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The Truth About Obamacare

Kiss your grandma goodbye!

Now that the Supreme Court has ruled The Affordable Health Care Act constitutional, it’s time to sift through the embers of one of the great political wildfires of our time and figure out what has survived.

As the political junkie of my social circle, a lot of people have been asking me questions about (the so-called) “Obamacare;” questions like:

“Does this mean Obamacare has passed?”, and:

“When can we expect the government to come to my grandmother’s house to kill her?  She makes wonderful pierogies and I would like to have them once more before she’s gone.”

The answers to those questions, of course, are:

1) "Obamacare passed as a law long time ago, and that the Supreme Court’s decision merely validated it as legal under our constitution," and:

2) “Probably a week from Thursday.” 

Obviously this law is confusing to a lot of people if it makes them suddenly forget the middle school skills of researching for facts, and/or how a bill becomes a law.  But, I can totally understand that people might be confused by what happened with this particular law; so, in case you are someone who’s still a little in the dark about what “Obamacare” is, and what it means to you, I thought I’d take it upon myself to assist in clearing the air about this bill.

First of all, if you already have insurance from your workplace, the law probably won’t affect you much; and the ways in which it will affect you are probably beneficial.  The law includes a “Patient’s Bill of Rights,” which provides coverage to Americans with pre-existing conditions, protects your choice of doctors, allows young adults to stay on their parents’ coverage until they turn 26, forces insurance companies to justify rate hikes, and ends lifetime limits on coverage.  If you’re interested in reading up on these positive portions of the bill, I’ve provided a reference here.  

Secondly, if you don’t have health care insurance, you’ll be required to buy it, or you’ll suffer a tax penalty.  It's an individual penalty, not a tax increase on all of us.  This is expected to only (possibly) affect a total of 7 million Americans.  But how much of a penalty?  Well, the government will first offer you vouchers to help pay for a plan if you need assistance getting on your feet, and the penalty will never be more than the cost of a basic plan.  But if you choose to pay the penalty instead of getting insurance (which means if you have to go to the emergency room all of us as taxpayers are footing your bills for you), it’ll be based on your income.  Current estimates say that, in 2014, the minimum penalty for an individual will be $95 a year.  Buying coverage for the year for that individual is estimaed at about $4,500 a year.  Oh, and if you decide to lie on your taxes and say you have insurance when you don’t, or just decide not to pay it?  There’s really no mechanism set in place to stop you for now, other than maybe the IRS suing you for twice the amount.  But shhhhh….!  

“But Patrick,” you may ask, “all of those sound like really helpful and/or boring things; why is there so much anger and fervor over the bill, then?    Certainly there must be incredible negatives to the bill if people are willing to dress up like Revolutionary War-era soldiers and hold up signs labeling the President a Nazi!”

And, to that, I respond with:  “Well, of course.  Obviously there is substance to that argument, and those people must be correct in comparing our President to Adolf Hitler.  After all, Hitler is responsible for the genocide of 6 million people, and President Obama is trying to save 30-50 million people from being uninsured.  There’s an obvious connection between Obama and Hitler—both of those statements use the word MILLION.” 

But there’s more, dear reader.  They’ve also uncovered the following provisions, which are also part of the bill.  And these are 100% true, because modern day Republicans have no reason to make things up about Obamacare, as they are thoughtful, well-informed individuals with no penchant or reputation whatsoever for simply making up lies out of thin air in an effort to confuse the public into voting for them:

Death Panels:  Sarah Palin caused quite the row in 2009 when she brilliantly uncovered President Obama’s plan to set up a panel of people to decide whether or not to allow health coverage to people based on their “productivity to society.”  These panels will be staffed by people dressed as Roman emperors, who will give a thumbs-up or thumbs-down as to whether or not you will be allowed to live under the fascist Obamacare system.  And it’s a good thing that Palin herself uncovered this part of the bill, because it’d probably be a close vote as to whether or not Sarah Palin has done anything productive in her entire life. 

A Government Takeover of Health Care:  Republicans also uncovered the fact that the government is taking over the health care system.  They’re not assisting in setting up monitored insurance exchanges to help the already-privatized health care companies drive down prices to the consumer—oh, no.   They’re going to unleash their super-dragon, GovZilla, out to smash and destroy Blue Cross Blue Shield, punishing them for succeeding as a small business.   

Government ID Chips:  Emails have been circulating reminding people of the provision of Obamacare which requires all citizens to be implanted with a microchip connected to their bank accounts, including children.  That’s the bad news.  The good news is the microchips have two gigabytes worth of storage so you can listen to your favorite Nickelback album without digging out your iPod.

As always, I hope I’ve helped.  Although the law probably won’t impact most of you, I hope I’ve provided some useful information about it anyway. 

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going over to my grandma’s.  It’s pierogi night.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Phyllis Stager July 18, 2012 at 01:40 PM
As to your assuming that I believe the ACA will drive us to end up like Viet Nam...such a jump in logic. YOU brought up FREE care Viet Nam, YOU lauded its 'FREE' care. I simply addressed the 'quality' of the FREE goodies in Viet Nam. Geeze..you jump to the ad hominem attack, and YOU are a 'good humanity loving' liberal with nothing but love and kindness in your heart. The way you guys look at the ACA is you see nothing but the shiny Rolls Royce exterior. You forget to lift the hood where you will find a Model T engine.
ian king July 18, 2012 at 05:02 PM
hi marty - great point! i wonder if bush/cheney/rove realized what debt is when they inherited the clinton surplus - yes, remember the us government had a huge SURPLUS from the clinton/gore years when bush took office - and completely eliminated that surplus through unprecedented massive tax cuts for the wealthy ( remember bush's great PR comments about how all that money the wealthy would not spend paying taxes, but would instead spend on job/growth creation - "trickle down economics" --- well, aren't most of us still waiting for those jobs for us from those tax cuts to the wealthy?) and while massive tax cuts were implemented, bush/cheney created TWO WARS for us to pay for! so lets see here, i don't think debt is that difficult to understand marty. if you take a surplus, and then cut the sources of that surplus so there is no money coming in, and then up the expenses not once, but twice to fund to wars - don't you think there will be a problem balancing the books? oh yes, but then the republicans did offer their solution = cut all government programs that help the elderly, the poor, students, the unemployed, just not that 1% of the wealthy! great republican leadership don't you think? LOL
Phyllis Stager July 18, 2012 at 05:47 PM
Ian King: The proposed tax hike will bring in about $65 billion for 2013. The nation needs about $8 billion a day to meet its obligations. Do you realize that $65 billion will pay for a little over 8 days to run the gov't? At the same time Obama is proposing an increase of spending for 2013 of $202 billion. It is disingenuous to suggest that that tax hike will bring down the deficit and balance the budget. WHAT BUDUGET...we haven't had a budget for more than 3 years although it is required annually BY LAW. The accounting firm of Ernst and Young did a study and claims that the proposed tax increase will cause the USA to lose in the range of 700,000 jobs. Your reasoning as to the tax 'cuts' being the cause of eliminating the 'surplus' is seriously in error. Take a genuinely closer look at the reality. Now I agree with you the 2 Bush terms did us no favors economically. The wars did have to be paid for...along with the ridiculous prescription drug fix for Medicare...it didn't fix a thing and costs us. As to the big 'bugaboo' of OUTSOURCING, Obama's personal financial portfolio shows his investment in companies which outsource to be about 40%. For example he is invested in Vanguard 500 Index Funds which hold: GE (out sourcing to India), Apple (manufacturing overseas), and IBM (foreign workers account for 71% of its 400,000 employees). So Axelrod and his cronies should cut the 'outsourcing' crap.
Phyllis Stager July 19, 2012 at 12:30 PM
@Pad...by the way...I am not an alum of OSU. I attended there, got married and we moved to Texas. I finished my degree at SMU. I love Ohio with all my heart and I love Texas with all my heart. They are both wonderful places to live with wonderful people. Growing up in Ohio was beautiful....growing old in Texas is also beautiful.
tomhenrry July 20, 2012 at 09:35 AM
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