Is ObamaCare Free?

The simFree ObamaCareple answer to that question is “NO“. ObamaCare, also knows as the Affordable Care Act does NOT mean free healthcare for you. It is NOT the same as in many European countries where people’s taxes go toward a health care system that everyone gets to use with little to no out of pocket costs.

So if ObamaCare isn’t free health care, what is it?

ObamaCare is a health insurance system where the costs are supposedly “affordable” but not free. That is why it is really called the Affordable Care Act. People have dubbed it “ObamaCare” because the President is the one who has supported it and signed the act.

What Does Affordable Health Insurance Mean?

The word “affordable” means different things to most Americans and your definition can really depend on what you make. A person who is single and making $100,000 a year would probably have a very different definition of the word than a family of four making $30,000. And then what about someone who makes minimum wage and can only find part time work? They most likely have no extra income at all to spend on health care so “affordable” to them would only mean free.

That is just one reason why ObamaCare has so many opponents. It is very difficult to devise a system that makes everyone happy, especially when we have such a disparity of incomes in the United States.

Premiums, Deductibles, and Copays

For the vast majority of Americans, ObamaCare will not be free and they will have to pay something. Lets first look at the insurance premiums under ObamaCare that are the monthly amounts you owe just to have insurance:

1) People near the poverty level in income may get subsidies to offset most or all of their monthly premiums.

2) People with middle incomes may or may not be eligible for subsidies. That means they may be paying all of the monthly premium themselves or part of it.

3) Higher earners will have to pay the full monthly premium themselves.

But monthly premiums are not the only health costs that people are required to pay. If you get sick and have insurance, you probably are familiar with deductibles and co-pays. The deductible is the threshold dollar amount you have to initially pay out of pocket to meet the insurance requirement. After you have payed that deductible, insurance kicks in to pay a predetermined portion of the rest of your medical expenses.

Copays are the amount you pay for each visit to the doctor or to get a prescription filled. Co-pays are often under $50 but to someone who makes very little, even that amount is a lot.

ObamaCare Is Not Free Because….

The vast majority of Americans will be responsible for paying at least one of those three items. Even if you pay nothing monthly for your premium, chances are that you will owe money for either a deductible and/or a Copay. Very rare will be the situation where a person can just walk into their doctors office or hospital and leave with no bill. If that does happen, it would only be to the very poorest people in our society.

The Affordable Care Act is an attempt to get as many people health care insurance as possible. It is NOT a free health care system. Although some people might end up paying very little to nothing for medical care, ObamaCare will cost money for the vast majority of Americans. In some cases premiums will go down over what you pay now but in other cases the price may even go up. What you pay will depend on many factors most notably what state you live in and what your particular health situation is.