When it comes to the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, a large percentage of the public is completely misinformed about what the law actually entails. Many of these misconceptions have been intentionally cultivated by political pundits from both the left and the right, and predictably people have latched on to the distortions which most closely fit into their world view. Let's remove all the party politics and set the record straight.
One the most prevalent misconceptions about ObamaCare is that it is socialized medicine. Some view this as good thing, others view it as a bad thing, but that debate irrelevant because it simply isn't true.
Socialized medicine like they have in France, provides all citizens with healthcare services regardless of their income bracket and pays for it through taxes. That's not what Obamacare does at all. ObamaCare is designed to force every person in the United States to acquire health insurance from private companies, regardless of where you get it. If your employer doesn't provide it then you must purchase it on your own. If you don't, you will be penalized and that penalty will be collected by IRS. This is referred to as the individual mandate. According to a recent Gallup poll 43% of uninsured Americans are completely unaware that the individual mandate (and the penalty associated with it) exists at all. The IRS however will clear that up for people soon enough.
40% unaware of individual mandate: http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch/health-reform-implementation/308799-poll-many-uninsured-are-unaware-of-individual-mandate
Now most conservatives were outraged by the individual mandate, while most liberals came out in its defense. This is ironic beyond belief. The idea for the individual mandate actually originated from The Heritage Foundation, a "conservative" think tank who now is coming out attacking ObamaCare. ObamaCare is modeled after the system put in place in Massachusetts by Mitt Romney (aka RomneyCare). Both sides were hoping you wouldn't notice that little detail.
Heritage Foundation invented the individual mandate:http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2011/10/20/how-a-conservative-think-tank-invented-the-individual-mandate
Heritage Foundation attacking ObamaCare:http://blog.heritage.org/2013/10/28/obamacare-hurts-america-the-story-of-los-angeles-sleep-consultant-natalie-willis
How RomneyCare foretells Obamacare's failure: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20131029/OPINION01/310290010/Romneycare-foretells-Obamacare-failure
There has also been quite a bit of disinformation surrounding the penalties. The penalty for not buying insurance was set up to increase gradually. In 2014 the minimal penalty is $95 or 1% of taxable income (whichever is larger), in 2015 it is $325 or 2% of taxable income, and in 2016 it is $695 or 2.5% of taxable income. The maximum penalty per family is currently capped at no more than 300% of the minimum penalty (so in 2016 that would be $695 x 300% = $2,085). Of course you'd have to be pretty naive to think that these minimum penalties won't be increased over time. Remember when the income tax was first implemented most of the population only had to pay 1% of their paychecks to the Federal government. The percentage is obviously much higher now.
The penalty for not buying insurance starts small and grows each year to reduce backlash. It also gives the laws backers a convenient talking point. After all $95 is no big deal. Of course you only get a penalty that low if you make less than $9,500 a year, which is well below the poverty line in the U.S. That minimum penalty, which goes up to $695 in 2016 may not seem like much to the uber-wealthy congressmen who wrote this bill, but for those scraping by month to month it would be a very painful blow. This is of course where the insurance subsidies come in. Many of those in the lower income brackets will qualify for tax breaks to cover part of their insurance cost if they participate. This sounds kinda like socialism, but the big difference is this: in socialism there is no middle man. With Obamacare the insurance companies are still getting paid the full amount and those insurance companies are making a profit. So in reality this isn't socialism, it's not even capitalism, it's corporatism.
Penalties for not participating in ObamaCare:http://www.smc.org/content/what-do-you-need-know-about-individual-mandate-employer-mandate-and-free-rider-penalty
Individual mandate penalties:http://www.thehealthplan.com/Reform/IndividualMandate.aspx
Many families don't qualify for the subsidies: http://money.cnn.com/2013/10/10/news/economy/obamacare-families/
And this brings us to the crux of the issue: the permanent middle man. Health insurance was originally intended as a rarely used protection to cover major sicknesses or injuries. You would still pay for your normal doctor visits when you needed them, but if you got hit by a bus and weren't able to work your insurance would make sure that your hospital bills got covered. Kind of like car insurance. Since then, the situation has gradually evolved to the point where insurance is used to cover virtually everything, from routine checkups to pharmaceuticals. People don't want to pay anything directly, they want the insurance companies to cover it, and the market has adapted to this expectation. It's not hard to understand how some would see this as a positive development, after all who doesn't like free stuff. Just one problem, it's not free, in fact this trend has led to radically higher insurance premiums and medical costs.
Using health insurance to cover routine expenses like checkups and antibiotics is like having gasoline insurance for your car. You still end up paying for the product in question, but you inherently end up paying more because you have a middle man between you and the seller, and that middle man is making a profit.
Obamacare takes this already distorted system and codifies it into law, forcing you to pay that middle man and using state intimidation in the form of the IRS to back it up. This provides health insurance companies with a captive customer base that has no way out.
Now supporters will tell you that the individual mandate is necessary to keep insurance prices from rising, after all the law is called the Affordable Health Care Act, but as it turns out for most insurance premiums are dramatically rising as the law rolls out. According to Forbes initial figures indicate that premiums will rise 99% for men and 62% for women on average nation wide with some states seeing increases of 300%. Of course if you in a low income bracket these massive increases are somewhat offset by the federal subsidies, but again the insurance companies still get paid the full amount. So where is that money going to come from? You could say the government is going to pay for it, but the Federal government is already 17 trillion dollars in debt, and that debt is growing faster every day. To pin all your hopes on the U.S. government covering the tab or to assume that you are going to get something for nothing is just magical thinking.
Mainstream pundits say that the individual mandate is necessary to prevent cost from rising:http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/the-exchange/without-individual-mandate-obamacare-costs-rise-191406849.html
Obamacare Will Increase Avg. Individual-Market Insurance Premiums By 99% For Men, 62% For Women :http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2013/09/25/double-down-obamacare-will-increase-avg-individual-market-insurance-premiums-by-99-for-men-62-for-women/
Californians hit with sticker shock:http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-health-sticker-shock-20131027,0,2756077.story#axzz2ixW5YJH4
North Carolina massive price increases: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/10/06/4365331/insurance-premium-increases-shock.html#.Um7LCyRQ2rL
Here's what it comes down to: this law is a manifestation of short sighted greed. It's a half baked scheme designed to siphon money out of the middle class and line the pockets of the filthy rich. That captive customer base, with the corporate welfare propping it up translates into big profits for insurance companies. According to the New York Times over the last 12 months, the stock prices of the top five publicly traded health insurance companies have increased by an average of 32 percent, while the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index has risen by just 24 percent.
Insurance companies see their stock prices rising disproportionately with the ObamaCare rollout:http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/27/business/insurers-stocks-unhurt-by-the-dawn-of-obamacare.html?_r=0
This shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. The terms of ObamaCare were negotiated behind closed doors between insurance executives and government officials even though Obama promised that those negotiations would be broadcast over c-span.
Gibbs refuses to answer questions about Obama's about face: http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052748703481004574646560762972536
What did you think would be the result of those closed door meetings? Did you really think that the insurance companies would be looking out for the interest of the people?
Nothing new here guys, it's just good old fashioned greed and corruption. What you thought Obama was going be looking out for your interest? The same Obama who signed the NDAA giving the military the power to detain anyone indefinitely without trial? The same Obama who maintains a secret kill list, who defends the NSA's domestic spying program, and has massively expanded the drone program? That Obama? Come on, seriously? You can't be that naive.
Listen, we aren't even scratching the surface of this fiasco. We're not going to go into detail about the disastrous rollout of the HealthCare.gov website, or how millions of people are getting their existing policies canceled because of ObamaCare (more in fact than were able to successfully sign up in the exchanges), and we're not going to try to estimate how much higher prices will rise in the years ahead. But rest assured, this train wreck is just getting started.
When people come to terms with something like this they tend to ask the same thing: what can we do? You really want to know?
Disobey. That's the only non-violent solution. The politicians aren't going to help you guys. I know you'd prefer an answer that puts the responsibility on someone else, but that wouldn't be honest. Until the people fully come to terms with the fact that this so called government is run by criminals and that we have no moral obligation to obey criminals, then nothing is going to improve. It's as simple as that.
ObamaCare faces death spiral:http://www.forbes.com/sites/scottgottlieb/2013/10/28/obamacare-faces-a-death-spiral-but-it-turns-on-the-declining-participation-of-health-plans-and-not-just-their-rising-premiums
Obama knew millions would lose their health insurance:http://investigations.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/10/28/21213547-obama-admin-knew-millions-could-not-keep-their-health-insurance
More Americans have had their insurance canceled than have signed up in the exchanges: http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2013/10/24/more-americans-have-had-their-insurance-canceled-under-obamacare-than-have-filed-an-exchange-account
It turns out that the multi-million dollar no-bid contract to build the disastrous HealthCare.gov website was handed over to a company called CGI, and one of Michelle Obama's classmates from Princeton (Toni Townes-Whitley) just happens to be top level executive of that company.http://dailycaller.com/2013/10/25/michelle-obamas-princeton-classmate-is-executive-at-company-that-built-obamacare-website
Of course just being classmates doesn't really prove anything, after all Princeton is a big school, but the Whitley family spending Christmas with the Obama's in 2010 and getting their picture taken together... well that indicates a personal relationship. We took this screenshot directly from a public post made on Toni Townes-Whitley's facebook profile. The picture was uploaded on December 28th, 2010.
Toni Townes-Whitley's facebook profile:https://www.facebook.com/tonitwhitley
Toni and her husband spending Christmas with the Obama's at the White House:https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=134031659989997&set=a.134031603323336.22440.100001494924603&type=3&theater
To know the full extent of their relationship and to be able to establish whether these backdoor dealings were in fact criminal in nature would require a real investigation, and with the Obamas personally on the line you can rest assured that they will do everything in their power to prevent that from happening. In the mean time we felt that you should at least see this information.
And to top it off...