Affordable Care Act (aka ACA or ObamaCare): Now we really know what's in it

Nancy Pelosi:   "We Have to Pass the Bill So That You Can Find Out What Is In It"
Nancy Pelosi: "We Have to Pass the Bill So That You Can Find Out What Is In It" | Source

Background

On March 9, 2010, Pelosi spoke to the National Association of Counties about ObamaCare. Here's a snippet of what she said, just days from ObamaCare passing:

...It's going to be very, very exciting. But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of the controversy.

Fast forward about four years later. Americans are finding out what ObamaCare is all about, and it is certainly not affordable for many millions of Americans.

Open Enrollment

Health care coverage based on ObamaCare will begin on January 1, 2014. Open enrollment was in effect--01 Oct 2013 to 31 Mar 2014. So if you are one of the few Americans whom this law was enacted for, you probably experienced some very long waits. Healthcare.gov, the online healthcare plan marketplace, opened on 01 Oct 2013. Unfortunately, the web site was poorly designed, and wasn't ready for prime time. People took days to complete their applications because the site could not handle the incoming load.

After months of rework, the web site improved, and just days after the expiration of open enrollment some news organizations report that ObamaCare enrollments hit 8 million enrollments (see "Obamacare Signups Hit 8 Million," New Republic). However, Forbes.com presents a different picture. The real count should take into account who has actually paid into the plan. They state that if you count it that way, the actual count is somewhere around 4 to 5 million (see "How Many People Did Obamacare Really Enroll," Forbes).

Then Reality Hits

In 2009, the media have already picked up on President Obama's mantra of "If you like your plan, you can keep your plan..."

Even in 2009 some of the press have already figured out that his promise was questionable ("President Obama Continues Questionable You Can Keep Your Healthcare Promise", ABC News). After being pressed on this, President Obama clarified that the government isn't going to force anyone to drop their coverage. This was definitely a true statement, but unfortunately, the law forced the plan providers to drop certain plans that failed to meet the minimum requirements of ACA. The result, people weren't able to keep the plan that President Obama promised they could keep, if they liked it.

Below is a video montage of the many times this questionable promise was repeated to the American people.

If you like you plan, you can keep it.

Is ACA Really Affordable?

The answer to this is an absolute mixed bag. If you do a search on the web for "is ACA less expensive" you will get a mixed bag of articles. Some say it is cheaper, some say it is more expensive, and others say it is a mixed bag.

One thing for sure, ACA isn't affordable for everyone. In fact, for some it really isn't affordable due to the high deductible. When you have a high deductible, everything comes out of your pocket until you hit the deductible threshold. For those with no money, that threshold is going to be way too high.

Who Takes ACA?

You may have healthcare coverage, but the problem might be finding a clinic or hospital that takes it.

I mention this because a friend of mine works at a clinic. She mentioned that their clinic doesn't take ObamaCare. She also mentioned that she knows of people who have signed up for Obamacare and are having a tough time finding places that would take them.

They have coverage, yet no one would cover them. How ironic!

On a personal note, I opted to use the plan offered by my employer. It isn't as good as the original one I had, but it is sufficient coverage. It is a few hundred dollars more expensive though. And guess what? Not too many dentists take my dental coverage, as I recently learned.

Now That We Know What's In It

This is my personal opinion based on what I've read and have personally learned from people I know.

For something which is supposed to help about 15 million Americans who don't have healthcare coverage, it has certainly affected everyone else who were already happy with their plans.

Now that it is in effect, we certainly have seen the effects of what's in it.

One thing for sure, it isn't as great as what Nancy Pelosi advertised it to be.

What do you think? How has it impacted your own healthcare plan?

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Comments 9 comments

Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 2 years ago from USA

My sister had trouble getting the dentist to take her plan, but it was because the office girl thought that anyone getting Obamacare was on Medicaid. When my sister explained it was through Blue Cross Blue Shield and she paid for it, the girl looked puzzled and said she needed to study up on it then. Some of these loonies working at the doctors offices don't even know what Obamacare is. They think it is all free Medicaid.

Obamacare for those that have to pay is just health insurance offered by regular insurance companies in your state. If your income is low enough, you get money back on your income tax to help pay for it.


teamrn profile image

teamrn 2 years ago from Chicago

I"m on disability so I have Medicare as my insurer, so am not affected directly by the ACA. However, the ACA was 'marketed as insurance the would cover pude re-existing conditions and you know all the other stuff. Others with disabilities and many seniors who did not do their homework, had awakening when they thought they could now get coverage for their pre-existing conditions.

No one said to them, "you are excluded from these promises" , so when they went to get their Medicare supplement policies, many found that they couldn't get them because of pre-existing conditions or the premiums which were doable last year, had gone up 50-70% this year.

And these people are on fixed incomes. Premiums increase? Most assuredly, as you can't provide more bennies to more people, and provide more services-for less money. THAT'S COMMON SENSE.

The fact that $500,000,000 (that's $1/2 trillion) was taken from Medicare to fund the ACA is part of the reason for the increased premiums. Seniors are in the age bracket where having a supplement or an Advantage plan is a must, because statistically, seniors are at greater risk for developing chronic illness than a 30.

Why don't people do a bit of due diligence and homework before they're taken in by a sweeping orator who's numbers don't add up? There's no chance of repealing the ACA, it is the law of the land, a VERY flawed law, but since we have it, let's all find out what is really in it and vote to tweak it. It did NOT reach the Medicare side of payments other than to take away $$ from it and $ from seniors who tend to have more catastrophic illnesses than your 22 year-old!


forlanda profile image

forlanda 2 years ago from US of A Author

Barbara Kay, that is part of the problem. People are just barely learning about it, and the enrollment period is already closed. Clinic office staff probably haven't figured out yet what to do and how to deal with it. Maybe things will settle down once we get through the year. However, the administration are delaying several of the provisions until after the election next year. For example, the mandate for employers to provide healthcare is being delayed another year (see http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/02/... If you are a small business, this particular mandate could really hit you hard. It could mean lay offs if you can't afford to provide healthcare.

Teamrn, the Medicare angle is another one I didn't mention. You make a good point about how this has impacted many seniors. Thanks for reading and commenting.


teamrn profile image

teamrn 2 years ago from Chicago

I only speak to the Medicare 'side,' I think seniors who didn't do their homework bought into it hook, line and sinker' at least any senior or approaching that age, because he was a charismatic, smooth talker in what we have found to be an 'empty suit.' Unfortunately, those same seniors' decisions will harm them the most because they're the population who are more likely to have the pre-existing conditions and they're the population on a fixed income who can ill afford 50-70% premium increases because $1/2 trillion was taken away from Medicare.

Wake up, America and ALWAYS do your homework, study the issues, WHATEVER those issues are, before you support someone. There are a conservatives who thought the ACA wasn't half bad, but who were against it because of the principles behind it, but any liberal who supported our esteemed POTUS because they bought into his shallow charisma deserves what he got.

But I don't deserve what he DIDN'T do; you ask a liberal for SPECIFIC reasons why this is good for our country, why this man is good for this country and you get a stutter and a stammer, no concrete answer.

Now, were stuck with it. The ACA is the law of the land, now and I highly doubt it will be repealed. 2/3 of the electorate of all the states? It can be tweaked, here and there, but I doubt repealed. Thank you from the Medicare side, thank all of you who didn't do your homework and didn't use that God-given brain and do some critical thinking before you cast your vote on promises.


Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 2 years ago from USA

My mother gets Medicare for just $140 a month. That still isn't bad. There is a lot of misunderstanding. They need to come out with something that explains Obamacare properly to everyone.


Teamed 2 years ago

Oh, I'm not talking about the cost of Medicare; I'm talking about the cost of a supplement plan if you have a pre-existing condition which isn't underwritten by insurance companies. I have no choice but to fork out $313/month to get my pre-existing condition covered; that in addition to cost of Medicare:(


forlanda profile image

forlanda 2 years ago from US of A Author

You guys are definitely shedding some light on areas affected by ACA which no one even covered in the media. From the looks of it, ACA sounded great in the way it was sold to everyone. Unfortunately what people are experiencing now and all its side effects seems to be worse for most people than the few who seem to have benefited from it. It may have been much less expensive if they figured out a way to insure those 15 million Americans without affecting everyone else who already have coverage they liked.


teamrn profile image

teamrn 2 years ago from Chicago

The way it is SUPPOSED to be is that Congress has it's committees and subcommittes and they pound out the legislation, after lots of studies and then they craft a bill.

What happened here, is that Congress didn't write the bill. The POTUS said what he wanted, the interns, staffers with the input of insurance agencies and lobbyists wrote the bill. So, Nancy Pelosi was right when she made her infamous statement, "We have to pass the bill to see what is in it."


teamrn profile image

teamrn 2 years ago from Chicago

I think I need to clarify howl I said it is supposed to be. The HOUSE crafts the legislation and tweaks it, sends it to the SENATE who tweaks it according to what they want, and they battle back and forth until they come up with what they think the president will want. THEN the SENATE sends the bill/piece of legislation to the POTUS.

Sometimes the POTUS signs the legislation and it becomes law, and he has 10 days to do so, but he can veto the bill, in which case it goes back to the HOUSE who then sends it to the SENATE and they can make the changes the POTUS wants, if both houses agree on the changes the POTUS wants.

If they can't agree with the POTUS, they can override the veto of the POTUS if BOTH houses agree by a 2/3 majority.

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