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The Health Reform Act, Obamacare Facts

Updated on April 10, 2013

Doctor's Exam

A common stethoscope
A common stethoscope | Source

Affordable Healthcare Insurance

Here in the United States we have had an ongoing problem for many years now regarding our healthcare. Costs have been steadily climbing for over a decade and many people have been affected by these increasing costs.

A few years ago the Affordable Health Care for America Act was passed. This bill was drafted to help address some of these out of control costs and to help every American get reasonably priced health insurance.

Obviously this bill has been under incredible scrutiny from the congressional debate process to the President signing it into law. Legal challenges have been filed regarding some of the constitutionality of pieces of the bill, like the mandate requiring all citizens to purchase health insurance. It could be a very long time before all of this gets resolved through our court system.

I admit that there are portions of this bill that I do not like, but there are parts that I do. Personally I’m glad that something was actually done to address the health care industry situation because it has been spiraling out of control for too long. There is plenty of opposition to this bill as is but, honestly, how many bills get passed by our legislators that everyone agrees with? It’s kind of impossible in my book.

Medical Insurance Cost

How much have your health insurance costs gone up in the last year?

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Signing Up for Insurance

I remember going into open enrollment at work every year dreading how much of a jump my health premiums were going to take. It was such a helpless feeling because when you have a family you just have to get insurance.

We are a young family of four and have been relatively healthy. Recently I switched our health coverage to my employer backed one because our big HMO was just costing way too much. For our family, where both adults were in their early thirties, the premiums had gone up to about $125 a week just for the privilege of saying you had insurance. Of course there would still be extra costs for visiting the doctor, lab work, etc. I switched coverage because I just couldn't justify spending over $500 just to have insurance. I can only image what the older generations were going through because I’m sure they are being charged more.

Cheap Health Plan

Medical Health Plans

I work for a fairly large corporation. They were almost in the middle of the pack on the 2011 Fortune 500 list with revenues over forty billion dollars, definitely not a small operation.

I share my company’s size because in August of 2011 I noticed something wasn’t right during a self examination. Being a part time hypochondriac I initially thought the worst, cancer. After my scare I tried to surf the internet to get an idea of what might be causing my uh, condition. That was probably the worst thing I could have done because I got even more scared seeing all of those traumatic images.

I bit the bullet and made an appointment with my doctor to get his expert opinion on what was going on with me. He had an initial diagnosis that I was retaining fluid but he wanted an ultrasound to confirm that there weren’t any troublesome masses.

The ultrasound confirmed his diagnosis and I had what is called a hydrocele. I will spare everyone the details but if you really want to know what it is Google it. To state the obvious I didn’t even know that this was possible because I had never heard about it before.

For some people this condition develops and just stops with no further development, if you will. For others it can continue to increase and surgery is recommended. Guess who needed surgery?

Outpatient Procedure

The surgery is called hydrocelectomy and is an outpatient procedure. To be frank the operation was pretty quick. I showed up at 12:30 in the afternoon and I was gingerly getting into our truck to go home at 3:00. The actual “surgery” took less than thirty minutes.

Here is why our insurance system in this country is a problem. I work for a decent sized company and I have health insurance. Even with insurance this minor outpatient procedure will cost me, out of pocket, over four thousand dollars. I shudder to imagine what this would have cost if I had no insurance whatsoever because I know that there are plenty of people that don’t have any coverage at all.

Medical Bankruptcy

Did you know that a large percentage of bankruptcies here in the US are because of medical bills and some of these folks actually have health insurance? The reports vary but some say this percentage is as high as 60%. To further emphasize this issue the percentage jumped almost 50% in just a six year period from 2001 to 2007. That is a very sad statistic and we simply have to be better than that.

Medical Debt

Personal and political affiliations aside, this is the United States of America. We shouldn’t have to fear getting sick because of how much the doctor’s bills might cost. Maybe this bill isn’t the cure all but it does have everyone discussing this nationwide problem, that will only get worse, if we don’t figure out a solution and very soon.

No one knows what is going to become of the Affordable Health Care for America Act once it gets through the meat grinder that it is going through. Will it remain as signed or pieced out? My guess is that some parts are going to make it though the process unscathed while others get dissected; the less fortunate parts might get amputated from the bill completely.

Health Reform Bill

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    • adjkp25 profile image
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      David 5 years ago from Northern California

      wilderness - that is how the system is setup. I don't think they cut you off if you exhaust all of the funds that you put in over your life time. So someone is paying for those individuals right? Another problem with the system is people stop contributing at like 106K a year or so; these same people can still get money from the system. Why do you stop contributing at a certain amount anyway? Millionaires like Mitt Romney can get social security payments but they are comfortable financially, it makes no sense.

    • wilderness profile image

      Dan Harmon 5 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      No, younger people aren't supposed to be paying for the SS for older ones. The only reason for that to be happening is that congress has raided the SS funds and spent all the money put into them.

      I know I have put far more into SS (including a reasonable rate of interest accrued) than I will ever get out. That money is already spent, buying votes for congressmen and women.

    • adjkp25 profile image
      Author

      David 5 years ago from Northern California

      This is the first time I have heard about a company increasing premiums 75% because of the law that sounds extreme to me. Maybe they just needed a reason to increase the premiums and the law was a good reason.

      Having the younger generation pay for the older one, isn’t that just like social security? I pay for it every week but it might not be around when I retire. Not much I can do about that one because I’m stuck.

      I agree part of the problem is how affordable things are, or aren’t. I think we are all paying for their massive advertising budgets. I remember growing up we never saw an ad for a prescription, now you can’t watch one show without seeing a few of them. I don’t think those ad’s are created for free and I’m sure the time slot comes with a fee.

    • wilderness profile image

      Dan Harmon 5 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      I share your concerns about health care. My company canceled all insurance when Obamacare became law and our premiums jumped 75% so I now have no health insurance at all. Without company help there is no way I can pay the huge monthly fees.

      The biggest problem, however, with Obamas "affordable" health care is affordable for whom? The only real place to get the money to pay for people such as I (senior citizen) is young healthy people such as yourself. Indeed, Obama is now on record as saying that the supreme court needs to understand (and ignore the constitionality of) that the plan has to mandate costs to healthy people to pay for insurance for those that are not healthy or simply old.

      "Affordable" health care doesn't begin to address the issue of costs and it isn't "affordable" for the country as a whole. Not individual policy costs - the country. Until we learn to control costs better that isn't going to change.

    • adjkp25 profile image
      Author

      David 5 years ago from Northern California

      HSchneider - The whole act is a good start but I fear it will be pieced out because of legal angles. Many people don't know that healthcare was recognized as a problem back in the mid 1990's but too many politicians didn't feel it was something that needed to be addressed.

      Thanks for the comment and I'm glad you liked it.

    • profile image

      Howard Schneider 5 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey

      Excellent Hub, adjkp25. I share your views and concerns about the Affordable Healthcare Act. I also feel it is a good starting point to expand upon. A system that relies on employment for your healthcare is cruel and inhumane. Millions go without insurance and forego medical treatment unless it is an emergency. This is no way for a prominent country to run its healthcare system. hopefully this will someday evolve into true national healthcare as it should be.