What is Obama Care?
Actually, there is no such thing as Obama care. There is a health care Act. It does a lot of good things for a lot of people in the US. To me, the biggest flaw is that it hasn't gone far enough. We are still subject to the will of insurance companies. It comes into being in phases, so some has happened and some has not.
It provides insurance coverage to 32,000,000 Americans who didn't have it when it was enacted. That's a good thing because it saves a lot of money. If someone doesn't get medical care in a timely fashion, they can get seriously ill and then the tax payers have to pay for them if they don't have insurance. If they would have become disabled (say, they could have gotten treatment for high blood pressure instead of going to the ER with a stroke), we save money in welfare and social security because that's less disabling conditions that have to be helped with.
From what I can gather, though, it's basically still allowing people who can afford their own health care to go buy health insurance from private companies. However, if you can't afford to buy it on your own or you are denied by a private insurance company, then it will be government provided (or at least government paid for, anyway). So it's not like making government take over health care, it's just providing for those who can't afford it for themselves or are discriminated against. Republicans and libertarians take issue with it because they see it as another government program that will just increase our national debt and taxes.
What it does:
1- Forbids insurance companies from denying coverage based on prior medical conditions. So a whole lot of people are now covered who weren't before. You don't have to die lying in your own vomit, perhaps with cancer eating up your body from the inside out, because you can't afford insurance. Insurance companies can't deny you coverage anymore because you have a "pre-existing condition." An adult who does not have health insurance by 2014 would be penalized $95 or 1 percent of income, whichever is greater, so long as the amount does not exceed the price tag of a basic health plan. But by 2016, the penalty increases to $695 for an uninsured adult, and up to $2,085 per household, or 2.5 percent of income, whichever is greater. It makes more sense to buy health insurance and get a tax credit instead of wasting money on a tax penalty.
2- Forbids insurance companies from cutting people off from coverage when they get sick. Obama care will thus insure that almost all Americans are covered. This in turn will reduce the amount of people who will have to go to the ER for everything, simply because no doctor will want to deal with folks who have no insurance. Less people in the ER means lower cost for the hospitals which means less cost for all of us.
3- Allows young adults to be covered under their parent's policy until they are 26. This helps thousands of people who can't get jobs or can't get jobs with benefits because corporations are not providing them anymore.
4- Allows people who have no employer to buy affordable health insurance, with subsidies based on income, so that you can get insurance for as little as $75 a year. This will be done through state run insurance exchanges.
What are some complaints about it?
1- Some people complain about the individual mandate (a republican idea). It requires people to either have insurance or pay a small tax for not having it. That tax can then be used for an insurance pool to cover the people who don't have insurance when they show up at the emergency room. If you don't pay the fine then not a lot happens. Under Obama care, the IRS can't jail you or garnish your wages for failure to pay the individual mandate fine. All they can do really is withhold any refund you may be due until your debt is paid.
2- There are also lies about death panels. There is no such thing. All it does is allow the doctor to be paid for time spent discussing end of life care - whether you want to go the whole tubes and machines route or just go without.
3- Some people also complain about the government getting involved in health care. What is really happening is that MEDICAL professionals are making the decisions about what can be covered or not, rather than non-medical profit driven corporate bosses.
What is the long term effect of Obama Care ?
Once Americans have tasted what all of the civilized countries on this planet are offering for decades, healthcare that is affordable and a situation that when you get sick you don't have to worry or lose everything you have worked your entire life for, there is no way of going back to the "don't get sick" policy of the regressive right. It's hard to appreciate this when you are a young person, but you will get older, and you will get sick eventually, and at that point you will understand that nothing is more important than being healthy or getting healthy again.
Obama care will simply reduce the average cost of health-care, extend life expectancies, and reduce infant mortality rates.
The folks who WILL suffer severely from this are the insurance & health care industry "middle managers" in the US, who will be out of a job....and them getting fired won't create any vacancies because in reality they weren't actually doing anything...
(3). The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Summary of New Health Reform Law. Available from http://www.kff.org/healthreform/upload/8061.pdf. Accessed April 24, 2010.
(4). The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Summary of coverage provisions in the Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act and Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010. Available from http://www.kff.org/healthreform/upload/8023.pdf . Accessed April 24, 2010.
(5). Lowes R. Obama signs historic healthcare reform bill. Medscape Medical News. Available from http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/719012. Accessed April 24, 2010.