Health Care Reform in the U.S.
With so much buzz in the media about the historic health care reform legislation in the United States, we felt it
necessary to address the issue. Whose side are we on? Well, we're on the fence. U.S. political parties are almost
uniformly divided on where they stand on the issue, with many Republicans in strong opposition and most
Democrats on board with the changes. We think both sides have brought up legitimate points, so we've decided to
watch how it plays out before forming an opinion.
Many people are understandably confused about how these sweeping changes will affect them. Will they be paying
more taxes? Will they be forced to use a government-run insurance policy? Will they still be able to use their own
doctor? The reform bill is still undergoing much fine-tuning and it's too early to tell exactly how the costs will add
up and how each individual might be affected, but we can decode some of the major points of the bill.
Currently, consumers face several problems:
Many smaller employers don't offer group healthcare insurance
Insurance companies frequently deny coverage to individuals based on pre-existing conditions
Buying insurance privately is costly
Some individuals elect not to have insurance coverage simply due to the costs
Healthcare reform addresses each one of these issues. First, employers with 50 or more employees will now be
required to offer a group health insurance plan or they will have to pay a penalty. Insurance companies will be
banned from denying coverage based on any pre-existing conditions. Individuals won't be forced to purchase a
government insurance plan, but a public plan will be made available alongside the private insurance plans that
Americans are accustomed to. This is in an effort to compete with private companies in order to drive skyrocketing
costs down. However, consumers will be required to have some type of insurance coverage or they will be assessed
a penalty fee.
In order to help some families with costs, subsidies will be
provided to help cover the costs of insurance premiums. Indi-
viduals making less than $43,000 per year and families of four
making less than $88,000 per year are eligible for subsidies
(on a sliding scale). Estimates indicate that 97% of U.S. citi-
zens would be covered under insurance after these changes
So, if this all sounds great, you might be wondering what the
The first concern – and the focus of many Republican opponents to the plan – is financial. Concerns over new
taxes to cover the costs of providing these subsidies and public insurance plans and the impact on small business
owners who will now be forced to offer a group insurance option or pay a penalty are at the forefront.
Opponents are concerned that the U.S., which is already trillions of dollars in debt, can't afford to carry the
burden of the cost of providing insurance and healthcare to so many additional people. Most are concerned that
this financial burden will be passed on to taxpayers – primarily the rich.
Additionally, many citizens are concerned that physicians will choose not to participate in the public health plan,
forcing them to find a new doctor. Concerns about declining quality of health care have also been mentioned.
Finally, a major sticking point during the voting process was the concern that this government-funded health
plan would end up funding abortions. In order to address this concern, U.S. President Barack Obama signed an
amendment which excluded the funding of abortion except in cases of rape, incest or if the mother's life is in
danger. This amendment was enough to garner the additional Democratic votes needed to pass this reform bill
We honestly don't know how drastically these changes could affect the system that Americans have known
throughout the history of the United States. What we do know is that prevention is still the best medicine – as
they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
We stand firmly by our philosophy that leading a healthy lifestyle is a strong foundation for optimal health and
we encourage our readers to take control of their own health. Our goal at Megavista is to provide you with the
best information on positive, holistic health and nutrition to enable you to live a vibrant, healthy and stress-free
life. Our website is packed with information on natural methods, techniques and nutritional information that will
help you take the first steps to leading a healthy lifestyle. Visit us today to begin your journey to optimal health!
We want to know what think about health care reform, so we’ve created a special
discussion area on our forum. Join the debate today!