ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Why I Love Obamacare

Updated on September 17, 2014

Calling all facts about the Affordable Care Act

The Supreme Court has ruled that the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is constitutional. This is a very controversial issue; some people may be initially turned off by my title. I kept hearing conflicting things in the media so I decided to find out for myself what Obamacare really entails and what it would mean for me and my family. I now realize how much misinformation is being circulated so it's my goal to provide an accurate summary of what Obamacare truly does and what it means to families and individuals across America. It truly will help many families in a big way.

Image Credit

How do you feel about Obamacare?

Are you for or against Obamacare? Why?

My personal opinion on health care reform

Take it or leave it

Let me start with what I think and then I'll tell you what I know. I think that as one of the richest nations in the world we have a responsibility to provide access to affordable healthcare. I've experienced firsthand that there are two big problems with health care in the United States. The first issue is in regard to quality of care and the second is how prohibitively expensive it is to have access to that care.

There are so many people today unable to make enough income to support their families and it's not because they're lazy. As a business owner I used to have to spend hundreds of dollars to recruit a new employee. Now I only have to post on Craigslist and I'll receive hundreds of applications within an hour. Many of those applications will be from totally over-qualified individuals. People with master's degrees will apply for an entry level clerical position. They are willing to take jobs way below what their education should entitle them. Does this mean if something happens to them health wise and they can't afford the exorbitant cost of care that they should be left to die or go bankrupt? I don't think so.

Image Credit

Image Credit

I grew up in a progressive Midwestern city that offers fantastic health care. The clinics were clean, safe, and comfortable. Better yet my Dad worked for the state so we had great health insurance. So great that I cannot remember a time in my life where we had to put out a single cent for co-pay, deductible, or other such expense. When I heard of healthcare reform I was genuinely confused about what was wrong with the system. People never truly understand that something needs to be fixed until they experience the problem first hand.

The first time I understood that something was wrong was when I accompanied my dying Mom to New York. We were there to obtain a second opinion from the renowned Memorial Sloan Kettering. This was after our local doctor had said that my Mom should go home and die; there was nothing else he could do for her cancer. The day we arrived she got very sick and was doubled over in terrible pain. We called an ambulance to be told there was a 3 hour wait for a vehicle. I had never heard of such a thing. Memorial Sloan Kettering said they wouldn't admit her since she was not yet a patient there for a couple of days. So we took a cab to the nearest public hospital and then proceeded to hurry up and wait. Wait the entire night in a dirty, disgusting waiting room. We were surrounded by drunks. No one made any attempt to help my Mom out of her excruciating pain. The hospital was just too full and too busy. I hope no one else has ever had to experience watching someone you love go through that kind of experience without having any ability to help them. Many hours later we were brought to a temporary ER room. It didn't have a single chair beyond the table for my Mom to lie on. The floor had multiple pieces of bloody gauze and splatters of blood. We were there so long and I was so exhausted I ended up sitting on that disgusting floor. She was later formally checked into the hospital after over a day of waiting.

At one point my Mom was taken away to get some tests. She had been gone an exceptionally long time. I finally went to look for her and found her on another level in the hallway- abandoned and throwing up. I started to push her back to her room and was informed by staff I wasn't allowed to push her and a staff member would have to take her. I was only 20 at the time but I had to be her voice. Let's just say that a staff member became available very quickly.

That whole New York trip was hands down the worst experience of my life. I pledged to myself at that time that when I was older and in any position of power, wealth or influence that I would become an advocate to improve quality of care.

My personal health insurance and medical expense story

The first time I understood something was wrong with health insurance was when I became pregnant with my first child. I had a personal insurance plan since my business is small and could not afford to provide a group plan. My plan didn't cover pregnancy as most individual plans don't. If they do it's for an astronomical premium and after an extended wait period. So much so that you may as well just pay for the pregnancy since paying those high premiums for years while waiting to be allowed to become pregnant would cost just as much in the end. I decided to skip the wait and pay out of pocket. I thought I would be smart and pay up-front and receive the cash pay discounts available. I paid the hospital many months before I was due to lock in the current year's rate. It seemed that the whole thing was going to cost around $6,000 including pre-natal care, testing and the delivery. Unfortunately my daughter was breach and I ended up having to do a c-section. The bills kept coming and coming. When all was said and done I spent $16,000 cash not counting what I was paying each month on health insurance premiums.


The one silver lining or so I thought was that my policy did extend coverage for pregnancy complications. Their policy definitions included a c-section as a covered complication. I submitted the claim to my insurance and was denied. I filed a complaint with the director of insurance in my state which I won after several months. Happy day I thought I was going to recoup some of my money. That was not to be the case... My first problem was the insurance company took the expense for my daughter and the expense for me and we were each subject to separate deductibles and co-pays. Then the insurance company paid the hospital what was left and left the hospital to reimburse me.

This is where things get interesting. I had already paid the hospital thousands and thousands of dollars and was considered paid in full. Yet when the hospital received thousands of extra dollars from the insurance company they changed me from cash pay to insurance pay. This means that the exact same services now cost much more. On a phone conversation with the hospitals billing department I was informed that they would try to work it so that I didn't owe any additional money. What? In the end they mailed me a check for exactly $100.00.


This was a very eye-opening experience. Hospitals and medical providers can charge whatever they want. I once paid for a pap smear when I was uninsured and had asked what the cost was upfront. I paid around $120.00. Around the same time my sister received a bill in the mail after a pap for $750. In my pregnancy experience the hospital could profit from my original fee. When sent more money they just changed the fee so they'd be entitled to keep it.

Insurance companies are for profit. To cover increasing expenses they have to either raise rates or further reduce coverage. Part of why hospitals need to charge more to clients with insurance is to cover the expenses of those without insurance that never end up paying their bill. It's estimated that this inflates prices that insured customers pay by an average of $1,100 per year. This experience made me realize that there were problems not just with quality of care, but a major problem with how the entire health insurance and medical system works as a whole.

1. I should not have needed to go to the my state's Director of Insurance to get my claim paid. Anyone who knows how to read would have clearly understood that my situation was covered under the policy. As someone who works in the insurance industry I understand that insurance companies will deny claims and hope that the insured either doesn't have the desire or knowledge of how to pursue it. This is a totally unacceptable and unethical process.

2. Something needs to change in the cost of medical care. The price should not be arbitrary depending on who's asking. Medical care is not a luxury it is a necessity. People need affordable access to it.

Image Credit

Do you think the U.S. needs health care reform?

Regardless you believe in Obamacare or otherwise, do you believe the U.S. needs some sort of Health Care Reform? Please elaborate

The Story of the Affordable Care Act

Myths about Obamacare

There is a lot of misinformation, lies and rhetoric being intentionally circulated purely to suit one's political agenda. I believe it's important to understand what something truly is and what it does before taking a stance on one side or the other.

  • OBAMACARE IS A FEDERAL TAKEOVER OF HEALTH INSURANCE

    One of the main purposes of the law is to deliver millions of currently uninsured individuals to PRIVATE insurance. It does not include a public option and is not a form of universal coverage.

  • OBAMACARE IS A JOB KILLER

    The law will result in the loss of a small amount of low-wage jobs which will be offset by an increase in higher-wage jobs. It is also estimated that some employees will retire sooner because they no longer need employer sponsored health insurance. However this is a positive because it means that someone who wanted to retire now can. Plus their job then becomes available for someone else who wants it.

  • OBAMACARE IS IN PART BEING FUNDED BY CUTS TO MEDICARE

    In reality Obamacare is actually going to increase spending on Medicare. It has introduced a discount to help reduce the doughnut hole on prescriptions for Medicare recipients. It plans to completely eliminate the doughnut hole by 2020.

  • OBAMACARE IS FINANCIALLY BAD FOR SMALL BUSINESSES

    Businesses will not be required to provide health insurance unless they have 50 full time equivalent employees or more. This is not a very small business. Millions of small businesses are now eligible for a tax credit to help pay for health insurance costs and that credit will increase up to 50% by the year 2014. Independent estimates suggest that small business health care spending will actually decrease by 9%.

Obamacare Cartoon

What is the Affordable Care Act really? - 15 Reasons I Love Obamacare

Some of the benefits are available immediately and other things will slowly roll. The plan will be fully implemented by 2020.

  1. Insurance companies can no longer deny coverage for pre-existing conditions.
  2. If you have a pre-existing condition you can get coverage through the new Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan.
  3. Insurance companies can no longer drop someone when they become sick.
  4. Children can remain on their parent's policies until age 26. This will bring more profit to health insurance companies. This is because they will receive more premiums without higher costs for these healthier individuals and this is a group of people who often go uninsured.
  5. The Medicare doughnut hole gap in coverage will be eliminated which will improve coverage and decrease costs for senior citizens.
  6. The maximum income to qualify for medicaid will be expanded to 133% of the federal poverty level. This is approximately $29,000 for a family of four.
  7. Those who don't qualify for Medicaid will receive significant tax credits as long as their income is below 400% of the federal poverty level. This is approximately $88,000 for a family of four.
  8. The act is expected to lower the budget deficit by $143 billion over the next 10 years. This will be achieved by raising some taxes and shifting more cost burdens.
  9. Large tax credits will be available to businesses to offer health insurance for their employees.
  10. Policies will no longer be able to exclude covering events like pregnancy. Minimum standards will be established. Now if you pay for health insurance and you need health care you'll have coverage.
  11. Lifetime coverage caps will be banned. This can literally save someone's life or at a minimum prevent them from bankruptcy.
  12. Insurance companies must use at least 80 percent of your premium for health services and improving care. If they don't then you'll receive a rebate check.
  13. Insurance companies will have to justify any premium hikes before an independent panel which will help keep premiums down.
  14. Certain preventative services will be included with health insurance policies such as check-ups, screenings, birth control and more. These will not be subject to a co-pay or deductible.
  15. Premiums will no longer be higher for women or people with pre-existing conditions (excluding tobacco use).

Health Insurance Requirement Poll

One of the components of the health care reform bill is that it will be required that all U.S. citizens carry health insurance. It can be purchased through work or on a personal basis. Low income families still have the option of applying for Medicaid. Mid income families will receive subsidies to help offset the cost of a personal policy.

Auto liability insurance is required for street legal vehicles on U.S. roads. This is for the protection of others rather than for the driver. Should health insurance also be required since costs of the uninsured can affect other citizens or do you feel it should be an individual’s choice?

Image Credit

Do you believe everyone should be required to have health insurance? Why?

See results

Has this Obamacare Lens changed your opinion?

After reading this lens has your opinion of Obamacare been affected at all?

See results

© 2012 Melissa Miotke

All opinions about the Affordable Care Act welcome - Just please keep it clean

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Melissa Miotke profile imageAUTHOR

      Melissa Miotke 

      3 years ago from Arizona

      Thanks for taking the time to read the article! I'm definitely in agreement with you that we need much more in the way of healthcare reform!

    • FitnezzJim profile image

      FitnezzJim 

      3 years ago from Fredericksburg, Virginia

      This is an interesting and a well written article. I visited the article because of your question on HubPages about HubScores.

      The sort of experiences you described with HealthCare are the sort of thing that our government had sought to be corrected. That said, two years after this article was written, I will offer the following -

      1) The United States government has a long history of solving every problem by creating another bureaucracy. A federal bureaucracy approach to solving a problem helps no one. It is an additional tax burden on us.

      2) The new system is to be administrated by the IRS. The IRS has recently been in the news for playing favorites with respect to who is exposed to their ‘investigations’. They are also in the news for hiding the truth, by ‘losing’ e-mails. This means we have a bureaucracy that demonstrably exhibits favoritism and lack of forthrightness that is now responsible for our HealthCare.

      3) We are starting to see indications that HealthCare professionals are being laid off.

      4) We are seeing reports that the existing government run HealthCare (for veterans) has major flaws, flaws serious enough that people die while waiting for care.

      This leaves me with the opinion that America still needs HealthCare reform.

    • Gayle Dowell profile image

      Gayle Dowell 

      5 years ago from Kansas

      I'm still not sure how I feel about this complex issue, but you have provided a lot of good information on the topic. Thanks.

    • Wbisbill LM profile image

      Barbara Isbill 

      5 years ago from New Market Tn 37820

      Interesting lens. Thumbs up. But, I do not like Obama care as a policy. There has to be a netter way!

    • profile image

      sybil watson 

      5 years ago

      You've made this complex issue so much easier to understand. My husband just became self-employed and I had hoped that Obamacare could offer us more affordable insurance, and it looks like it will with the tax credits. I'm so sorry for the tragic experience you had with your mom - that shouldn't happen to anyone.

    • pbrandon65 profile image

      pbrandon65 

      5 years ago

      I can't understand why people would think offering health care to people who can afford it the less is a bad idea.

    • Loretta L profile image

      Loretta Livingstone 

      5 years ago from Chilterns, UK.

      It was good to finally read an article by someone who is FOR Obamacare. As someone from a country with a national healthcare system I struggle to understand why people don't think it's a good thing. Fear of the unknown maybe?

    • CoolFool83 profile image

      CoolFool83 

      5 years ago

      This is a wonderful, and well written lense. I'm for it.

    • LiteraryMind profile image

      Ellen Gregory 

      5 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      Great job writing this. Hopefully it will enlighten some of the people who are afraid of it.

    • profile image

      cmadden 

      5 years ago

      This is a very well done presentation of The Affordable Care Act, nice to see!

    • flinnie lm profile image

      Gloria Freeman 

      5 years ago from Alabama USA

      Hi great lens, I enjoyed reading it.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      @Camden1: Let's all hope so. It would be wonderful if everyone could get the care they need.

    • mihgasper profile image

      Miha Gasper 

      5 years ago from Ljubljana, Slovenia, EU

      Good points. I hope there will be more health care and less greed in the future.

    • Camden1 profile image

      Camden1 

      5 years ago

      I think Obamacare is a step in the right direction towards getting every American affordable, high-quality health care.

    • Melissa Miotke profile imageAUTHOR

      Melissa Miotke 

      5 years ago from Arizona

      @Rosetta Slone: Thank you so much for your kind words. I totally agree that health care is a human right. I think its funny that so many in my country say things like we dont want to be like France, they hate their system. Anyone Ive ever known from France has not had a bad thing to say about their health care system. I hope we catch up to you someday!

    • Rosetta Slone profile image

      Rosetta Slone 

      5 years ago from Under a coconut tree

      What a brave and heartfelt lens. Growing up in Australia, and now living in France I've never had to experience the things you've had to. I paid nothing to give birth to my beautiful boy, from the ambulance ride to several days in hospital and all the tests and procedures that took place. The story about your mother made me cry. I don't understand how anyone can be against universal healthcare, it's a human right imo. I'm crossing my fingers for your country. x

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      My brain neurons just don't fire like they used to. At one time I had come to conclusion that there were 3 industries in this country (USA) that created a Bermuda Triangle effect that nobody could explain, solve or control. I'm going to have to do a Governor Perry "Oops!" on this because I can't remember the other 2, but I do remember one of them was INSURANCE!!

    • bushaex profile image

      Stephen Bush 

      5 years ago from Ohio

      SquidAngel blessings. It should be considered criminal that the lies and distortion about Obamacare are still actively circulating. Obamacare is a wonderful step in the right direction toward universal healthcare.

    • newbizmau profile image

      Maurice Glaude 

      5 years ago from Mobile, AL

      Bless you for starting the conversation.

    • sudokunut profile image

      Mark Falco 

      5 years ago from Reno, Nevada

      *sigh*. Honestly, coming from a country with so-called "free" healthcare (no it's not free but it doesn't bankrupt you when you get sick either) and watching the health care debate here in the US was completely befuddling. People have been sold so many lies about other country's healthcare systems that they are willing to get absolutely screwed over by the one they have rather than accept any kind of change. Newsflash: Europeans LOVE their healthcare systems and no, they're not all socialists or whatever other scary moniker you want to attach to them. Yes, they complain about their systems but if you try to change them you'll have a riot on your hands and no, healthcare isn't bankrupting those countries either despite what you'll see and read in the US. You see, Europe and many other countries found a way to keep healthcare costs down without lowering the level of care - they took insurance companies out of equation and/or they don't let them or big pharmaceutical companies dictate the costs. There's a reason why the same drug costs 1000 times more in the US than it does in France or Germany. Leaving these big corporations in control of prices is the reason why healthcare costs so much here but the level of care ranks amongst the lowest. This system is in desperate need of reform and really ought to be the best in the world after that reform. After all, we have everyone else to look at, so take their best parts of their systems and avoid their mistakes. Don't want to go with a socialized system because that word scares you? Then adopt the German model which is solely based on private insurance but without the killer costs and no denial of insurance because they regulate prices. The Affordable Care Act as it stands does little to stop rising costs as it leaves the insurance companies in control of pricing and that's a big, big problem.

    • Keepingscore profile image

      Keepingscore 

      5 years ago

      This thing is destined to implode, one only has to look at the model, Romneycare. Already Romneycare has the highest costs of all the states and rationing of services is already being planned. The problem with both attempts at reform is they ignore reality. Some people need to pay more for insurance. Old people get sick more often and use more medical care, it's not fair to overcharge younger people to make up the difference. In addition this takes away from the income young people need to pay off college debts, buy a house, or start saving for retirement. This is little more than a transfer of wealth from a younger generation to an older generation. Along the same line of thought, women should also be charged more for medical care. Women get discounts for life insurance and auto insurance for being women as they are in a lower risk category (which is acceptable), so why is it wrong to charge more for medical insurance as they incur larger costs? People need more options. Paying a doctor $300 so she can tell you what you already know (your kid has an earache), is a waste of your money and her time. Could be handled for $5 at the pharmacy by someone far less educated. Need to dismantle the American Medical Association or at least by-pass it. Currently the AMA limits the number of doctors in order to create an artifical shortage of doctors so higher prices can be charged. Couple this with tort reform and you could seem real improvements in cost containment.Final area is we need to have a real discussion about quality of life versus quantity of life. Not that I want to be the one pulling the trigger, but there has to be some limits on how much we can spend on people. Whether it is pre-mature babies or elderly patients. Does it really make sense to spend $20,000 a day keeping a premature baby alive that will have serious health issues for the rest of it's life, or spending $500,000 on a heart transplant for a 75 year old man? There has to be some limits somewhere unless we are willing to spend everything we make on health care.

    • profile image

      flm_online 

      5 years ago

      I am certain that the Affordable Care Act will improve our nation's health care results because the model has already been proven under RomneyCare

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)