Healthcare 101: Everything You Need To Know About Obamacare And How It Affects You

Healthcare 101: Everything You Need To Know About Obamacare And How It Affects You
Politics

The fight over The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) has long been over, practically at least. Yet the outrage brewing inside the bill’s opponents just doesn’t seem to be dying down. House Republicans have now voted 42 times to repeal or otherwise undercut Obamacare, with knowledge of the almost certainty that the bill would die in the Senate — and even in the highly unlikely circumstance that it didn’t get shot down by the Senate — that Obama would obviously veto the bill.

House Republicans went as far as shutting down the government when Obama refused to effectively gut the law by stripping its funding. Why are House Republicans so angry about the passing of this law? …Because they’re in the pockets of the insurance industry.

What the hell are we actually arguing about?

Let’s breakdown what’s going on here in the simplest way possible:

1) We take our money, we give it to doctors, nurses and hospitals. Somewhere along the way, an insurance company comes in and takes 20%-30%.

2) Obamacare is effectively going to limit what insurance companies can charge for, and how much they can charge. According to Healthcare.gov, Obamacare holds insurance companies accountable and pushes costs off citizens, and back on to insurance companies, in two ways: Rate Review and the 80/20 Rule.

Rate Review helps protect you from unreasonable rate increases. Insurance companies must now publicly justify any rate increase of 10% or more before raising your premium.

The 80/20 Rule generally requires insurance companies to spend at least 80% of the money they take in on premiums on your healthcare and quality improvement activities instead of administrative, overhead and marketing costs.

3) If your insurance company doesn’t meet these criteria, you get a rebate check.

Now politicians are outraged that their buddies will make a little less and citizens are complaining that they wont be able to keep their insurance policies. Well, their buddies are highly overpaid to begin with, and these citizens shouldn’t be keeping their sh*tty insurance policies anyway.

What are insurance companies doing instead? They are blatantly hiding the benefits of Obamacare from the people they insure. Insurance companies are sending out letters to those whom will not be able to keep their plans and referring them to more expensive plans — while making no mention of the health insurance marketplace that’s now open, where they could shop for competitively priced plans. They are also failing to mention that the insured may qualify for financial aid if they simply picked up the phone and asked.

Without bi-partisan cooperation, progress will be slow

We pay twice as much for our healthcare than all the other first world countries, yet we rank 38th in quality of healthcare by the World Health Organization, right beside Dominica and Costa Rica. Compared to the more advanced nations, we pay more money for sh*ttier healthcare. On top of that, there were millions of Americans that had no healthcare. Before Obamacare, we were all paying for them in the most inefficient way possible.

So Democrats stole a generally conservative idea to reform our clearly broken system, to let the free market rule by giving citizens tax credits so they can buy insurance — exactly what Obamacare does.

Why do House Republicans hate a generally conservative idea with such vigor now that it’s been written by Democrats? Again, because they only care about the pockets of their friends and not the quality of healthcare their constituents receive.

Perhaps the real solution is something like Medicare for all. Where insurance companies would make next to nothing compared to the profits they’re raking in now. In the words of Anthony Weiner, who despite his past personal transgressions, is an exceedingly smart and knowledgeable politician, “Ask anyone around 60 if they are eagerly looking forward to getting medicare… they’re going to say yes… so one year bump it down to 50… then down to 40… before you know it, the entire country is covered by medicare, we save a bunch of money, we take the money we were going to give to insurance companies, we put it into healthcare, and we lower rates. BOOM. you’ve got your problem solved right there.”

While Weiner’s take may be a bit extreme, the amount of money drained from our healthcare system by insurance companies was certainly the root of our nation’s shortcomings with respect to the quality of healthcare our citizens received prior to Obamacare.

Top photo credit: Obamacare via Shutter Shock

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Tommy Nickolas

Tommy Nickolas primarily contributes political articles for elitedaily. He completed a Political Science and Economics double major at Dartmouth College in 2010 and is currently in his third year at Fordham Law School.

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