Health Care Reform Bill Facts
Before declaring your undying support for it or renouncing everything to do with it, knowing the essential health care reform bill facts is probably a good idea. Passed March of 2010, the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” is quite a document. It’s widely considered to be the most sweeping change in the American health care since the introduction of Medicare under Lyndon B. Johnson. Due to its sheer size and complexity, many are left wondering what the facts behind the immense text of the health care reform bill are. Below are some of its substantive highlights, with the intention of clearing up this lengthy, somewhat daunting piece of legislation.
- The biggest, most sweeping change will take place in 2014. The most important fact about the health care reform bill to know is that, roughly three years from now, almost everyone will be required to carry health insurance. In essence, there are three separate ways that this will be accomplished for most. You’ll either receive health insurance from your employer, have to buy it yourself in order to avoid stiff financial penalties, or will be enrolled in a program such as Medicare or Medicaid.
- For some of the people who have to buy their own health insurance, this change won’t have a big effect on real income. For those with very low incomes, specifically from 133 to 400% of the poverty level, the cost of buying health insurance will be mostly offset with tax credits. The idea is that their real income over the course of a given year will be largely unaffected by requirements of the legislation. This health care reform bill fact is one reason why conservatives generally oppose the legislation, as it is a technique that for all intents and purposes redistributes wealth.
- You can pretty much expect most employers, except very small businesses, to offer health insurance. A key fact about the health care reform bill to know is that it is pretty tough on employers that don’t offer health insurance. Companies that employ 50 or more people will start having to pay hefty fees in 2014, counted for every person they employ that claims the health insurance tax credit (meaning they had to buy their own). The idea is that the financial costs of not giving employees health insurance should outweigh the benefits. As a result, you can anticipate a substantial increase in the percentage of middle to large-sized companies that offer health insurance.
- Abortion coverage, except for cases of rape, incest, and life-threatening conditions, is not included in the plan for Federal Subsidies. One major mistake of fact about the health care reform bill many people make is that their tax money will go to pay for abortions. Naturally, many have some serious qualms about this idea. However, in all but the most exceptional cases, no Federal money will go towards the coverage of abortions.