It’s interesting that this new healthcare law, or “Obamacare” as it is affectionately termed currently, has generated so much controversy yet almost no one I talk to actually knows what it proposes to do. Now that I know a little more about it, I can see why there is so much controversy.
The healthcare law would essentially become effective in 2014, with the pentalties proposed by the law going into effect around that time. Of course, the law is going through the Federal court system now on the basis that it may not be constitutional, but I think that if Obama gets back in, we’ll see this law go into effect, albeit with some possible minor tweaks.
Something I just said may have pricked your ears a bit, the word “penalty”. Yes, ladies and gents – the Federal government is going to enact penalties or a certain percentage of your income if you fail to get mandatory minimum health coverage.
It will also penalize already struggling small businesses who are not offering “affordable” health coverage to their employees. Now, what they consider affordable isn’t clear yet, so even employers who offer health insurance aren’t certain to avoid penalties, depending on what the government deems affordable.
Do you see why this is controversial? It actually forces people to do something that they might not otherwise do. What if you are in great health and broke? What if you take care of yourself so well just because you know you can’t afford healthcare if something goes wrong?
How can you force people like that to buy something they clearly cannot afford – and may not even need? I’m beginning to see why this law is not very popular. I agree that health coverage needs to be more affordable to the average joe here in America, and I do agree that no one should even be turned away with life threatening illness if they simply don’t have health insurance.
However, I think this is taking it too far. This is almost like a nanny state. For all those people that thought it would just make healthcare coverage more affordable, it may only do that to people who are in certain circumstances, like having a job that offers insurance to begin with.
What of the many that are still unemployed? How are they going to afford force-placed health insurance? Better yet, how are they going to afford a ridiculous penalty if they don’t do it?