Health Care bill is passed

Addison Neely

     In the election of 2009, Barack Obama  promised to secure the public’s health and safety by insuring all Americans.  President Obama stayed true to his word and although many are unaware of what this bill consists of, the passing new health care bill has created political turmoil. Its passage has set us on an unfamiliar course but the American public will not see any major changes until 2014 when the bill will take full effect.

     The main goal of the new reform is to provide health care to all Americans, and to prevent insurance companies from denying individuals care based on their medical history.  When the bill is fully phased in major coverage expansion will begin in 2014. It is projected that by this time, about 95 percent of all Americans will be insured, as opposed to the 83 presently insured today.  Almost everyone will be required have insurance or pay a fine.  However, there is an exemption for low-income individuals who currently cannot pay for their coverage.

     But just, how much is this going to cost the U.S.?  According to the Congressional Budget Office, the bill is expected to cost approximately 940 billion dollars over the next ten years.  Our government plans to supply these funds from a clause in the bill that increases the Medicare payroll tax. This tax applies to investment income as well as wages for individuals making more than $200,000, or married couples making above $250,000. The tax on investment income would be raised to 3.8 percent.  The main groups this will be effected are the high income bracket, and disadvantaged Americans who are unable to pay for their health care.

     With respect to current health insurance providers the role of employers who provide health insurance benefits will be maintained as a majority of Americans already get their insurance from their employers.  Companies who employ 50 or fewer workers are exempt from the requirement. Part-time workers are included in the calculations, counting two part-timers as one full-time worker.

     In many health care plans provided by insurance companies there are limitations with prescribed medicines.  In the past, prescription drug bills have primarily effected the older generations, but now that prescription drugs have become more widely used, many other Americans received limitations as well.  Starting this year, older Americans who have hit the cap on their yearly prescription drugs, will be given a rebate.  Once they spend $2,830 on medicine, they will receive a rebate of $250.  In 2011, those who exceed their allotted amount, will be given a 50 percent discount on prescription drugs and soon after 2011, these individuals will only be responsible for 25 percent of their medicine.

     Many Americans oppose the new health care bill because of the high tax increase on the wealthy and claiming it isn’t an aspect of a capitalistic system, rather, a socialist endeavor.  Others argue and believe that every American deserves the right to health care, regardless of income.  This bill has sparked major disputes and separation between Americans.  It has also forced us to re-evaluate our government and the central ideals of our nation. President Obama wanted a radical change in the way individuals receive coverage and medicine, and his revolutionary idea is about to commence.  As the repercussions of this health care bill start to form, it’s up to Americans to pull together and withstand the blows. Only time will tell how the healthcare bill will affect the nation.