WHETHER TAX OR PENALTY; WHO CARES.
Let politicians talk about other important issues.
The argument continues on the individual mandate that is contained in the Affordable Care Act as a "tax", as has been ruled by the United States Supreme Court a week ago, last Thursday. While others insist that it is a penalty on those who choose not to buy insurance.
Candidate Barack Obama has pushed for the bill to become law, as he promised that he would do during his 2008 presidential campaign, and now, as president, he has been able to sign it (bill) into law.
The dispute about it started with several Attorneys general in Republican controlled states to declare the law unconstitutional; but fortunately for those that the law was created, the middle class, the poor, the elderly and the uninsured, due to pre-existing condition, the Supreme Court has ruled that, on the contrary, the Act was constitutional.
What politicians should put aside was the argument, and to concentrate on whether the law would serve its purpose; and if it did, then those, who would fail to buy insurance would pay the tax connected to it. If that should be the case, would not that be a penalty for those without insurance?
The real meaning of the Affordable (Health) Care Act was to rail against Insurance companies that discriminated against patients, due to their infirmities, charged exorbitant hospitalization fees, doubled Nursing Home costs, and made the the health care industry inefficient, dysfunctional and cumbersome, while reeling in high profits for company executives and those in management positions.
The problem of mismanagement has pervaded in the health care industry for so many years, and coverage has become a privilege and the poor was at a disadvantage.
Even doctors became participants, when in their offices, money would change hands between doctors and the sick, because the insurance coverage was not enough in several instances; leaving patients with huge medical expenses and in debt. All that would come about, owing to policies and plans that were beyond people's means.
Of course the cost of health care services would never stay where they were before, year after year under any Federal administration, whether Democratic or Republican, as funding for Medicare would rise, and the cost of prescription drugs and other medical paraphernalia, both for practitioners and patients, continued to escalate incrementally.
Medicaid and other programs would have their expenditures added to the general, nationwide medical spending. Waste and inefficient management all around, involving hospitals, health centers, doctors' offices and bureaucratic payment departments not being run professionally, were all inclusive in the rising cost of health care; and thus causing the government to always overspend its medical budget.
The law dealt with Insurance companies, curbing their exorbitant charges and controlling the premiums and content of their policies, all to make the industry patient-friendly and accessible to all, irrespective of the state or condition of a person.
The financial side of it would include trillions of dollars being spent on the sick and the invalid, as that was the case in any and every progressive and civilized nation, to be able to take care of those, who were not in the position of doing so for themselves.
To make health care cost a political football was despicable on the part of those wanting to repeal the Affordable Care Act and putting the power and control of the industry back into the hands of uncaring and money minded insurance company executives.
Whether the individual mandate was a tax or a penalty was not the issue; but for good health care to be within the reach of every American citizen. That must be what politicians should debate about.