Vote For or Against Obamacare
A Generalized Fact Sheet for Obamacare
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is most often referred to as Obamacare.
This is a Summary Page. It has two goals. Foremost is to have a set of unbiased facts - what actually happened and what didn't with the PPACA - so you don't have to get wrapped up in hyperbole. To support this objective, a list of chronologies, quotes pertaining to the issue, and statistics will be provided. If they can be linked into an argument, that's up to you.
The second goal is to hear your opinion. Your decision is important. For that purpose, there will be some methods here for your vote and your ability to express yourself. And you'll get to have your say. This is a very polarizing issue.
Why does this Summary Page exist? Because it has been said that Obamacare, as of June 28, 2012, is now the primary issue of the November General Election. (Jeffrey H. Anderson, Weekly Standard, June 28, 2012. This Election Just Became About Obamacare) In addition, the expectation is that we'll be able to see a graduation of the health care debate as 2014 approaches. In other words, we'll get to watch this ship sink or float, while it happens.
This Summary Page will be updated daily. It is an ongoing project expected to last until 2014 (full enactment) or repeal.
The Obamacare Bill
Read it yourself; decide for yourself. The Obamacare Full Text Bill
The PPACA is available for your viewing on the internet. You can download the document in .PDF format, or read it directly off the web page over at HealthCare.gov.
.PDF Document: Click Here
Web HTML Version: Click Here
The Print Book and Additional Opinions: Click Here
By having the information at your own fingertips, you may be better informed than those around you. At this point in time, there are no statistics available to show what percentage of the population, or members of our government, has actually read the Bill.
The Inception of Obamacare: A Chronology - Chapter 1: From Idea to Fruition
The following is a list of events, in order. This is what brought us to the legislation we're debating today. No opinions need to be provided here; this is simply what happened.
Disclaimer: If you see something missing, please submit it in the guestbook.
The Rise of the Health Care Debate
2007, April 27 to 2008, April 16: The health care arguments are shaped with these 26 Democratic Primary debates. As the general election looms closer, Senators Clinton and Obama begin to express the details in their plans. (It should be noted that Universal Health Care, or Hillarycare, was an issue in the 90s under President Bill Clinton and is a precursor to the events transpiring here.)
2008, February 29: In the MSNBC Democrat Party Primary debate in Cleveland, Ohio with Senator Hillary Clinton, then Senator Obama, gives his most clarifying details on his health care plan. He specifically says that it "is a mandate that every individual purchase health care." (Transcript here)
Chapter 2: The 2008 Election of Barack Obama
2008, November 4, Presidential Election: Barack Obama
2009, January 20: Senator Barack Obama takes the Oath of Office and becomes our 44th President.
2009, March 5: President Obama announces health care reform in a conference and states that he wants it passed before their Summer Recess.
2009, April 24: President Obama shows approval for, and key Democrats begin referring to, the Reconciliation process that allows the Senate to bypass a filibuster. (Article here.)
2009, November 7: The House of Representatives (led by House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi) passes the Affordable Health Care for America Act (220-215). This is forwarded to The Senate.
2009, December 29: PPACA passes Senate, 60-30. All Democrats support it. All Independents support it. All Republicans against it. One Republican not voting: Senator Bunning (KY)
Chapter 3: The Republican Response
2010, January 19: Republican Scott Brown (51.9%) wins the Massachusetts Special Election for Ted Kennedy's senatorial seat against Martha Coakley (47.1%). This election is considered an important roadblock to Obamacare because it provided the one vote needed to stop the final draft vote after the two Bills are melded together in Committee.
2010, March 21: PPACA passes House of Representatives, 219-212. All Republicans against it (178). 34 Democrats against it. Remaining Democrats for it. Since the two Bills can no longer be joined, the House passes the Senate version. Now there is a single Bill approved by both houses.
2010, March 23: Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act signed into law by President Barack Obama.2010, November 2: The 2010 Midterm Elections. Republicans take back the House of Representatives, picking up a net total of 63 seats. The Senate remains under Democrats, with Majority Leader Harry Reid.
Chapter 4: The Battle Begins
2012, March 26: (The Supreme Court begins hearing arguments against the constitutionality of Obamacare in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius.
Day 1: Does the court have a right to rule on the law because it is not fully in effect?
Day 2: Is the Individual Mandate constitutional?
Day 3: Does the PPACA infringe upon States' Rights?
2012, June 28 (Obamacare Supreme Court Ruling Date): (National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius. The Supreme Court upholds (5-4) the PPACA as constitutional. Justice Roberts' opinion submits that Obamacare is not justified under the Commerce Clause, but is constitutional under Congressional Tax Authority.)
2012, July 12: (The House of Representative votes to repeal the PPACA by a vote of 244-185. This is recognized as the 31st time they have attempt to remove or repeal the Bill. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) vows not to bring the vote up in the Senate. Five Democrats crossed party lines to repeal: Reps. Dan Boren (OK), Larry Kissell (NC), Jim Matheson (UT), Mike McIntyre (NC) and Mike Ross (AK). )
2012, August 1: (Today, in accordance with the PPACA, Health Insurers are required to pay for FDA-approved contraception. Included in this list is well-woman visits, violence counseling, gestational diabetes screenings, breastfeeding supplies, HPV DNA testing, sexually transmitted infection counseling, and HIV testing without additional co-pays. The rules take effect at the following insurance renewal date on or after Wednesday. (Information gathered at dailycaller.com.)
Historical Surprise! - Chapter 5: The Surprise Attack on Obamacare
2012, August 11: Before today, Mitt Romney lacked the moral standing to complain about Obamacare; in the past, it was pointed out that Romneycare and Obamacare were almost identical. Mitt Romney, however, surprised everyone when he picked Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan as his choice for Vice Presidential Candidate. This, in effect, meant he was attacking President Obama on the economy, but it also meant a surprise attack on Obamacare. Romney and Ryan's offensive maneuver now points out that Obamacare steals 716 Billion dollars from Medicare to pay for itself. And they are using this argument to point out the single, possibly most important, difference between Obamacare and Romneycare.
2012, September 19: On this day, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released their new numbers on the number of middle-income families that will be affected by the "tax penalty". In 2010, the number was 4 Million. Today, it was revised upward to 6 Million, a 50% increase.
The Obamacare Supreme Court Decision
The SCOTUS determined that the PPACA is legal under Congressional Tax Laws.
The President's Health Care Stands - Chapter 6: After a lengthy battle, President Obama is Re-Elected
Whether you were for or against "Obamacare", the November 6, 2012 Presidential Election has decidedly determined the fate of the bill:
In a vote of 50-48, President Obama was re-elected, thus continuing the history of his landmark bill. Had Mitt Romney won, he stated he would have begun the appeals process from day 1, but now we will witness the full 6 years of its enactment. Most importantly, we will get a greater sense to whether Health Care costs are going to rise or lower.
Without injecting opinion, had the bill gone down early, we would only be able to speculate whether it would work or not.
Here were the vote totals for the 2012 Presidential Election, held on this summary page, to November 6, 2012:
I'm for President Obama (Forward. Not Back.)
I'm for Governor Mitt Romney (Believe in America.)
Undecided (They're both good candidate.)
I've decided not to vote (None of these candidates are any good.)
The real candidate is... (I'm voting for a 3rd party candidate.)
Vote for me! (I'm insane and will write my own name in.)
Total Votes: 45
The Main Components of Obamacare - What's in the Bill?
Starting in 2010, the PPACA begins incrementing until it is fully in effect. The following is a generalized list of what will happen:
This section is still being researched and updated.
Extended Coverage for Young Adults. Children dependents can now be covered up to age 26.
Insurance Pool Created for Pre-existing Conditions. Until the PPACA is fully implemented (2014), an insurance pool has been created for uninsured individuals with pre-existing conditions.
Website Created. (I can't currently figure out which site this is - please leave me a message in the guestbook if you know.)
Early Retirees Reinsurance. (Ending January 1st, 2014, this is a temp program to reimburse members of families of early retirees.)
Health Insurers Reform. Health Insurers now have to accept children with pre-existing conditions, provide coverage for prevention, cannot rescind coverage when a person gets sick, and may not have lifetime or dollar value limits on the amount of coverage afforded.
Disabled Insurance Coverage. A voluntary insurance program is created for disabled adults.
Premium Spending Reports. Insurers must provide an annual report on the share of premium dollars spent on health care; they must also provide consumer rebates for excessive medical loss ratios.
W-2 Reporting. Employers must provide medical contributions information on your W-2.
Fully standardizing "Medical Expenses". As stated, for purposes of reporting, what can and cannot be considered a medical expense.
Electronic Records and Simplification. The legislation now requires health insurers and providers to provide standard rules and process for the exchange of health information.
The Individual Mandate. Described below.
The Employer Mandate. If your business has more than 50 employers, and you don't provide heath care, you get taxed $2000 per employee.
Continued Health Insurance Reforms. Insurers will be required to continue the reforms towards pre-existing conditions, dollar limits, continuing coverage.
The Obamacare Individual Mandate
How much it will cost you...by year.
In 2014, the Individual Mandate goes into effect. The Obama Administration has argued that it is a tax before the Supreme Court. According to the PPACA, it will be implemented incrementally and policed by the Internal Revenue Service. This data only covers to 2016 and there is no further information beyond that date:
Picture: On June 28, 2012, CNN initially reported that the Supreme Court had overturned the Individual Mandate.
1. If you have health insurance, you will not be taxed.
2. If you do not have health insurance, and do not have a waiver, you will be taxed as follows. (By waiver, meaning, government assistance or impoverished as defined by the document.)
2014: You will be taxed, 95 dollars a person or 1% of your income, whichever is greater.
2015: You will be taxed, 325 dollars a person or 2% of your income, whichever is greater.
2016: $695 a person or 2.5% of your income, whichever is greater.
The Obamacare Business Mandate - How Your Company, Big or Small, May Be Affected By The PPACA
The responsibility of a business to provide health care is also addressed in the PPACA. If you are in a boss or working in a company, these are the elements of the Bill that will go into effect in 2014. (Please note that this is the same time the Individual Mandate goes into effect as well.):
Once your business has 50 or more people, you are required to provide a Health Care Plan. - Any business with under 50 personnel remains exempt from health care requirements.
Your place of business is fined $2000 for every person if you are not exempt. The minimum that a business may be fined, therefore, is 100,000 dollars (50 people x 2000 dollars per person).
So you want to explain Obamacare? - Tell us what you think.
If you're an opinionated person (and that's highly likely since you're here), you've probably got some theories or ideas why Obamacare will or won't work.
Are you brave enough to state them on paper? Sure you are! And the reason you're going to do this is so you can be proven right. By 2014 or earlier, we'll get a much more detailed picture of the progression (or lack thereof) of President Obama's hallmark legislation.)
Do you think Obamacare Will Work?
Obamacare: The Popularity Poll - Thumbs up or down?
This is a purely unscientific, popularity poll on Obamacare. You can hate it, love it, like it, or put it in a small box for later. It's completely your opinion to weigh out, and if you think it's too early - don't vote today. Come back when you're ready!
The truth is, we all have a lot of things to say about Obamacare; the nation is very mixed with lots of different viewpoints. To get a sense of "how good" or "how bad", the best thing here is a straightforward poll that gives percentages. (If you do want to provide an opinion on this, feel free in the guestbook.)
Obamacare: Good, Bad, Ugly, or What?
Obamacare: Myths, Facts, and Arguments That Will Be Addressed
The Real Answers You Want
The hardest task in Obamacare is addressing the charges that lack research. That's why you get to decide the new sections that will be addressed here. Provided below is a list of the topics people are most concerned about. If you do not see your topic, please leave a note in the guestbook and it will be added Expect to see special sections on these topics in the future:
- Obamacare and Death Panels - Once of the main points of contention to Obamacare is "The Death Panel". In this section, we'll provide information on whether the government is, or will, form decision-making boards that determine a limit of your health care.
- Obamacare will force us into a Single-Payer System - Another extremely popular argument is that Obamacare will cause other Health Care Insurers to go bankrupt, forcing the country to become a "Single-Payer" system. This is also predicated off the quote from President Obama that "you will be able to keep your existing plan". This section will address the likelihood based on existing data.
And thanks for dropping by! If you've seen or heard anything pertaining to Obamacare , or you'd like to submit information of your own, please feel free to sound off with your constructive criticism or opinions. All are welcome; just remember to be courteous because this is a free resource.