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Affordable Care Act: Is it razzle-dazzle or doable plan?

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The Affordable Care Act is either derisively or affectionately called Obamacare. But whether friend or foe, the cold truth is that health care reform has been an issue here in Atlanta and in the United States in general for a whopping 60 years.

Amid much controversy, on June 28, the Supreme Court gave the Affordable Care Act a clean bill of health for the most part. The court upheld its constitutionality and therefore the law stands for now. However, for many it has become more about politics than policy. It behooves Americans to actually learn what Obamacare really is rather than rely on political spinning. Fortunately, citizens in Atlanta and elsewhere are able to read the law for themselves.

Take this time to familiarize yourself with some key facts:

  • Insurance will still be provided by private companies and therefore the law is not socialized medicine.
  • You can keep your employer’s coverage if satisfied or opt to buy coverage through your state’s health insurance exchange. Taxpayers with low to middle income may be eligible for a subsidy.
  • Taxpayers who do not have health insurance by 2014 would not go to jail. People whose insurance would cost more than 8 percent of their 2014 income (and some others) would be exempt. Other taxpayers who do not have health insurance would pay a special tax of 1 percent of income or $95.
  • If you have a pre-existing condition, insurance companies will no longer be allowed to deny you coverage or charge you more.
  • Starting in 2014, even if your income is too high for Medicaid, you may be eligible for a refundable tax credit to help pay the premiums.
  • Insurance companies must devote more money from premiums to patient care or send rebates. About $1.1 billion in refunds are expected to be returned this year.
  • For seniors: the average Medicare beneficiary will save $4,181 over 10 years. Many preventive screenings, including mammograms and colonoscopies will be free and prescription drugs will cost less.

America essentially stood still on healthcare for so many years. Therefore it seems cogent to quote American Educator Reed B. Markham, “If you are standing still, you are also going backwards. It takes great effort to maintain forward movement.”

You decide: Place you Mark X

Affordable Care Act is:

Razzle-dazzle ____

Doable plan ____

Both ____

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