4 March 2013
Affordable Healthcare Act
In 2009 President Barrack Obama delivered his inauguration speech to millions of viewers, giving hope, excitement, and dreams of better days to Americans all across the nation. Within his speech Obama hinted at his plans to reconstruct the broken health care system and four years later delivered with the Affordable Health Care Act. President Obama exerts great enthusiasm for his healthcare solution claiming it to equalize and lower the cost of health care for Americans as a whole. Many people with healthcare coverage through their companies and those without any coverage worry what new benefits and strains will be mandated upon them. Although Obama’s health care legislation will hinder many profit seeking businesses due to newly generated expenses, it is necessary in order to regain control of the health field that has generally dispatched itself from the reliability of health providers and many Americans. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) will rejuvenate healthcare reliability through government control on business care plans, private individuals, and supplemental policy reform.
To begin, the Affordable Care Act is, at its core value, a direct healthcare reform and indirectly a series of expenditures placed on corporations, large and small. A primary stressor in the PPACA is the “play or pay” regulation. Beginning in January of 2014 large businesses and employers will be required to offer all full-time employees a care plan that meets an affordability requirement and minimum actuarial value (MAV) standards, where employers must cover at least 60% of the plans cost. A large employer is therefore defined as employing fifty or more full-time workers, and in few select states 100 or more. Additionally, within the PPACA states will vote on the form of healthcare exchange they approve of consisting of three options; state-run, cooperative state and federal run, or opting out of the exchange giving healthcare coverage to the federal government to control. As of February 20, 2013, nineteen states declared a state-run program, seven chose a partnership between state and federal, and twenty five declared the federal government would control coverage (SOURCE). As of currently these are pledges and can be subject to reevaluation.
Furthermore, employees within large corporations will be forced into many cases an undesired healthcare coverage due to a medium effect that equalizes all employees’ coverage plans. This is because if even one employee receives a premium tax credit from the government for not being able to afford the employers coverage plan, that employer will encounter a penalty with ranging values starting at $3,000 per employee. Within the Affordable Care Act the senate committee has concluded health care is unaffordable if the self-payment exceeds 9.5% of the wage presented in the W2 form. In order to avoid costly penalties businesses will still be pressured into seeking out advice from insurance consulting agencies. Ultimately the corporate health care plan will result in minimum coverage plans which many higher paid employees do not desire. What options are left to employees: 1) accept the low coverage plan, or 2) seek out private insurance which spikes premium rates. If an employee selects the second option while working for a large employer that employer will be fined $3000 per year, per employee that is receiving subsidized coverage through an exchange; hence the employer/employee dispute. However, if an individual opts to not buy coverage they will incur a tax penalty of $95 per person in the family or 1% of taxable income in 2014. If this individual so chooses to remain uninsured the penalty grows increasingly every year reaching $695 per person or 2.5% taxable income in 2016 (SOURCE).
The Affordable Care Act leaves many Americans unsure…