I read through all this stuff as it appears as headlines (head-lies?) over the internet.
1. A majority of Americans do NOT oppose universal health care. Some group did a poll the other day, and they’re saying only 35% of Americans support the Affordable Care Act. What they don’t tell you, unless you read to the end, is that about 15% of the non-supporters really want a Canada-style, single payer system. They support universal health care, just not the system we are looking to make work over 2014. So it’s really more like 50% support some form of universal coverage. Something like less than 50% do not, when you factor in the don’t know/don’t cares.
If you take out the Old Confederacy, which is simply against any Obama Administration initiatives, the support for universal probably goes to 65% or 70%. This sounds more like the America I live in.
2. Obamacare isn’t going to collapse on itself due to young people not signing up in droves. Thinkprogress posted about two studies that refute the “death spiral”. In short, although new HHS regs make insurance for older people cheaper than it would be relative to younger folks (“the 3:1 ratio”, where a 64 year old can be charged no more than three times what someone 21 is), the vast majority of people signing up for ACA policies are healthy and won’t really max out on benefits. Insurance is a redistribution from the lucky to the unlucky.
3. There is still no “government taking over the health insurance industry!” If you’ve bought an ACA plan in the Marketplace, what did you find? A private company is making the sale. You’re dealing with a private company. The only difference is, it’s being regulated now in ways it wasn’t before.
The bank you use has been regulated since 1933, if your deposit got FDIC insurance. Nobody bemoans “the socialist/communist takeover of banks!”
This is what had that 15%, above, upset about Obamacare. They, perhaps rightly, feel that private industry shouldn’t be anywhere near health care finance. Like many other countries, that is. Including Canada. And Japan.
4. For 90% of America without a group plan or Medicare/Tricare, etc., what Obamacare is, is a health coverage surtax. We pay taxes for health insurance all the time—up to now, though, it’s been for someone else’s, not your own.
When I signed up for health insurance in Japan, which I had to do as a resident, I just took the subway to the municipal office in my ward. I gave the people at the insurance desk my residence and other contact information, and they said they would sent me my material. A bill and an insurance card. The bill was based off my prior year’s income in Japan, which was zero. So it was a per-capita amount, maybe the equivalent of $500 a year, payable in ten installments. Normally, the charge was about 8% of my income, with a cap of about $6,900. The insurance was deductible against national and local taxes, so paid maybe 25% less as a “net”.
In most countries, health coverage is seen as a social responsibility. NOT just to select groups of people, or whoever is deemed “deserving”. Rather, everybody.
The Affordable Care Act moves us in the direction, where you pay a percentage of your income for health coverage. At the moment, people are one of either ecstatic, or apoplectic, or some shade in between, that their deductible is this or that, or that all their doctors are in, or not. What all the ACA plans do, though, is prevent you from being wrecked by health care costs. I mean five and six figure wrecked.
In recent weeks, the drama has been about cancelled junk policies that the people were “happy” with, and struggling to get on the website and buy a new plan. As the narrative has gone, the new plan has a higher deductible and a higher premium to boot! Mathematically (actuarially), this tells me that the previously “happy” people didn’t have real health insurance to begin with. They were holding a policy that looked solid until they actually had to use it.
Now, they are actually buying comprehensive coverage. Where there is a high deductible, a Health Savings Account (HSAs) can be used to funnel any money actually spent on health care through a tax-free vehicle, to reduce costs. Funny how the HSAs, once championed by Republicans, are hardly ever mentioned by them now that they criticize high-deductible plans.
Part of the reason why everything you’re being told about health insurance reform is wrong.