What is Obamacare?0
Obamacare, officially known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), is arguably the president’s main achievement during his time in office, but few people understand what Obamacare actually does. This may be due to the bill’s unprecedented length and the healthcare industry’s purposefully complicated tactics to confuse customers, but there answers do exist.
The overarching theme of the PPACA is to make health care more affordable for all U.S. residents. From medical collections to drug production, it will have a large impact on every health-related aspect of our lives. Below we will attempt to breakdown the main parts of the bill in simple language:
What the PPACA has already put into effect:
- It forbids insurance companies from discriminating based on a disability.
- It allows the Food and Drug Administration to approve more generic drugs (making for more competition in the market to
- drive down prices)
- It increases the rebates on drugs people get through Medicare (so drugs cost less)
- It makes a “high-risk pool” for people with pre-existing conditions. Basically, this is a way to slowly ease into getting rid of
- “pre-existing conditions” altogether.
- It creates a new 10% tax on indoor tanning booths.
- It will stop health insurance companies from denying coverage because a customer has hit a “lifetime limit”.
- Bans “pre-existing conditions” for kids under the age of 19.
- Forbids insurers from dropping customers while they are sick.
- Extends Medicare to small, rural hospitals.
What it will put into effect in January 2014:
- Ends the use of “pre-existing conditions.” Everyone will be charged the same regardless of their medical history.
- People will be charged a fee if they can afford insurance, but remain uncovered.
- Medicaid will be expanded to cover more people living below the poverty line.
- Businesses with over 50 employees must offer health insurance to full-time employees, or pay a penalty.
- Limits the annual deductible insurers can charge customers.
- Establish health insurance exchanges and rebates for the lower and middle-class, basically making it so they have an easier
- time getting affordable medical coverage.
- Creates new taxes on pharmaceutical companies.
- Creates new taxes on the purchase of medical devices.
- Creates new tax on insurance companies based on their market share.
Obviously, there is much more to Obamacare than what is listed above, but this should provide a broad starting point for anyone wondering what will happen to their healthcare. More details need to be worked out, many programs need to be fined tuned, but significant changes are on the way and every medical collection agency and health provider is keeping a close eye on the developments as they come.