Today marked an historic event in this country’s history. Though President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law on March 23, 2010; today, the Supreme Court ruled it constitutional, making President Obama the first president to successfully pass significant, constitutional health care reform.
This is a huge deal not only for President Obama’s administration but for the entire country, considering Teddy Roosevelt first tried to reform healthcare in 1912. Since then every Democratic president, in recent history and Eisenhower and Nixon, two Republicans, have tried to make changes to our existing system. It’s a political, but more importantly, a social victory for the nation.
Ok, we get that. But the question everyone wants to understand is, how does it directly impact the average person’s life. It is indeed complicated. Even CNN and FOX misreported what the Surpreme Court decided about the “individual mandate” clause.
But around here we like to keep things simple and since this is such a big deal, it’s only right that you be in “the know.” So, here is what Obamacare can and will do for you. Don’t worry, we’ll break down that individual mandate clause as well.
If you already have health insurance…
- You will be able keep the health insurance you have. This law only makes it more affordable.
Insurance companies can no longer…
- Enforce limits on the amount of care you can receive.
- Discriminate against children with preexisting conditions.
- Drop your coverage if you get sick.
-Jack up premiums without reason
Insurance companies must provide…
- Free preventive care (i.e. checkups and mammograms)
- The option for adults under the age of 26, to stay under their parents’ insurance
- Discounts on prescriptions for senior citizens.
If you don’t currently have health insurance…
In 2014, this law will offer you options as to which type of affordable health insurance you can choose from. The options available to you will differ in each state, though.
So, what is this individual mandate?
Politicians and political pundits alike have lauded the “individual mandate” clause as the key provision in Obama’s healthcare law. It states that virtually all Americans will be required to have some form of healthcare. This is a key piece of what the Supreme Court had to rule as constitutional or not. They ruled, in a 5-4 decision that it is constitutional if it’s regarded as a tax because Congress has the power to tax American citizens.
While it may seem that the government is forcing individuals to get health insurance, the individual mandate is a means to protect Americans with health insurance for paying higher premiums. Because if people aren’t required to have insurance, some will wait until they’re sick to purchase it, subsequently raising the cost of premiums for people who’ve had health insurance all along.
As they used to say on Reading Rainbow, ‘You don’t have to take my word for it,’ you can read the entire law and find out when certain clauses are being implemented here.
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