Health Care Bill thoughts

I don't often write about news stories, or politics (or anything worth while, ha). However, this new health care bill that has been signed today is something to discuss. I am by no means anywhere close to being an expert on this, so just take it as an everyday citizen and her views on what's happening and nothing more.

Here's what USA Today says on how it will effect people:
"Poor adults will get Medicaid. Low-income families will get federal subsidies to buy insurance. Small businesses will get tax credits. Children will be able to stay on parents' policies until they turn 26. Seniors will gain additional prescription-drug coverage. People with medical conditions will gain peace of mind because insurers have to cover them.
On the other hand, the wealthy will pay higher taxes to help finance the 10-year, roughly $940 billion cost. Businesses with 50 or more workers will have to insure them or pay a penalty. Individuals, too, will have to pay a fine if they don't buy insurance. Premiums could rise for some people. Seniors with Medicare Advantage policies could lose those plans or pay more to keep them."

Like they've broken it into the good and bad, I also see benefits and cons to the bill. Mostly, I'm glad that people with pre-existing conditions will be covered. It's unfair to those people when they can't get insurance, even though some of them can afford it. It's also good, that more low income families will be able to get some kind of insurance coverage (they'll be forced to- but we'll get to that issue later). I also think it's great that you can stay on your parent's insurance until you're 26. That means that I would've just stopped being covered (I am 26). I've only been out of school for 2 years, but I was uninsured since age 21 (I think- not positive on this), until I got a job. If I would've gotten sick during grad school, I would have had no way to pay the medical bills. I was still in school, and didn't have a real job yet (which meant I was broke).

The bad things about this plan are number one, everyone will be forced to buy health insurance or pay a fine. This is bad for people right on the edge of getting medicaid, or other federal assistance. If you just make enough to not get help, you'll be needing help after you have to start paying for insurance you can't afford. And, I think that many people will be unable to afford health insurance after this. It does say, "Lower-income people who don't qualify for Medicaid will get federal subsidies to help them buy coverage from new state insurance exchanges — organized marketplaces that encourage competition." This will help, but I'm sure there will be people who fall through the cracks. High income people will have to pay for all the uninsured who will now be insured:

"For people at those income levels, all their investment earnings will be taxed 3.8%, marking the first time the hospital insurance tax has hit non-wage income. The other major tax increase hits the most generous health plans. Those don't apply just to upper-income people. State employees and other union workers have won excellent health coverage in recent years rather than big pay increases. Starting in 2018, family insurance plans valued at more than $27,500 will pay a 40% tax above that level."

The last too sentences really caught my eye, because I'm a state employee, and Landon gets insurance through his union. Yikes! We're not in that high income level (Single people earning more than $200,000 and couples starting at $250,000), but I think it's unfair that those people will be taxed on their investment earnings. I think that if you've made good investments, then good for you, keep that money. 

Surely, the insurance companies are going to have to raise rates to offset this plan. I know I heard something about premium caps, but still. I'm worried, because right now, both Landon and I have insurance through our employers and we're able to afford it. However, if rates are raised enough, it will be difficult. That and higher taxes will be tough. Businesses (with 50 or more workers) will have to insure their employees, which may lead to layoffs, because the business can't afford to insure their employees. I have also heard that states are not happy with these federal demands, because it will cost them money. This is not good! The state (Kansas) is already broke and cutting everything (which means, they cut education funding, which means my job can be in jeopardy). But, I'll save education funding for another post.

Who knows what's all going to happen because of this. I just hope, we'll still have good insurance and don't go broke paying for it.

And, I can't have a post without a cute photo of Remington, so here you go: