Since the Supreme Court ruled on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (popularly known as Obamacare), there’s been more than a healthy dose of debate in many circles with regards to what it means for individuals and small businesses alike. There’s no question that there’s a lot of information to digest.
As we inch closer to election time, we’ll be putting Healthcare reform front and center, addressing everything from what the bill means for business owners to what the future implications of a prospective Romney administration would mean for the law in its current form.
Needless to say, there’s a lot to sift though. With so much at stake for politicians, consumers, advocacy groups, business owners and carriers, there’s been a lot of misinformation thrown into the public sphere regarding the legislation, making it difficult for business owners to grasp what the legislation truly means for their companies and what they can expect once the law kicks into high gear in 2014.
In light of that, we felt it would be a good idea to start by clearing the air with regards to some of the high-level misconceptions regarding the Act. Many of the questions we’ve received have revolved around five specific misconceptions about the law, of which we’ll address in this post.
So let’s cut up the confusion and get right to it. Here are some of the most commonly held misconceptions regarding “Obamacare:”
1.) It’s not actually called “Obamacare” – its real name is “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” or PPACA – “Obamacare” is actually two separate acts. The first – and the one we’ll be discussing – is called the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or PPACA. The second is called the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act. Obamacare is most commonly associated with the PPACA – which was passed primarily to decrease the number of uninsured Americans and reduce the costs of health insurance.
2.) If the administration changes, that the whole thing will go away – With all the talk of repealing the legislation, it would seem that a prospective Romney administration would mean the end of PPACA. If a new administration takes office, expect certain aspects of the legislation to be challenged. However, our opinion is that repeal is highly unlikely. If there is an effort to reform the existing legislation there will likely be substantial chunks of the bill that will remain largely untouched. While there’s been much made of the differences of opinion on both sides, there are several areas that are either A.) agreed upon or B.) fiercely protected by special interests. So while some of provisions yet to be enacted might change, don’t expect all of it to.
3.) Health insurance is going to be cheaper – Health insurance pricing, like most insurance, is priced on the basis of risk to the carrier. Healthcare costs will only go down if risk is reduced or in this case, spread out. In addition, there are several provisions in the bill that add up quite quickly. Same goes if they don’t cover enough of an employees’ premium. And even more glaring, the $1.2 trillion price tag associated with the bill will only cover the cost of the healthcare provided. There’s nothing in there that indicates how the government plans on covering the infrastructure costs that are created by the act, of which could add additional cost in the future. We’ll become more involved with this topic in a future post, but the key takeaway is that depending on your situation, you may not be saving anything. In certain situations, you may end up spending more.
4.) Employers will drop their healthcare due to subsidies – The cost of the employer penalty may work out to be less than the cost to provide healthcare, true. However, let’s remember why companies provide healthcare to their employees now. They do it because they want to provide a benefit that will attract and retain the talent necessary to stay competitive in their industry. Employers have never been forced to offer coverage, yet most do. We find it hard to believe that a company will “cut off their nose to spite their face” so to speak. Our legislators that are out speaking to larger businesses are finding that they are not very concerned about the employer mandates. Why? Because they already offer adequate coverage and contribute a significant amount to the premium.
5.) There’s nothing good about health care reform – There’s plenty to like about the PPACA, such as the increased use of electronic medical records, the fact that adult-dependent children can stay on their parent’s plan until age 26 and that children can’t be denied coverage on the basis of a pre-existing condition. These initiatives have been popular with both sides of the debate – so if there’s a starting point for common ground – it’s these pieces.
In the coming weeks, we’ll be discussing many of these points on a deeper level. We’ll talk about the state exchanges and how the costs add up for businesses and more. If you have a question regarding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that you would like answered, feel free to shoot us an email at <http://www.privatedaddy.com?q=GE5qbx9jcEcvBAZtO3NGeWN6SDdaU2Y-3D_19>!
For more information on our services or how we can help you with your next insurance purchase, visit our website at http://www.mmains.com/ or call us (800 624–4538 today! Also, please visit our Health Care Reform dedicated website http://www.ppaca.com.