The whole point of Obama Care is to get more people onto affordable health insurance plans. It targets low income individuals and families that don’t have the means to pay for insurance by making available coverage that they can afford or by getting them onto expanded Medicaid in 2014. The ACA was also sold to the American people as a system that would guarantee coverage to people with existing conditions.
Affordable Health Insurance Plans Are Different For Everyone
But what is “affordable” to someone making $40,000 or more a year probably isn’t affordable to another person making half that or just $20,000. And there lies the problem.
The ACA stipulates that companies who employ 50 or more workers must offer health insurance to those employees that costs no more than 9.5% of their income. If they don’t, the company can get fined and the employee can be fined as well (by the IRS) for not having insurance. Great, everybody gets fined and the system works on fear.
If you do the math, 9.5% of a $20,000 income is $1,900 per year or $158 per month. Do you think someone making $20,000 a year before taxes has an extra $158 dollars a month to now spend on a health insurance premium? They don’t as they most likely have NOTHING left over because in today’s economy, a salary of $20,000 isn’t very much.
Low Income Workers Can’t Afford Anything For Health Insurance
If you make minimum wage in this country, chances are you wouldn’t be able to afford health insurance at any price. Even if the premiums we all pay somehow become affordable under the ACA, what about the deductibles and the co-pays that goes along with every plan? The real cost of health care to a person or family is the monthly premium plus the deductible if you get sick and have to go to the doctor. That deductible is just another charge low income wage earners can’t afford.
Even if people with low incomes were given subsidies, tax breaks, and credits by the government to help them pay for this “affordable” health care, don’t think for one minute that those will pay for all of it or even most of it. ObamaCare is not free for anyone, except maybe the people that have nothing and get emergency care for free right now anyway. Its all a dream right now by a government that is 16 trillion dollars in debt. Our horrible economy is one of the reasons so many states have opted for the federal insurance marketplace rather than start their own. They just don’t want to commit to something so big, costly, and uncertain in a time when money is tight.
IRS Penalties Are The Wrong Way To Enforce The ACA
Trying to make health care affordable to more people seems to be a noble cause. We all need it and it is in our best interests to find a way where everyone can feel confident they will be take care of when they get sick. But making health insurance mandatory and imposing a fine/tax for not complying just doesn’t seem right and the Internal Revenue Service is NOT the right way to go about enforcement.
This is the same IRS that targeted Conservative groups, a story that is still unfolding every day. Will certain groups of people also be looked at closely when it comes time to start monitoring ACA health insurance coverage? Will some ethnicities get a pass? Will how you voted be used to determine whether you have to prove you have health insurance? Do you trust the IRS? I know I don’t!
The Affordable Care Act is a massive experiment that has the right intent but perhaps goes about things in the wrong way. I hope all the wrinkles can get ironed out eventually but with confidence in our elected leaders at such a low, I wonder whether they can really come together and figure out a system that will work. I certainly have my doubts.