Obama Care, Medicare, Medicaid

medicareThis is a term that was coined by opponents of the Affordable Care Act, but overtime has moved it’s way into common usage, losing a bit of the negative overtones it had originally.  Nevertheless, at the writing of this blog, the term still has some connotations of negativity.  Some of the not-positive is due to the rough roll out of the program.  Between challenges with the web site working properly, the layers of identity proof and documentation required to get enrolled, and a general lack of interest among the young, healthy and uninsured (that this was largely targeted towards) has left the term with some bad taste yet.

The Affordable Care Act itself was designed to overhaul the health insurance system and provide affordable coverage for individuals and families that weren’t able to get insurance thru a work site or were otherwise uninsurable for health reasons.  The Affordable Health Care Act mandates that every person in the US must have health insurance.  (Health insurance is not the same as long term care insurance.) Failure to comply comes with penalties in the form of fees and/or percentage of income.  These penalties are designed to ramp up with each year that an individual fails to have insurance thus progressively encouraging people to comply.

As with so many things, the theory and hope of the law have not matched the reality.  However, as I write this, I am reminded that the roll out of every social engineering program in the USA had bumps in the early stages.  Social security, Medicare, and Medicaid all had implementation challenges and sharp resistance in political circles and private realms.  So there is some evidence to suggest that this piece of legislation may – as time moves forward – have smoother implementation and wider acceptance.  Nevertheless, it still has strong opponents in the political arena.  As with any law, it is possible that it can be dismantled and we could see a partial or full return to the system we had before its inauguration.

There isn’t any working crystal ball at our shop!  So I and you will have to just keep an eye out and see how well this system works as the rough edges come off of it – or whether it gets modified to something else.

NOTE: The Affordable Health Care Act, Medicare and Medicaid do NOT cover long term care insurance needs.


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