Letter to the Editor: Obamacare, a plus or minus?

Composite image, St. George News

OPINION — It is that time of the year again where open enrollment for healthcare is available. Many argue whether the Affordable Care Act is a law that they should support or have serious concerns about.

The ACA has been a positive experience for me thus far, but I still have my doubts and speculations like many others on this issue.

Regardless, the Affordable Care Act is a controversial law that will always have its pros and cons. So what are those pros and cons? Is this law beneficial or detrimental? Let’s look at the three top pros and cons of Obamacare and see where we stand.

The first pro of Obamacare is the cost and availability of the health insurance.

Many Americans without insurance will be able to have affordable coverage and everyone will be able to be covered whether it is through your job, an insurer or Medicare. Before the ACA, insurers were able to deny coverage based off of pre-existing health conditions, age, and gender. Unfortunately for insurers, they no longer can deny such coverage. This is great news for the people with low income and that need health coverage, but who covers most of the subsidies?

That’s right, working Americans also known as the middle-class. As we know, the government’s definition and other’s definition of middle-class is not the same. The middle-class is defined as everyone above the poorest 20% and below the wealthiest 20%, which is most of us right?  It is believed that we (the middle-class) should be able to pay these high premiums in order to not just pay for our insurance but other’s insurance too.

The second debatable pro is the impact on businesses.

The Affordable Care Act now requires companies, with more than 59 full-time workers, to provide health insurance. This gives Americans another way to get affordable coverage. Sounds reasonable, but what about the impact on small businesses?

When looking into this I found the information to be upsetting, especially as a proud resident of Cedar City. Anyone can agree that Cedar City has amazing small businesses that we like to support. Unfortunately, these businesses are seeing the detriments of Obamacare. The costs of having to insure their employees forces some of these businesses to cut wages, hours, jobs, and possibly putting them out of business.

The last debatable pro is the impact on the federal deficit.

Whitehouse.gov states that the ACA reduces the deficit and will end up saving over $200 billion in 10 years. When looking into this, I found the cons to actually outweigh the pros on this matter. Budget.senate.gov estimates that Obamacare increases the budget deficit by $131 billion in the next 10 years with additional costs such as coverage provisions and labor market effects of the legislation, resulting in a net deficit impact of $311 billion. Why risk the United States falling into more debt?

When reviewing the pros and cons of Obamacare such as cost and availability, impact on businesses, and the impact on federal deficit, I begin to question how beneficial the Affordable Care Act really is.

I at first believed it was a great law that impacted me in a positive way but I now see the negative impacts and how the cons seem to outweigh the pros. Maybe it is time to annul Obamacare and find another solution to healthcare?

Submitted by, Shatee Scott of Cedar City

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10 Comments

  • BIG GUY November 8, 2016 at 4:58 pm

    Obamacare’s supporters will quickly point out that millions of Americans previously uncovered are now protected. But what they fail to mention is that almost all of these folks are “covered” because they have been given access to Medicaid, Democrats preferred option since it is a single payer (i.e. government) system controlled by the Feds. This expanded access has been granted by increasing significantly the income threshold below which one is qualified. If you like the Fed’s VA healthcare, you’ll love Medicaid. Ask your doctor if he/she likes or even accepts Medicaid patients.

    Both Democrats and Republicans agree that the Obamacare that the author addresses above is a disaster. It is imploding before our eyes as predicted by many critics, BIG GUY included. The cynically minded will argue that the Democrats knew this when they voted for it in 2010 because they knew/hoped they could “save” it by taking over the entire health care system, lock, stock and barrel when it failed. Good luck with that.

    • Bob November 8, 2016 at 7:48 pm

      obamacare was/is basically a failed policy, but u strike me as someone who would have someone die of a treatable illness if they are uninsured or can’t afford to pay for the treatment out of pocket, or if not die maybe lose their house or go bankrupt. in the wealthiest nation to ever exist citizens should have health as a right, not as some privilege only to those who can afford it. i know your type will blather on that “oh, they should just beg for charity, and they’ll be provided for”–that, or you’ll whine about the billions in taxes you’re paying, and single-handedly supporting 10,000 black welfare moms. its hilarious and most folks with a brain don’t agree with your type

      i’ll just add: we should not have to pay for illegal aliens or refugees–as rich of country as we are i dont think we can welfare the entire 3rd world.

      • .... November 8, 2016 at 10:57 pm

        LOL ! Bob has absolutely no clue what is going on and I mean absolutely no clue ! the United States is a rich country ? LOL ! really ? call China and Japan and ask them how rich the U.S is ha ha ha ha. LOL !

      • .... November 9, 2016 at 12:33 am

        Hey Dumbob. Herbert still the Governor ! Ha ha ha ha wooooooohoooooooooo way 2 go Herbert. !!!

      • BIG GUY November 9, 2016 at 5:25 am

        On the contrary, Bob, I am very much in favor of the following:

        First, every person/family in the country should be required to be covered by a Health Savings Account very much along the lines of today’s HSA’s. Those above a minimum threshold should be required to contribute a specified amount of their own funds into the account every year. These contributions are before tax and withdrawals for medical expenses are tax free. The Federal government would deposit funds in the HSA’s of those below an income threshold. Everyone would use a special debit card drawing on their own HSA’s for approved health-related expenses. HSA’s convert into IRA’s when the holder turns 65 and is covered by Medicare, creating an incentive to spend wisely. Experience has shown that we are more careful about choosing our medical care when we spend our own money as opposed to having a third party (government or insurance company) pay. Whatever we spend from the account today will not be available as an IRA when we retire.

        Second, the government would provide “catastrophic” coverage for everyone if the individual/family HSA used all its HSA funds. This would be similar to the catastrophic coverage provided by private insurance companies today that all HSA owners are required to carry. This coverage would be provided regardless of pre-existing conditions. This government “safety net” would provide the “universal coverage” that you correctly say is needed but only after individual/family HSA funds have been exhausted and would be far less costly than Obamacare.

        Liberals will object to the above because it “incentivizes” people to save their HSA funds instead of seeing a doctor when they should. Oh my gosh, the “nanny state” government should step in and make decisions for people because they might not do the right thing. Get real about personal freedom and personal responsibility.

        • Bob November 9, 2016 at 11:40 am

          interesting, might be a good idea. i think to ensure the survival of current medicaid system all the illegals have got to be thrown off. Maybe with Trump we can halt the flow of “refugees” and other hoards of muslim imports. i think this country has taken in more than our share of 3rd worlders. its time for the USA to look after its own

          • .... November 10, 2016 at 1:03 am

            Hey Bob maybe you can write a letter to YOUR GOVERNOR. ! LOL ! Ha ha ha ha ha ha

  • Henry November 8, 2016 at 6:39 pm

    “You can’t do it politically, you just literally cannot do it – transparent financing and also transparent spending. I mean, this bill was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO did not score the mandate as taxes. If CBO scored the mandate as taxes the bill dies, okay? So it’s written to do that. In terms of risk rated subsidies, if you had a law which said that healthy people are going to pay in… and sick people get money, it would not have passed. Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter…”

    – Jonathan Gruber, MIT professor and an architect of Obamacare, during a 2013 panel event about how Obamacare legislation passed.

  • .... November 9, 2016 at 12:53 am

    President Donald Trump sends his regards. !

  • MadasHeck November 11, 2016 at 1:26 pm

    Big Guy is right – There are definitely more freedom-loving and sensible ways to make sure that everyone can get health care, and health savings accounts accompanied by low-cost catastrophic coverage is a great way to go. If anyone wants to buy more than the catastrophic coverage, they could do that under such a system. The point is that without certain coverage mandates, there would be many great options for everybody’s health care budget. Additionally, I believe that Dr. Ben Carson (who I hope Trump names as Surgeon General) has proposed some kind of health care savings stipend for Medicaid patients that could also be used to purchase low-cost catastrophic insurance. I’ve even seen similar plans that would include Medicare. The people of this country, as well as our federal budget, do not have to be held hostage to government overreach into our lives.

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