes, some of the people who flat out refused to get insurance, but have to pay a penalty use the ER as it was designed to treat everything from a hangnail to a severe heart attack. Then after using the ER and getting a bill charging them $1000- $50,000+, they do not pay it. This practice was going on long before Obamacare and will be going on for a long time to come. So, how do these hospitals recoup this money if not for getting assistance from the government. Do the IRS penalties go to the hospitals? I am not sure, but I would sure hope so. Hospitals are not the money making machines people think they are. They actually run on very narrow profit margins and I for one would like the Hospital near me to be open when I need it.
Certainly there are many more nuances we could bring up about Obamacare and why it is so bad, or why it is so good. But, at the end of the day, until I see something better available to myself and other hardworking Americans that does not penalize for having pre-existing health issues, I am going to say Hurrah for today! My family will continue to have access to healthcare and we will continue to pay taxes and I will be able to run my small business with one less worry on the table.