What it Means Now that the Health Care Bill Has Been Upheld
To begin with, you should understand about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, now called simply the Affordable Care Act, or ACA for short, is that it had already been signed into law before the Supreme Court ruling, and parts of the bill have already gone into effect. Other parts of the law will be effective in stages, and the full scope of the ACA will not be in force until the year 2020. The only parts of the bill which were investigated by the Supreme Court were the legalities of funding the program, which can realistically be described as similar to Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security. Here is some information about what the ACA means to you now that the bill has been upheld.
One of the first parts of the law, which requires health insurance companies to allow dependents up to the age of 26 to remain on the coverage of their parents, has already gone into effect. This change makes it possible for millions of adults to immediately have access to healthcare that they would otherwise have lost solely because of their age.
By 2014, the next stage of the bill will go into effect, and that provision will prevent insurance companies from denying coverage to millions more Americans who suffer from preexisting conditions. Under the previous laws, private insurance could deny coverage if you had, for example, asthma or diabetes. By 2014, insurance companies will no longer be able to do that, and many insurance companies have already begun adopting the new regulations.
A common misconception about the ACA is that it is going to wreak havoc on those who already have health insurance. The healthcare bill is designed to make health insurance coverage available to an estimated 32 million people who cannot currently get insurance or cannot afford to pay for it. If you already have a health insurance policy in force, you will see little or no changes at all, and your policy will continue to function in almost the same way that it always has.
For those who do not currently have health insurance, the law requires all citizens to enroll in a health insurance plan, or pay a penalty tax for remaining uninsured. . Those who cannot afford to pay for health insurance, even under the new system, will be eligible for vouchers or other subsidies that entitle them to a minimum level of medical care. The bill is intended to make it possible for all Americans to receive minimal preventative and medical care at a fair price so that everyone can get health insurance.
Despite the fact that opponents of the healthcare reform say the law will increase the costs of medical care for Americans, the law is actually designed to not only restrict the growth of health care costs, it is meant to reduce the federal deficit over the next 10 years by more than $140 billion dollars. The law does not eliminate Medicare or Medicaid, but it does enhance them and other facets of the health insurance industry.
The taxation which has caused such an uproar over this legislation is intended to transfer much of the burden of health insurance to employers and insurance companies, and will not affect those who make less than $250,000 a year, which is a very small percentage of the population. The idea is that these people can afford to pay a minimal tax and as Americans are obligated to participate in helping restore our nation's position as a world leader by providing assistance to those who are less fortunate. Only a small percentage of the American population will be affected by this tax, and of those, the tax will be so small that it will not create any type of financial problem.