Are You For or Against the ACA?

As a conservative, I’ve been asked this question frequently. Especially in the run-up to the implementation of the healthcare act.

Well, honestly, I’m neither for or against the ACA. For one reason, it really doesn’t affect me currently as I have health care through my employer. Another reason is that it’s really too early to make a conclusion as to whether this program will succeed or fail. Sure, there have been “glitches” in the startup. For me, in the IT business, that’s not uncommon. For a government program? Well, from my point of view it’s normal. The server issues that they’re currently having I believe will be resolved in the short term.
The real question is how many people this week have actually signed up to receive health care starting January 1? No one seems to know. Yes, the administration is touting the millions that have been to the website, Healthcare.gov, but that really doesn’t mean anything. The first day of implementation, I went to the site, just to find out what it was all about. What I wanted to do was be able to compare my current coverage with the closest offered under the ACA. You know, try to do an apples-to-apples comparison.
I didn’t have any problem accessing the site, and I was easily(well, after a minute or two to find the right button to press) able to get to the page to begin to look at coverage offered in my state. That’s where I hit a bump. The site wanted me to register. Registration includes information such as your age and income(that’s what we’re told before attempting to register). I of course didn’t want to have to register to compare my current health insurance with what is being offered on the government exchange. Since I didn’t even begin registration, I have no idea of what other information I’d have to enter just to be able to make a comparison.
What we’re hearing in the media is that “millions have registered”. Well, that actually means nothing since you have to register to even begin to look for a plan that suits your needs. Some people have taken this to mean that “millions have signed up for healthcare”. Nope. Even some media reports are a bit disappointing and I’m not referring to the “right wing” media. They are desperately looking for stories of people that were without insurance and now, under “Obamacare”, have that safety net. So far, and yes it hasn’t been a week yet, the stories are few and far between.
I would think that the administration, if the numbers were decent, would want to let everyone know about the initial success of the ACA. Even if the number that signed up for healthcare this week were only one or two hundred thousand, to me that’s an acceptable start considering the issues they’ve had with the site. The few stories that we have been told about though don’t really give anyone an idea as to the efficacy of the program. I saw two stories yesterday about individuals that had signed up and saved literally thousands of dollars. This morning, another story was about a family whose insurance was going to be cancelled because of the ACA and that buying similar insurance via the ACA was going to cost them $2500 more a year.
We have really received so little actual information about this program that it raises a lot of questions for me. Of course, if a person, or someone in their family has a pre-existing condition, I would expect their premium to be higher. At least though, the individual will have coverage and isn’t that the most important issue here? If you’re older, even if your health is good, you’ll probably pay more as well. I’m also wondering if where the person lives has anything to do with cost. I don’t know. The information just isn’t out there for anyone to be able to evaluate. Now, maybe once you’ve registered, all of that information is available. Why not give the American people the detailed information before they register?
Hell, one of the reasons I wanted to do a comparison for myself is to determine if under the ACA, my healthcare would be cheaper. If it were cheaper, maybe I would drop my current and sign up. I don’t want to have to give the government a lot of personal information to find out though. It’s not as if they don’t already have all of my information, I’d just prefer to not have another government agency collecting it.
My suggestion for the administration is to allow people to make plan comparisons without having to register and give up Personally Identifiable Information (PII). Sure, you’ll still have to enter the same information as now, it’s just that it won’t be added to a database. I think they’d have a lot more success this way.
So will this program be successful? It’s way too early to make a judgment one way or the other. If you need healthcare though and are unable to get it any other way, I would encourage all of you to at least investigate, even though you have to register, to help you decide if the coverage offered is right for you and mainly, if it’s affordable.

4 thoughts on “Are You For or Against the ACA?

  1. I’m not sure what to think about it. Increasing coverage is a good thing but secondary to the main issue of decreasing costs across the board.

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  2. And that’s the real question: will costs go down overall? Right now I think it’s too soon to make a judgement since it’s only been online for 4 days. But in a month or maybe two, the government should be able to announce some data(if you can trust them) to show 1) how many people have actually signed up for a policy and 2) what the costs look like.

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  3. I’m generally against it because it doesn’t go nearly far enough. It seemed clear when the numbers were being run that universal single-payer healthcare would be the optimal way to minimize costs while expanding health care coverage. The ACA will help expand health care, but it seems to do so primarily by benefiting insurance companies. The best argument I’ve heard in favor of it is that it is a step on the way to single-payer. I hope that is true, but I’m not convinced.

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    • I guess my main point is that we should see how this is going to work out. You’ve seen the media stories this week. Of course, the “conservatives” are already championing that the whole thing is a failure due to the “glitches” in the system and the liberals are, well, nervous. when this bill was passed, the Democrats controlled both houses of Congress. If there had truly been support there for single payer, we’d have it. There wasn’t so they came up with this alternative. We need to wait a while, at least until the end of the year, before we declare ACA a success or failure.

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