October 3, 2010

Text of the Obamacare bill, as amended

Here are the facts.

The bill everyone knows as Obamacare is officially called the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The Senate passed it on December 24, 2009, the House passed it on March 21, 2010, and President Obama signed it into law on March 23, 2010.

Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act


Immediately afterward, Congress used the reconciliation process to pass a bill amending Obamacare. It's called the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010. President Obama signed it into law on March 30, 2010.

Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010


1/17/12 Update: Track the various lawsuits against the Obamacare bill here. As of this update, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in late March.

1/18/12 Update: Want to see what your medical care will be like under Obamacare? Visit a local VA hospital, or read this story of the VA's neglect of an injured Air Force veteran. Government health care is about as friendly, helpful, innovative, and responsive as what you'll see in any Bureau of Motor Vehicles office.


Obama's other great accomplishment

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Here it is in a nutshell: Do you want to keep health care decisions between patients and doctors, and not politicians and bureaucrats? Do you want the freedom to choose the care and insurance that... Read More


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Here's the fact. My health care decisions have not been between my doctor and myself for years. The decisions have been in the hands of my insurance and their profit margins. They have over ridden my doctor's letter of medical necessities. They have denied medications (and they were not anything experimental or any of the schedule 2 medications), for which there was no alternative.

Furthermore, they have raised our group insurance premium every year, while doubling the deductible for which we are responsible and increasing the co pays. This year they increased the premium once again by 15%. I know most folks don't get a 15% raise.

And I can't really fire them as Romney suggests since a) my pre-existing conditions would not be covered if I now switched, b) individual health insurance would be way beyond our ability to afford it and c) due to chronic conditions, I have several specialist that I found to be effective, who I have been seeing for years and who may not be included as a provider on a new health care policy.

Besides, the majority of health insurance is similar in their high prices and their desire to dictate the patient's healthcare instead of the doctors.

I also find it interesting that the insurance companies pay, in general, only half as much to the health care provider as an individual who has no health care is required to pay. Someone, obviously not the patient, is manipulating the system, to gain unfair profits.

So is there a viable alternative to Obamacare? I haven't heard one that has the public's best interest in mind. But if there are any suggestions, I would love to hear them.

Yes, there is an alternative. It's called a market economy. It's how we pay for other goods and services like food, shelter, clothing, lawyers, accountants, cars, cell phones, pencils ... and it's how we paid for health care before World War II.

While its origins can be traced back to 1929, when a group of Dallas teachers contracted with a hospital to cover inpatient services for a fixed annual premium, the link between employment and private health insurance was strengthened by three key government decisions in the 1940s and 1950s. First, during World War II the War Labor Board ruled that wage and price controls did not apply to fringe benefits such as health insurance, leading many employers to institute [Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance]. Second, in the late 1940s the National Labor Relations Board ruled that health insurance and other employee benefit plans were subject to collective bargaining. Third, in 1954 the Internal Revenue Service decreed that health insurance premiums paid by employers were exempt from income taxation.

We're way overdue for reversing these statist policies and returning market forces and individual control to the health care industry.

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