Helping the Working Poor — A Practical Defense of PPACA, The Health Care Law

Guest Blogger: theangryliberal

The Health Care Bill, more often than not, raises the ire of both conservatives and progressives. They’ve teamed up to spread as much misinformation about the bill as possible. Why? I am not sure, because this bill goes a long way to get more people access to health care.

I think it all began with a guy named Howard Dean and some comments he made In December of 2009.  Dean was very angry that the public option was eliminated from the Senate bill. The target of Dean’s rant was Joe Lieberman, ( I)CT, he was pretty pissed at Lieberman and he seemed to feel no bill would be better than this bill now. He was angry at the process. And his anger is not unfounded. This Senate has become a branch of our government that is immovable, ideologically entrenched, almost completely unable to pass any worthwhile legislation. Dr. Dean was pretty pissed about that, as we all should be. However, instead of directing his anger at the improbable 60 vote requirement to pass any legislation of substance, he decided it would be time to just let Republicans win by killing the bill. That didn’t happen of course, but that was an extreme reaction, one Republicans were relying upon, this is where they were able to begin to sow the seeds of discontent among voters, they have filled the air with misinformation, with the help of people who are otherwise quite progressive. All that discontent, and the Executive Branches unbelievable inability to fight back against the propaganda has left people with a sour taste in their mouths when it comes to their thoughts about PPACA.

A number of people jumped on Dr. Dean’s bandwagon, Keith Olbermann went on the air to loudly proclaim why the Senate Bill should not be passed. Two days after Dean’s rant against the bill, a number of left leaning organizations and people banded together to help kill the bill:

Dave Linderhoff of The Public Record
Jane Hamsher of FireDogLake
Markos Moulitsas; Daily Kos Founder
Darcy Bruner; a past candidate for Congress

Lying about ACA has become something of a cottage industry. But don’t believe the hype, the reforms already implemented have brought down insurance costs, added more people to insurance rolls, new benefits for senior citizens, implemented necessary regulations regarding pre-existing conditions and an 80% requirement that premiums be spent on the consumers health care costs, with 20 mandated for administrative costs.

People who will benefit most from the bill:

  1. Those without any insurance.
  2. Those who have paid for expensive individual policies on their own.
  3. Employees of small businesses that have trouble affording the cost of joining a group plan.
  4. Low income Medicare participants who are left paying for whatever is not covered by Medicare for their medical bills and prescriptions.

Who is without access to health insurance? Some of those people are the working poor. It has been a long struggle to get federal legislation dealing with this problem, the estimates are there are some 45 million people without access to basic heath care.  In the past, some states attempted to solve this problem on their own by setting up their own state run “group” for people who didn’t qualify for Medicaid. When the boom of the 1990’s ran its course, those programs began to be cut severely because of the expense of running the programs and because states don’t have as much revenue since the economic downturn and they are having to make tough choices.  Many states of course never attempted such things. Washington State has such a program, but its funding has been cut in the past few years so although people may qualify by their income, there are no slots open to take them as customers, in fact the plan has had to disenroll people because of a lack of funding, in total 17,000 members were disenrolled.

However the results of PPACA have been positive.

  • Requires beginning this year, insurers must spend 80% – 85% of premiums in actually delivering care
  • Our health insurance plans now have to justify their premium rate increases to the State and pass an approval process before they can raise prices.
  • Because of the ACA, young adults can now stay on their parents’ insurance until the age of 26.
  • New York has something called “community rating,” which means that health insurers can’t charge you higher rates simply because of your age, gender, or health history.
  • Because of the ACA, people with pre-existing conditions now have choices for coverage, one example the NY Bridge Plan.
  • States like New York have a law in place called “guaranteed issue,” which means that insurers have to offer health insurance to everyone, even if they have a pre-existing condition (even though they have waiting periods for coverage related to that condition.  But thanks to the ACA – those waiting periods will soon be a thing of the past!). 
  • Premium and Cost sharing subsidies to individuals: the mechanism provides refundable and advanceable premium credits to eligible individuals and families who fall between 133% and 400% of FPL (Federal Poverty Level) to purchase insurance through state created health exchanges.
  • Provide Cost sharing subsidies to eligible individuals and families. Cost-sharing credits reduce the cost sharing amounts and annual cost-sharing limits and have the effect of increasing the actuarial value of basic benefit plan to the following percentages of the full value of the plan:

100 – 150% FPL  94%

150 – 200% FPL  87%

200 – 250% FPL  73%

250 – 400% FPL  70%

Health Exchanges: a few examples

  • Vermont : passed legislation to build a single payer plan for the state of Vermont and in October  of this year, (2011) that plan got one step closer to implementation.

These new federal policies are working. I think this is good. There seems to be a small, but loud coalition of people on both sides of the ideological aisle who would have you believe PPACA is a complete failure, but the evidence says otherwise. Let’s stop letting them get away with their propaganda war against delivering health care to those who would not otherwise have access. Let’s fight back with the facts at hand, because the facts indicate the legislation is working.


6 thoughts on “Helping the Working Poor — A Practical Defense of PPACA, The Health Care Law

  1. The law is imperfect. The US Senate – the pathetic and dysfunctional Senate – is responsible for most of the imperfection.
    It is not a failure; it is a partial success; a big improvement over nothing at all.

  2. How about taxing diseases? “Cheap” diseases would be taxed at a lower rate than more “serious” and expensive ones, which would be taxed at a higher rate. This would bring in a decent amount of revenue that we could put back into circulation. It would seriously help out healthcare.

  3. So hopefully, Michael, you will only get CHEAP diseases!!! Where did you get this bright idea…from Herman, Michelle, Rick or Newt? Less money would be spent on healthcare overall if more funds were available for PREVENTATIVE care. But even First Lady Obama gets jeered from the REICH when she advocates for exercise and good diet.

    I just had a benign tumor cut out of my leg last week that would have become cancerous possibly if allowed to grow. For 25 years I’ve had tissue biopsied and removed from both my skin and colon. Over that period of time I have had yearly full body exams by a dermatologist and regular sigmoidoscopies and colonoscopies by a gastroenterologist. These are not cheap exams/procedures (the latter prodecure bills Medicare for over $2K each time) but they have prevented full blown cancer which would be more costly to treat and probably have killed me years ago. Of course a Republican might cheer for an earlier death as that would mean not giving me back any of the Social Security taxes I’ve paid since I was a teenager. Remember Rep. Alan Grayson saying on the floor of Congress,

    “If you get sick America, the Republican health care plan is this: die quickly. That’s right. The Republicans want you to die quickly if you get sick.”

  4. Damn that sounds intense, but I don’t think you get it. The tax money would go towards preventative care such as searching for the cure and promoting healthy initiatives. We could even have a specific cut go towards benign tumor removal.

  5. Where did I say research and development and excising benign tumors were NOT a part of preventative medicine? Did you even read what I wrote? And I am the one that doesn’t “get it”! Or are you just throwing out chum in typical troll fashion. After surviving now for 72 years I think I know a little about preventative medicine. Thankfully both my parents were members of strong labor unions that fought for good health plans so my preventative care began at birth.

  6. “If you get sick America, the Republican health care plan is this: die quickly. That’s right. The Republicans want you to die quickly if you get sick.” Michael Taylor

    Well, that might be a better option then the death panel who would most likely tell you to go home and take a aspirin. Socialized Medicine is nothing more then a bandaid compared too the quality of health care the stupid socialist want to destroy and replace with
    Cuban style health care for the rich only. LOL.

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