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Health Care Reform

I am pretty uneducated about the specifics of this reform. At first I wasn't worried because I thought to myself "well, if its absolutely terrible then I just won't take part in it", but I heard that we will be forced to buy into it, or else pay a penalty. Is this true? Am I correct in assuming that most of the changes basically equate to a penalty for health-conscious people, or are there things that people here like about it?


  • i am also not too savvy on the subject but i always hear my parents complaining about it. but you're right. everyone will need to pay for it no matter what. i know children can stay under their parents plan until they are 26 years old.

  • I don't know that much about it either... but from what I've heard it sounds like health care will be MANDATORY for every citizen of the USA... and if you don't buy it then you are penalized on your taxes. I think that making health care universally available is an excellent idea... but making people buy it who don't want it- that's kind of silly, especially since most health plans won't cover "alternative" practices, like chiropractic, acupuncture, massage, etc. Again, not quite sure of the specifics of this reform, as I don't follow the news or politics that much...

  • Yeah, making it universally available is an excellent idea, but isn't the only way to do that to make everyone pay?

  • Eecho,

    From what I understand about they way universal coverage works, for it to "work" most likely everyone will have to participate. There was talk about having a public option (you can buy into the same health insurance that the Senate has) that would compete with insurance companies to keep things competetive (keep costs down for consumers). I believe the public option was removed. The challenge of having universally available insurance (other words insurance everyone can afford) is that for it to work, you need both healthy and not so healthy people to participate. Hence, you may end up with manditory insurance. I believe that is what the bill is.

    If only the elderly (who tend to have more health issues) or people who have specific medical conditions that are long term issues (childhood diabetes, asthma, cancer, heart problems, etc) opt to buy insurance, but healthy people in their twenties and thirties don't it doesn't balance out financially. For insurance to work, you have to have some people that are getting the most for their money (sick people in this case) and people who are paying for something hopefully they won't need much (healthy people). Like car or home insurance, you are essentially "betting" you WILL need the insurance, and whoever is doing the insuring (a company or government) is hoping you WON'T.

    So, you could say that the healthy people are carrying the load for the unhealthy. Putting moral and ethical discussion aside, here is something to think on. Yes, those of us who take care of our selves (diet and exercise) will possibly be paying for something we don't use much of. Something people who don't take care of themselves probably will.

    But, I try to keep these things in mind too: Eating healthy doesn't cure everything. Health isn't only diet. A healthy diet increases your chances of being healthy, but it isn't a guarantee. (Some people may feel it's worth the risk to not have insurance because they are healthy?) It appears some people have cured things like cancer and other serious health issues through diet. I can only go by their claims. ( We have all seen them.) But, I would not want to completely bet my life on all major health issues being cured that way. ( I hope I never have the chance to test the theory.)

    Things can happen- car accidents, serious falls, etc. Tragic stuff happens in the world. Doesn't matter how healthy a life you lead. Being healthy might make recovery faster, but it can only do so much.

    As far as getting older, I would have to agree that it does up your chances of illness. Living a healthy lifestyle keeps you healthy longer. I do think much of what we write off as old age is possibly from misuse- some people have physically tough jobs for 30 yrs and it takes it's toll on the body. Some people just simply don't eat right or exercise. Some of these things can be changed. But, more mileage IS more mileage. We ALL are going to die someday (however healthy we are) and we may not just die in our sleep out of the blue. Some times medical care is neccesary for several months or the last several years (even with healthy people). Many times we don't think about this when we are in our twenties and thirties.

    I imagine it sounds like I'm trying to endorse for the bill, but I don't mean it that way. I'm sure there are many issues besides what I brought up. But, those are things I thought of when I was looking for a job with good medical benefits. Not everyone is lucky enough to have that. There are truly people who can't afford it. I'm also surprised by people who can afford it who just don't want to bother spending their month on it (I do know some). They are bettting they won't get sick. Several years ago a friend of mine in that category spent quite a bit of time in the hospital when her appendics burst. I wouldn't want to have seen what her bill was.

    PS (added later)- yes, most insurance doesn't cover alternative stuff. Ours covers chiropracter (thank goodness) and I believe acupuncture (never tried it yet).

  • this is long, but the most condensed way i could describe the reform and my feelings towards it. this is a good way to get a summary of a VERY complicated bill.

    first of all, blue cross covers alternative health care 100%. this is the most commonly used health insurance in the united states. i know because my mom is a community college teacher and i have gone to see an acupuncturist that was covered under our insurance and my mom's colleague goes to a naturopath regularly and doesn't pay a cent. you can choose between mainstream or alternative coverage.

    it seems unfair that everyone will pay for health insurance, but i see it like this: everyone pays taxes for public schools whether they attend one or not, don't they? it is so important that everyone has the opportunity to get educated and it certainly wouldn't be fair if someone couldn't go to school because they couldn't afford tuition or the uniforms like in other countries. why isn't health as big as a priority? everyone should have the opportunity to be healthy. many were upset about medicare, too, but now no one remembers a time when senior citizens were dying of illness and couldn't afford to do anything about it. the bill certainly isn't perfect but i think it is an essential step in the correct direction. this is also similar to how we fund the army, police men, pubic school teachers, firemen, and the library.

    let's not forget that health insurance includes getting blood tests, going to the dentist, the emergency room if you get shot or fall on your head. these things affect us young, healthy people just as much as the next person.

    here are some facts i have read in the NY times, which i feel is a highly reputable source of news:

    starting 2014, you will have to buy health insurance or else pay $95 bucks a month OR .5 of your household income, whatever is more.

    starting this year, small business owners will get tax credit for offering health insurance to their employees.

    individuals and employers will pay premiums for taxes, but everything else will be covered by a new tax for health. only people that make 200,000 bucks or more a year will see a raise in their taxes for health care.

    16 million americans will now be able to afford medicaid.

    companies will no longer be able to refuse health insurance to "at-risk" patients. before, if you tested positive for cancer or another deathly illness, insurance companies were capable of dropping your coverage.

    anyone making under 88,000 a year will get a tax cut to help them purchase health insurance.

    if you buy your own insurance right now, you will pay 10-13% more than you used to.

    there is now no limit on how much coverage you get from your insurance. some companies used to employ a "lifetime limit" so if you required too much money for health care you would eventually no longer be covered.

    if you are paying more than 9.5% of your income for your employer to insure you, you will get tax cuts.

    by 2020, medicare will cover prescription medicine 100%

    children cannot be excluded in health care.

    you will receive free medicare if you make less than 133% income below the poverty level.

    premiums for old people cannot be more than 3 times more than for young.

    if you have religious objections or financial hardship, you do not have to purchase health insurance.

    if you'd pay more than 8% of your income to buy health insurance, you don't have to.

    if you're under 30 you can buy a plan that just covers emergency care and 3 check ups a year.

    common misconceptions:

    you will NOT be forced to take a certain plan, you can choose for yourself.

    you will NOT be forced to drop your current plan or company- buying insurance through the state is only optional.

    there will NOT be a government health insurance company that will compete against private companies.

    employers will NOT be forced to offer health insurance to their employees.

    illegal immigrants will NOT be able to purchase health care.

    many people don't want to pay more because they already have insurance. we need to think about the people that don't.

    here is a link so you can see how the health care reform will affect you:


  • There is apparently a waver you can sign to get out of buying a health insurance plan; millions of people will either do that, or simply not buy health insurance because they have no money. It will leave millions of people out, and millions of people will join the under insured--life saving practices can still be denied, people can die or go bankrupt to protect the health insurance industries profits. A single payer system, like the proposed HR676 would have covered alternative medicine, dental, and mental health benefits--the minimum plan that poor people might be forced to buy under this proposal will certainly not cover all of that. I think many rawfoodists could still have use of naturopathic dentists, healing therapists, etc.

  • I assumed that this whole thing meant free health care along the lines of the Canadian system, but mandatory health insurance is nearly as bad as making people pay for all their treatment! I think something like the Irish system would suit the US reasonably well. We have both private and public healthcare, although the latter needs some serious rejuvenation. There's a scheme whereby anyone below a certain income, on long-term medication, unemployed or over 70 can apply for a card that entitles them to free treatment on public services. I have one (unemployed) but the only time I've ever used it was for a minor injury. Lucky me!

  • About 5 weeks ago I had a hernia surgery. Evidently, raw foods didn't protect me from a hernia. The hernia surgery would cost 5 to 12 thousand on average and I was willing to pay but if anything went wrong and required overnite stays, the hospitals said they would charge me 10 to 15 thousand a day. That, I didn't want to risk. I figured I would either go to another country or to the VA because I'm a veteran. I chose the VA.

    The VA doesn't use the modern techniques so recovery is much longer, I'm getting restless and hoping to start biking, etc soon.

    Best Wishes, Gil.

  • Healthcare should be made AVAILABLE for everyone, but optional...Something should be done instead to ban disgustingly large profits and costs in healthcare to the point that no one can pay for it. It'd be cheaper to stay in a 5 star hotel and pay a doctor to be at your beck and call. Outrageous!

    I love what our country was FOUNDED on, but, frankly (no offense to those of the opposite opinion, I'm only stating mine), I hate being here in this time-period (there is no logic or morality). But there is no way out..

  • have_mersey, I second that. It is painful to watch what is going on in this country and to feel like there's not really much we can do about it... I guess the only thing to do is take care of ourselves and our own bodies, for now. or move to Canada. oh well.

  • same thoughts! well said have mersey

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