Thursday, May 2, 2013

Uh-Oh! The Full Impact of Obamacare Is Just Around the Corner

My friend Sally just got back from Walgreen’s. She has no insurance so she had to pay $120 dollars out of pocket for her prescription. I can get that medication with my insurance coverage for less than a third of that, but she has no choice. Since she isn’t poor enough to qualify for most pharmaceutical companies' patient assistance programs, she falls between the cracks. Since she has a pre-existing condition, she is unable to purchase insurance as an individual and she does not have insurance through her employer. The medication is a necessity for her continued stable health. She’s counting the days until she can get insurance in 2014 under Obamacare i.e.The Affordable Health Care Act.     

Probably because so many are looking forward to Obamacare, the same parties who tried to scare the public before its passage are at it again dangling the specter of lost freedom before our eyes. That’s right. In January 2014, the main clauses of the Affordable Health Care Act will go into effect. Insurance Companies will not be allowed to deny people healthcare coverage because they have pre-existing conditions and thus need medical care. State exchanges will be available for people who don’t have coverage through their work to choose insurance. In those states allowing it, Medicaid will be extended to single adults whose income is less than 133% of the poverty rate. Everyone will be required to either have health insurance or pay a fine, but subsidies to pay for it will be available to those who can’t afford the insurance premiums.

They're trying to scare us with the vision of a sea of paperwork. Yes, there will be paperwork and while it's not the most fun thing to do, is it that threatening? This is what's happening:Those who want the subsidies can start applying on October 1st, 2013. Because the subsidies are only given to those with low incomes, people who want them will have to complete applications. The applications are five pages long and ask for financial information. If they qualify, they will have to complete another form about their health and choose a provider. Those who believe that health care should remain a privilege of those lucky enough to either have insurance through work or be able to afford it on their own are touting this development as an attack on our freedom. They tell us it’s another layer of bureaucracy lurking that will strangle our freedom loving souls.

Let’s get real. Who ever applied for a means-tested benefit without completing forms and providing financial information? For someone who may not have had access to health care for years filling out a form to finally receive it seems like a small price to pay. I doubt if those benefiting are really going to be upset by it. All the alarming stories being disseminated seem like yet another attempt by those opposed to the Affordable Health Care Act to discredit it. To those who are waiting impatiently for these clauses to take effect, here’s to your continued good health. I hope you stay healthy until at least 2014. At long last, it is just around the corner.



No comments: