The Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, was first introduced for debate back in 2009 and has been a subject of controversy. While I admit the bill is rather complicated to understand, there are a lot of myths circulating about the bill right now. Some are being spread by those who are against the bill while others are shared by those who just don’t understand it. Here are some things you need to better understand.
Obama care will Destroy Medicare
There is a “fact” floating around that says the Affordable Care Act will cut $500 billion from Medicare. That’s a pretty scary number, right? The truth is that this number was taken out of context. What was actually said was that the country would save $500 billion in the growth of Medicare; as in, people won’t need it as much, so we’ll (over 10 years), likely save $500 billion we otherwise would have added towards growth. The bill took nothing away.
Business Owners who don’t Share Info can be Fined
Who thought this one up? According to the Minority Business Development Agency, there is a misconception that business owners who do not notify their employees about the Affordable Care Act will be subject to a fine. While the bill does say that employers need to make sure anyone covered by the Fair Labor Standards act knows about the Health Insurance Marketplace, no one has said a word about a fine or penalty. You have to provide information to your employees whether you offer healthcare coverage or not.
Anyone who doesn’t Buy Coverage will be Penalized
This actually isn’t true. There are some exceptions to the rule, including those who don’t make enough to file taxes, those with legitimate religious reasons that prohibit them from purchasing health coverage, people who have a short-term lapse in health coverage, and others. The fines for not having coverage apply to those who can afford it but still choose to not buy it. They start at $65 per person in 2014 and can go as high as $695 per person in 2016.
Everyone will have Healthcare
Not likely (isn’t that a shame?).While the bill is estimated to ensure coverage to about 32 million people who are currently uninsured, there are will still be around 6% of the population without coverage, if not more. While the reform will help millions of people, there will still be millions of lower-class citizens who feel as though they can’t afford coverage under the new legislation.
We’re going to Ration Healthcare
Truth be told, your insurance company is already rationing you by telling you what services you can or can’t get. That’s a whole different issue, but it isn’t something the Affordable Care Act has introduced. As a matter of fact, the bill ensures insurance companies can’t deny you coverage for needed procedures because of a pre-existing condition. There will be a group set up to evaluate the effectiveness of certain tests and procedures, but as of right now their purpose is for research only.
The Affordable Care Act has a bad reputation amongst those who fear it will damage their quality of life. It really seems poised to do far more good than harm. Make sure you talk to a professional or contact a pro at a place like TurboTax if you have any questions about how the act will impact your personal finances.