It’s been a year since President Barack Obama‘s controversial health care “reform” became law and America remains divided over whether it’s a good or bad thing.
Most can’t even decide what to call the “reform.”
Most polls show only one out of every eight Americans believe the new health care law has helped them and public reaction on the law is as divisive as ever.
Many believe the bill is actually driving up the cost of health care as more and more Americans still cannot afford to pay for insurance.
Court challenges await and the Supreme Court still has to rule on whether or not the federal government can force Americans to buy insurance and penalize those who don’t.
Affordability is still a main issue and most Americans still don’t understand what, if anything, was “reformed” by the new law.
Those who support the bill call it the Affordable Care Act while opponents simply designate it “Obamacare.”
Reports the Associated Press:
While Obama returns from Latin America on the signing anniversary Wednesday, administration officials will fan out across the country. Community commemorations that start Monday come as the health care battle moves to the states. Even states suing to nullify the law’s requirement that most Americans carry health insurance are proceeding with building blocks of the new system.
Families, small businesses and seniors are starting to feel the impact of dozens of insurance changes already in place. Interviews with people affected reveal it’s not always clear-cut.
In small-town Circleville, N.Y., Patti Schley says the law has made a dramatic difference.
Her daughter Megan, 23, was out of college, going without insurance as she tried to launch a wedding photography business. Last summer Megan started getting sick and rapidly lost weight. Doctors diagnosed a serious digestive system disorder that would make her uninsurable.
But her parents were able to get her into a high-risk insurance pool created under the law, and this year Megan signed up for her father’s workplace plan, under a provision extending coverage for adult children up to age 26.
“As a mother of a sick child, you are concerned whether your kid is 4 or 24,” said Schley, an office administrator. “We couldn’t wait for this to kick in.”
Things are working out for the Schleys, but the high-risk pools that provided the initial lifeline for Megan are faltering. Nationally, the latest count shows fewer than 12,500 people signed up, mainly because of waiting periods and high premiums.
Another mom with an uninsured daughter ran into a Catch-22 that illustrates the law’s complexity.
Mary Thompson of Overland Park, Kan., was sure the law would finally let them get 11-year-old Emily on the family’s health insurance.
Insurers had repeatedly rejected Emily due to a birth defect of the spine, surgically corrected when she was an infant. The law requires insurers to accept children regardless of pre-existing health problems, a safeguard that will extend to people of all ages in 2014.
But because Emily’s father is self-employed and the family buys its own coverage, things didn’t work out as expected.
Certain “grandfathered” plans selling individual coverage are exempt from the law’s requirement to cover kids. The Thompsons’ plan was one. That meant they would have to apply for a whole new policy, and the mother, a breast cancer survivor, was unlikely to be accepted.
“We would have had to start over with me — and I can’t start over,” said Thompson. A social worker helped get Emily into Medicaid.
Background on Affordable Care Act: http://tinyurl.com/2dv65w5
- Health care overhaul taking root in divided nation (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Health Care Is a Right in Mississippi – why the Affordable Care Act Matters Around Here (carpetbaggersjournal.com)
- “Sen. Tom Carper: Lessons Learned From the Affordable Care Act” and related posts (huffingtonpost.com)
- Millions of Americans Lose Their Health Insurance Along With Their Jobs (dailyfinance.com)
- New health insurance survey: 9 million adults joined ranks of uninsured due to job loss in 2010 (eurekalert.org)