https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js On Thursday morning the US Supreme Court upheld nearly all of President Obama’s healthcare reform act, nicknamed “Obamacare.” This controversial legislation will have a negative impact on the US economy, and big changes for our healthcare system.
The Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision that the so-called individual mandate requiring most Americans to obtain health insurance starting in 2014 is constitutional based on the government’s power to tax.
“The Affordable Care Act is constitutional in part and unconstitutional in part. The individual mandate cannot be upheld as an exercise of Congress’s power under the Commerce Clause,” Justice Roberts wrote in the opinion. “That Clause authorizes Congress to regulate interstate commerce, not to order individuals to engage it. In this case, however, it is reasonable to construe what Congress has done as increasing taxes on those who have a certain amount of income, but choose to go without health insurance. Such legislation is within Congress’s power to tax.”
What does this ruling mean for American families?
According to Obamacarewatch.org, “Beginning in 2014, the federal government will impose new fines on citizens and legal residents who do not obtain government-approved insurance. Those without insurance will pay a tax that is the greater of a flat fee, or a percentage of family income. The flat fee will be phased in over several years. In 2014, the penalty will be $95 per adult in an uninsured household, increasing to $325 in 2015, then to $695 in 2016, after which it will increase annually in line with consumer inflation. For uninsured children, the fine will be half the amount applied to uninsured adults. If greater, households pay 1 percent of their income in 2014, 2 percent in 2015, and 2.5 percent in 2016 and thereafter in lieu of the flat per person fee.”
For families like mine who have chosen not to purchase healthcare coverage due to the high cost, these fines will make a major financial impact on our lives. My husband’s employer does offer health insurance but employees are not required to purchase the coverage. If he chose to purchase the coverage for our family of seven, more than half of our monthly income would go toward health insurance. If our income stays stable for the next few years it would be more cost effective for us to pay the Obamacare fine of just under $500 in 2014 instead of purchasing health insurance.
The Heritage Foundation lists several disadvantages of Obamacare.
- New taxes, penalties, and fees will discourage businesses from growing, lowering economic growth by $706 billion and costing 800,000 jobs.
- The Federal government will force the 18 million of the uninsured to go under Medicaid, while others must accept another government program. Despite this, millions will still remain uninsured.
- Each year, $125 million will go towards subsidizing school-based health centers and programs to reduce teen pregnancy, with no requirement to reduce abortions. Parents won’t know what services their children will receive.
- Half of those on Medicare Advantage will lose this coverage thank to rate increases.
- Health care costs will rise thanks to $47 billion in new taxes on drug companies and medical device makers.
- Nearly two-thirds of doctors are considering abandoning any kind of government-sponsored health care insurance, stating that regulations are too high and reimbursement too low.
- By forcing States to accept federally-mandated health insurance, the Act violates States’ rights.
- Small businesses, the drivers of new job growth, will be especially penalized by $52 billion in new taxes and new IRS reporting requirements.
- Despite $500 billion in new taxes, Obamacare will increase the deficit by $500 billion over the next 10 years. (Source: Heritage Foundation, Impact of Obamacare)
If you are worried about how this ruling is going to impact your family’s future don’t plan a big move to Australia just yet. Make sure you are registered to vote and are well educated on the candidates’ views on Obamacare. We have the power to elect representatives that will work hard in Washington to repeal this act.
“Today’s ruling underscores the urgency of repealing this harmful law in its entirety,” House Speaker John Boener said in a statement. “Republicans stand ready to work with a president who will listen to the people and will not repeat the mistakes that gave our country Obamacare.”
*Editors note: This is an editorial and may or may not reflect the opinions of all the writers on The Healthy Moms Magazine.
Ms. Talbert is a featured health blogger at Wellsphere.com and her articles can also be found on ezinearticles.com. She also runs the Healthy Moms Social Network on Ning, is the Chief Marketing Officer for Talbert Nutrition LLC, and is on the Social Media Advisory Board for America’s Wellness Challenge. Follow her on Google+.