The Rule of Reason – Part 7 Obamacare

What? Me worry?

What? Me worry?

Following the Rule of Reason, Obama care should be called Kennedy Care. The Affordable Care Act has so many characteristics of the proposal worked on by Harry Reed, Chris Dodd, and Ted Kennedy before Barack Obama was elected president. Obama owes his presidency to the Kennedy family. Hence, when Kennedy died, Obama made passing The Affordable Care Act his primary goal.

I don’t judge President Obama one way or another for pushing the Affordable Care Act. These are simply the facts. Hilary Clinton would have become the 1st Female President had Kennedy not believed Obama would deliver on Kennedy’s Healthcare plan. Remember Hilary had a Healthcare Plan of her own during the Clinton Administration, and Kennedy couldn’t have conflicting ideas in play and still pass this huge a piece of legislation.

The Conservative News ranked Obama care #4 in issues facing America. So let’s review the Pros and Cons of the law, not counting implementation.

Please note. The  law requires every citizen to have some form of health insurance or opt out and pay a penalty. By 2016, the maximum penalty would be $2,085 per family or $173.75 per month subject to change.

Here is what Unbiased experts say about the plan.

Pros: The Affordable Care Act creates a Rebate Program, which requires insurance companies to spend 80% of premiums on healthcare or refund portions of those premiums to certain qualified individuals. (definitions somewhat confusing) For lower-income tax brackets, enrollees will pay lesser premiums and will receive tax credits and subsidized health care. Since preventive medicine can keep future health care costs down, the Act offers genetic testing for women at high risk for Ovarian and Breast cancer. There is no co-pay and early mammograms are also offered. Young people 26 and under can stay on their parent’s insurance if they live together. Businesses under 50 people will receive tax credits to help pay for benefits. Companies cannot reject you for pre-existing conditions. But healthy young people may choose to reject sign-up and pay out-of-pocket until they have a serious condition and then enroll. Whoops. Up goes the cost.

The Cons: Economist don’t know how high the total cost of healthcare will skyrocket. No one knows. The Rule of Reason asks. When has the government created anything that lowered costs? Studies predict costs for the middle class and seniors will go down, But only with a marked increase of participation by young people. The Act does define a full-time employee as one who works more than 30 hours a week. Well, employers are now scheduling employees for 29 hours and opting them out. 20-somethings healthcare costs average $854 per year according to the Supreme Court. For The Affordable Care Act to break even, 2.7 million young Americans must spend $5,800 a year on healthcare.

Note: No one knows what effect The Affordable Care Act will have on Social Security, inflation, the value of the dollar, or the national debt over the next decade. In order to enforce penalties, the IRS will be forced to expand. Drug companies, medical device makers, and business taxes help fund the Act to the tune of 100 billion dollars. In 2011 the Congressional Budget Office estimated a loss of 800,000 jobs due to the Affordable Care Act. That estimate has increased, but only time will tell.

Many people do not have to enroll in the Act because they already have adequate coverage. Others may opt for religious healthcare group sharing plans and available individually purchased self-employed, part-time employed, or small business plans. The Affordable Care Act doesn’t force you to buy any one particular plan. So shop around.

I’m on Social Security and an employer-provided Medicare Supplement plan. I have two concerns. First, will inflation reduce my Social Security down to a point where it has no purchase-power? And second, will my healthcare premium skyrocket over the next few years to compound the problem of no Cost of Living increases in Social Security? I don’t have any answers. And like most Americans, I’m not sure I even know what questions to ask.

What me worry?