A recent poll revealed that 54% of Americans disapprove of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and a record high 39% want Congress to repeal it. In another survey doctors said, by a wide margin, they are “not at all familiar” with how certain provisions of the law will be implemented. A poll in April found that 40% of Americans did not know if Obamacare was still in effect. Forget about knowing what is in the law (Nancy Pelosi said, “But we have to pass the bill so you can find out what is in it…”), about 130 million Americans do not know it still exists! Democratic Senator Max Baucus referenced to the ACA as, “a huge train wreck coming down.” With all that being said, it is here to stay. So…what is in it? We are going to go through roughly 10,000 pages (according to the Washington Post) and give you the highlights.

  1. On October 1st, 2013 your state’s “Health Insurance Exchange Marketplace” opens for business. If you qualify for this insurance or if you don’t have health insurance, you will be able to purchase federally regulated health insurance through a private provider. It closes March 31, 2014.
  2. Businesses with over 50 employees will be required to pay a tax on any profit over $250,000 per year. That sounds like a great incentive to have only 49 employees! Relax…our government is delaying that until 2015. So you can cut down s-l-o-w-l-y!
  3. Children under 26 years old can stay on their parents health insurance plan (…and move back in, eat your food, run up your utility bills, and never say thank you!)
  4. Pre-existing conditions are covered. So are many preventative services and essential health benefits. What those are exactly, no one knows.
  5. If you don’t have coverage after 3/31/2014, you will have to pay a fee. $95 per adult and $47.50 per child. That means if your gallbladder starts to spasm, pay the $95 and we will remove it for you. Now that’s affordable!
  6. Medicare is not part of the program. If you are on Medicare, you will have to continue with that same “train wreck” coverage. Sorry mom and dad…
  7. If you have coverage and want to explore Marketplace plans, you can. However, it is based on your annual income. If your employer already offers you health insurance, for most of you that means you will have to continue on your current plan. You will continue to watch your deductibles and co-pays skyrocket while your coverage will only pay for a band-aid and a lollipop at your doctor’s office.
  8. Depending on your family size and income, you may get lower costs on monthly premiums and out-of-pocket costs. I think that means they want you to have more kids!

There…I did it! Not even President Obama has explained it. As Dean Obeidallah from CNN said, “I can’t fathom how Obama, one of the best orators of modern-day politics, could be such a poor advocate for (Obamacare).”

In summary, have your kids, parents, and grandparents move back in with you and don’t work for a company with more than 50 employees! Wait…that’s not right. I think I need to read this thing again.

We’ve got your back,

Dr. K.