Wednesday, July 4, 2012

I am sick of the Republican lies and distortion about ACA (Affordable Care Act) so I went to an article on Alter Net that explains what ACA will do. You may want to bookmark this page if you need to refer back to the facts as stated in the editorial.  Every time someone makes a false claim you will be able to disprove it.

Ironically, Fox talking heads and the Republicans (including the wanna-be-president Romney) have done a very good job of misinforming the public about the act, as poll after poll shows.  But when those same people who are against the act are asked about the provisions in it they are all for them.  How stupid is that?   
Most people do not have a clue as to what is in the act so I decided to clarify some of the misinformation being spread around like manure.

(You may have to type it in your browser if you want to read the entire article.  The link doesn't seem to work.  Or go to Alter Net for a copy.)
I have edited it and have left in the salient facts.  
So here, in no particular order, are 10 things you may not know about the Affordable Care Act.
1.The law will look a lot less tyrannical when people start getting checks in the mail to help pay for their insurance.
Folks making up to four times the federal poverty line will be eligible for subsidies. In 2012, that would mean a family of four making up to $92,200 (it's a bit higher in Alaska) would see some cash.
Those who don't pay enough in federal income taxes will get a check in the mail from the IRS.
2. The Richest Americans Are Going to Pay More Taxes
Wealthy investors are outraged, but most people probably don't know that a 3.8% surcharge on investment income – dividends and capital gains -- kicks in this January for everyone with an adjusted gross income of over $200,000 ($250,000 for joint filers).
3. Insurers' Overhead – and Profit Margins -- Are Limited
For the past 18 months or so, insurers have been required to spend 85 percent of the premiums they collect on healthcare (80 percent for individual and small-group plans). If they spend less than that, they have to send their customers a rebate to cover the difference.

4. Much Ado About the Mandate
most people probably don't know just how modest the impact of the mandate really is. According to the Congressional Budget Office, just 1 percent of the population will pay the penalty, which maxes out at 1 percent of one's income.
'In the case of any failure by a taxpayer to timely pay any penalty imposed by this section, such taxpayer shall not be subject to any criminal prosecution or penalty with respect to such failure.'" They can only dock future tax refunds.
5. The Employer Mandate
Starting in 2014, companies with 50 or more full-time workers (two part-timers count as one full-timer for this purpose) will have to pay penalties if they don't cover their employees' health insurance.  A majority of Americans – and a third of Democrats – think the healthcare law will increase the deficit. But according to the Congressional Budget Office, the law will reduce the projected deficit by $210 billion over the next decade.
7. Beginning in 2014, insurers won't be able to charge women higher premiums than men.
Also coming in 2014: a ban on insurers placing annual limits on healthcare (lifetime coverage limits were already banned in 2010).
The Kaiser poll found that few people were aware of another popular new insurance regulation: since 2010, insurance companies can no longer charge co-pays or hold you to a deductible for preventive health services.
The healthcare law also allocates $11 billion over a five-year period to build new CHCs and upgrade existing infrastructure. Most of the dollars will end up in poorer communities.
A lot of under served people live in rural America, and the law also provides money to train and place 16,000 primary caregivers in rural communities over a five-year period.
9. Essential Benefits
Starting in 2014, in order for insurers to sell coverage through state-based exchanges – a place where a lot of the newly insured will likely end up – they will be required to cover a package of “essential benefits,” including maternity care, mental healthcare and substance abuse treatment, pediatric care, ambulance rides and hospitalization.
They don't have to if they don't want to participate in the exchanges, yet this measure is, according to many, at the heart of the supposed “government takeover” of our healthcare system.
10. It's Not So Easy to Repeal
Unless the Republicans were to win both the White House and a huge number of senate seats, they “can do little more than weaken Obamacare’s regulations and defund some of its provisions.” They also have nothing to replace it with, and would own our screwed up healthcare system for a generation. And they'd lose an issue that fires up the conservative base. They will, however, do their best to gum up the works as the law is implemented. 
Joshua Holland is an editor and senior writer at AlterNet. He is the author of The 15 Biggest Lies About the Economy: And Everything else the Right Doesn't Want You to Know About Taxes, Jobs and Corporate America. Drop him an email or follow him on Twitter.
© 2012 Independent Media Institute. All rights reserved.
VAndiew this story online at:
Republican politicians across the country claim that Obamacare’s expansion of Medicaid, the widely popular program which makes health insurance available for lower-income Americans, will increase costs for states. Ten Republican governors have pledged not to accept the Medicaid expansion funds and 22 other governors are considering turning down the money.
Directly disproving Republican claims, an extensive study reveals that the Affordable Care Act significantly benefits states by reducing their uncompensated care costs. In the months preceding the passage of the ACA, the President’s Council of Economic Advisors released a report on the impact of the bill on state budgets. Though the bill hadn’t yet passed when the report was written, the Council studied the Medicaid expansion which has since become law. The Council looked at the uncompensated care spending of 16 states demographically and geographically representative of the country (AR, CA, FL, ID, IN, IA, ME, MI, MN, MO, NE, NC, OR, PA, VT, WY).
The report reveals that states are currently spending billions each year providing coverage to the uninsured in three ways. Obamacare addresses each source to reduce state health insurance costs.
1. Under Obamacare, states no longer have to finance health insurance for people above 133 percent of the federal poverty level.
2. Under Obamacare, states pay billions less to cover people below 133 percent of the federal poverty level. For the first three years of the expanded Medicaid program, the federal government will cover 100 percent of Medicaid costs. The surveyed states will save $4.2 billion (100 percent of their uncompensated care costs) annually for the first three years, and $3.0 billion annually starting in 2019.
3. By making health insurance universally available, Obamacare slashes the “hidden tax” states pay in health insurance premiums. States pay a “hidden tax” in the form of higher insurance premiums to account for the cost of covering the uninsured. “By greatly reducing uncompensated care,” the Council explains, Obamacare works to “reduce this hidden tax.”
This study blows a hole in Republican claims that 
Obamacare has ill economic effects. In reality, Obamacare saves states money while improving the overall economy. Republicans who care more about fiscal responsibility than political gamesmanship would do well to embrace it.
This article was published at NationofChange at: All rights are reserved.


joared said...

Happy Independence Day! Another winning fact-filled blog post.

Darlene said...

*Joared - I just wish I were not preaching to the choir with these facts.

Anne said...

Dear Darlene, I am catching up after my trip. I am so very sad to learn of the tragedy in your son's life.

Your analysis of the health care law is, as always, right on. You are so good to keep on trying to get people to see the truth.

Darlene said...

*Anne - Thank you. I saw the photo of that sweet baby. It must have been a wonderful trip.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for putting it all together, Darlene. Although I have a hard time with the subsidies provided to families who have income that puts them at four times the income that defines the poverty level, many of the changes are to the good in my view. It is too bad that everything could not have kicked in at once; but, being a pragmatist, I can understand that it takes a while for institutions/government entities to prepare for them. Our own Gov Brownback and legislators bet that SCOTUS would scuttle the Affordable Healthcare Act and have, to this point, not moved toward setting up a State Exchange.
Cop Car

Nancy said...


Thank you for the research and time you put into this post.

Only now is the Obama Administration putting the details of the ACA in plain 5th grade terms.

I think they realize how close they came to having the whole thing crash down on them and part of the reason would be because almost half of the people in this Country did not have a CLUE what was included in the ACA.

AS you said, if you asked them about a specific element such as being able to keep your children on your insurance until they are 26they are all for it.

Or if you told them that the insurance company could not deny you insurance because of a pre existing condition, they liked that.

But, the talking heads of TV and the Gov't just kept talking about the PUBLIC OPTION to each other and nobody knew what the H they were talking about. They came one vote from losing the whole thing because the SCOTUS KNEW that the public didn't GET it so they could vote it down and nobody would scream.

Now that the Obama team realize how close they came they figure they better explain it so when the republicans TRY to repeal it, there will be an outcry from the people who will not want those benefits taken from them.

You and I are both old enough to remember Adlai Stevenson who also talked over everybody's heads and we were stuck with Eisenhower for 8years. History almost repeated itself.

Darlene said...

*Cop Car - I don't think the top earners will get much in the way of subsidies. As I understand it, the amount of subsidy will be based on income and the number of people in the household.

*Nancy - Yes, Obama tends to be too cerebral for the average person to understand him. I do hope the administration will begin to spell the benefits out in simpler terms. They really need to show people how it will benefit the country economically and each person financially as that's where the most misinformation is spread.

Anonymous said...

Darlene--I'm sure that you are correct about the subsidies being graduated. You hit on something else that bothers me: giving tax breaks for more kids. Again, as a pragmatist, I think we should be discouraging overpopulation. We need a one or two child limit (except for US children who are adopted) on tax breaks. China has been a bit Draconian in enforcement (but, at that, they've reach what - 3 billion?) but we need to get our heads out of the sand.
Cop Car

Darlene said...

*Cop CAr - No doubt that overpopulation is a problem that is going to get worse if the problem isn't taken seriously. But that's an issue on it's own and needs to be tackled separately. I think your idea of no tax credits for any children after two has merit, but you would drive the Catholic Bishops (and the Mormons) insane if it were proposed.

Leslie Parsley said...

What a fabulously well documented post. You're not just preaching to the choir because I fully intend to send it via email to a lot of people who would benefit by reading it.

Darlene said...

*Leslie Parsley - Thank you for picking up the torch.

Hattie said...

Thank you for this. I am glad people above the poverty line will be subsidized. Anyone without medical insurance will be hit with huge bills for service that could easily backrupt them.

Darlene said...

+Hattie - Absolutely. The biggest cause of bankruptcy now is medical costs.

Kay Dennison said...

Thank you!!!!!

Darlene said...

*Kay Dennison - You're welcome.

naomi dagen bloom said...

Another good public service, Darlene. Not so sure you're preaching to the choir as I review comments--and those are only the ones we know about. We have to hold onto the idea that it's also useful to support our own compatriots--and provide material that others might link to.

Darlene said...

*naomi dagen blooom - Thank you for helping me realize I may be reaching some non-believers. I am not sure I am changing any one's thinking, but all I can do is try.

Jack Jodell said...

Thank you so very much for taking the time and effort to post this vital information! Thanks to you, I have now added an excellent website - Nation Of Change - to my blogroll, and it is fabulous!

Darlene said...

*Jack Jodell - There are lots of good web sites out there. I don't have time to read many so try to pick the best ones. I am not always successful, but I'm happy to add this one to your blogroll.

Darlene said...

*Jack Jodell - There are lots of good web sites out there. I don't have time to read many so try to pick the best ones. I am not always successful, but I'm happy to add this one to your blogroll.