Hey, rally round folks. First I’d like to say that this dust up over insurance is just that- a dust up! If we had the ability to step back and look at this problem from a point in the distance it wouldn’t look like quite the problem we all currently think it is. You see, only about 15 percent of the population of America is uninsured. So, we are talking about a small number here, relative to the whole population.
Okay, so why is this sound like such a big deal?
Um, it’s politics. See, on the one side you have folks who are against government interfering in any market, even the market for health. On the other side you have folks who believe that there is a numbers game going on here and that having more people covered by insurers will according to the game, make it more affordable for each member of the pool to get coverage for health care. Those folks don’t object to government involvement in personal choice because they see that as a social good.
Now let’s look at the politics of this beyond conservatives and liberals. In this country we have a Supreme Court that decides what is constitutional. In this particular case most of the “liberal” judges voted for the ACA, or Obamacare and the more conservative justices voted against it. A lot of people were surprised that Justice Roberts voted for it, but if you read some of the dissent you’ll see he wasn’t exactly cheering over the Obama Administration’s Act. Instead he was looking at what he might have thought was a flawed law, and deciding whether as a law it was constitutional. He called it a tax and said that therefore it was a constitutional law.
In a bit of the dissent there is a statement that surely the government didn’t intend to create 4 million outlaws when they wrote this law. See, about that many people are expected to want to refrain from purchasing health care from an insurer. The government expects to “tax” or penalize them for making that choice. The tax looks like it will start at about 95 bucks for people who can afford to buy health insurance according to the government and it increases to about 695 dollars a year later!
What someone who doesn’t have health insurance gets for that tax is um…nothing. On the other hand they could try to find an affordable plan that covers them even if the plan is just for catastrophic illness.
Okay, basically this entire plan is in the early stages. The insurance plans that are envisioned as a part of this Act are entirely made up in people’s heads. The centers for care for the uninsured don’t exist right now. The ability for people to move to plans like Medicaid also don’t exist right now! A lot of this plan is intended to come to fruition at some point in the future!
Some changes might come from this Act being passed and those changes might be beneficial for all of us. I mean imagine an America where almost all naturalized citizens are cared for by private insurers and private care! This is very different from “socialized medicine”. In other words we are on the brink of a new dynamic in health care! That might be a very good thing.
The fact that Justice Roberts called this a “tax” seems pretty important. Taxes can be dealt with by Congress. As I mentioned before Eric Cantor a Representative from VA in the House is saying the House is going to vote on it on July 11th. I noted with a little dismay that the point of throwing things to the House of Representatives when it came to taxing authority was to sort of scare the members of the House with the threats of citizens who everyone thought were closer to the House….Cantor as a citizen, is personally worth about 7 million dollars, I don’t have a problem with his personal wealth, but I wonder about his experience being a regular joe.
Does that help sum things up?
1- Not that many folks are uninsured.
2-Insured individuals already are paying a hidden tax in paying for uninsured.
3-None of this is currently in practice, this is all theoretical.
4-It’s a tax, so Congress is back in control.
I’ll keep you abreast of any changes…