By Jueseppi B.
This week The Affordable Health Care for America Act (or HR 3962) is to be tested before the United States Supreme Court on it’s legality. Many Americans, if you believe the polls, are against what they believe to be an intrusion into their health insurance private business. If you get your information from the television news, and that in itself is bad news, you are against the mandate that is contained in the Affordable Health Care for America Act because you think this individual mandate is forcing you to buy health insurance or face a stiff penalty.
You’d be entirely incorrect. I will post the Affordable Health Care for America Act in it’s ENTIRETY below, if you have questions or doubts about the Affordable Health Care for America Act, I suggest you read the Affordable Health Care for America Act. That would be better than talking negatively about something you do not understand. I always thought if you are mandated in America to have automobile insurance to cover your car, but not mandated to have health insurance to cover your body/health….something is terribly ass-backwards.
The National Center for Health Statistics at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released data illustrating that the Affordable Care Act has helped increase the number of young adults who have health insurance. Data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) shows that in the first quarter of 2011, the percentage of adults between the ages of 19 and 25 with health insurance increased by 3.5 percentage points, representing approximately 1 million additional young adults with insurance coverage compared to a year ago.
The Affordable Care Act allows most children to remain on their parents’ health insurance plans until age 26. No other age group experienced a gain in coverage, and experts agree that the Affordable Care Act made a difference.
“As a mom, I know how scary it is to think about what could happen to your kids if they go without health care coverage, which is what makes today’s news so important,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “Thanks to the Affordable Care Act hundreds of thousands more young people have the health care coverage they need.”
The data released today are consistent with reports from other data sources, which indicate that the number of young adults with health insurance has increased since the Affordable Care Act was enacted. A newly-released Gallup survey shows a significant increase in rates of insured adults ages 18-25, from 71.0 percent in the first quarter of 2010 to 75.1 percent in the second quarter of 2011. And earlier this month, the U.S. Census Bureau released its results from the Current Population Survey, describing insurance coverage for calendar year 2010, which found that roughly 400,000 additional adults ages 19-25 were insured during 2010 compared to 2009. These results, along with the latest NHIS data, are highlighted in an HHS Issue Brief.
“Overall, these three national surveys show a consistent pattern of expanded health coverage among young adults due to the Affordable Care Act,” said Sherry Glied, Ph.D., HHS assistant secretary for planning and evaluation. “The law helped many young adults get the health insurance they need, and it is continuing to expand insurance coverage to uninsured Americans all across the country.”
The Affordable Health Care for America Act (or HR 3962) was a bill that was crafted by the United States House of Representatives in November 2009. At the encouragement of the Obama administration, the 111th Congress devoted much of its time to enacting reform of the United States’ health care system. Known as the “House bill,” it was the House of Representative’s chief legislative proposal during the health reform debate, but the Affordable Health Care for America Act as originally drafted never became law.
On December 24, 2009, the Senate passed an alternative health care bill, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (H.R. 3590). In 2010, the House abandoned its reform bill in favor of amending the Senate bill (via the reconciliation process) in the form of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.
The central changes that would have been made by the legislation had it been enacted included:
- prohibiting health insurers from refusing coverage based on patients’ medical histories
- prohibiting health insurers from charging different rates based on patients’ medical histories or gender
- repeal of insurance companies’ exemption from anti-trust laws
- establishing minimum standards for qualified health benefit plans
- requiring most employers to provide coverage for their workers or pay a surtax on the workers wage up to 8%
- restrictions on abortion coverage in any insurance plans for which federal funds are used
- an expansion of Medicaid to include more low-income Americans by increasing Medicaid eligibility limits to 133% of the Federal Poverty Level and by covering adults without dependents as long as either or any segment doesn’t fall under the narrow exceptions outlined by various clauses throughout the proposal.
- a subsidy to low- and middle-income Americans to help buy insurance
- a central health insurance exchange where the public can compare policies and rates
- allowing insurors to continue to dictate limits on evaluation and care provided consumers by their physicians (“managed” or “rationed” care)
- avoidance of capitating or regulating premiums which are routinely and in accordance with this law, charged by an insurance company for coverage, which might make the coverage non-affordable vis-a-vis a consumer’s income
- requiring most Americans to carry or obtain qualifying health insurance coverage or face a fineand/or prison term for felony non-compliance.
- a 5.4% surtax on individuals whose adjusted gross income exceeds $500,000 ($1 million for married couples filing joint returns)
- a 2.5% excise tax on medical devices
- reductions in projected spending on Medicare of $400 billion over a ten-year period
- inclusion of language originally proposed in the Tax Equity for Domestic Partner and Health Plan Beneficiaries Act
- inclusion of language originally proposed in the Indian Health Care Improvement Act Amendments of 2009.
- imposing a $2,500 limit on contributions to flexible spending accounts (FSAs), which allow for payment of health costs with pre-tax funds, to pay for a portion of health care reform costs.
Comparison with House version
The main House reform bill was the Affordable Health Care for America Act, which passed November 7, 2009. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is the Senate version, passed December 24. The following table compares the two versions.
|10-Year Cost (billions)||$1,052||$848||Net subtracted from deficit|
|Number uninsured by 2019 (millions)||17||23||54 without bill|
|Individual mandate||Yes||Yes||Penalty tax or fine if coverage not carried
(See Insurance subsidies below)
|Employer mandate||Yes||Yes||Small businesses exempted|
|Abortion coverage||No||Yes||H: No in public option or subsidized plans;
may be covered by separate riders
S: Yes, but must be paid for separately without subsidies
|New and increased taxes||Yes||Yes||H: Families with income > $1 million
S: High-cost insurance plans;
Wealthiest Americans Medicare taxes;
Indoor tanning tax
|Insurance reforms||Yes||Yes||H: Remove anti-trust exemption
Both: Define qualified health benefit plan
|Expand Medicaid||Yes||Yes||Max 2009 Income, Family of 4:
|Insurance subsidies||Yes||Yes||Prorated to $88,000 for family of 4 (2009)
H: Premium subsidies; S: Tax credits
|Tax equity for domestic partners||Yes||No|
The bill was introduced on October 29, 2009 and passed on November 7, during the 1st Session of the 111th Congress. Its primary sponsor was the Dean of the House, John Dingell of Michigan. The bill is a revised version of an earlier measure, the proposed America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009 (HR 3200). The revisions included refinements designed to meet the goals outlined in the President’s address to a joint session of Congress in September, 2009 concerning health care reform.
Read the Law
Here we provide two ways for you to read the text of the Affordable Care Act.
Full Text of the Affordable Care Act (PDF – 2.6 MB)
Read the Affordable Care Act and its amendments. Note: The text is searchable within the PDF file.
The Affordable Care Act, Section by Section
Below you will find all 10 Titles of the Affordable Care Act, with amendments to the law called for by the reconciliation process. Click on a Title to read the law section by section.
Title I. Quality, Affordable Health Care for All Americans
Title II. The Role of Public Programs
Title III. Improving the Quality and Efficiency of Health Care
Title IV. Prevention of Chronic Disease and Improving Public Health
Title V. Health Care Workforce
Title VI. Transparency and Program Integrity
Title VII. Improving Access to Innovative Medical Therapies
Title VIII. Community Living Assistance Services and Supports Act (CLASS Act)
Title IX. Revenue Provisions
Title X. Reauthorization of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act
Certified Full-Text Versions
The PDFs above are full-text versions of each title and related content. They have been excerpted because presenting the Act in a single PDF results in a very large file which may present download difficulties. While no language was changed above, the full certified versions of the two bills are available here:
Now whatever your final opinions and thoughts are, whatever side you end up on, you should be informed, educated and aware of what it is you are talking about. It is not important what your final decision will be on the Affordable Health Care for America Act, it is vital how you reach your conclusions or final decission on the Affordable Health Care for America Act.
- By the Numbers: $2,300 (whitehouse.gov)
- Health care anniversary: the Affordable Care Act begins its third year (dailykos.com)
- The Affordable Care Act at Two Years (whitehouse.gov)
- To understand the lies (about the Affordable Care Act), you first have to understand the truth. (quinnscommentary.com)
- States fighting Affordable Care Act have highest populations of uninsured (dailykos.com)
- The five real problems with the health care reform law (quinnscommentary.com)
- House Republicans Accidentally Accept The Constitutionality Of The Affordable Care Act (thinkprogress.org)
- Thomas’s story (point4counterpoint.wordpress.com)
- More good news about the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare): CBO says it will save money (timpanogos.wordpress.com)
- How Health Care Reform is Already Helping People (theobamacrat.com)
- Also, It’s Not as Much a “Mandate” as It Is an “Incentive,” but then, Democrats Have Always Sucked at Framing Their Issues (slog.thestranger.com)
- Supreme Court Prepares to Tackle Affordable Care Act (news.health.com)
- Justices to tackle epic debate over constitutionality of health care reform (fox13now.com)
Read people, get informed, educate yourselves in this issue, do NOT take the information offered by cable/TV/Right or Left wing agencies. Do your OWN research and come to your own conclusions.
Filed under: Politics Tagged: | Affordable Care Act, Affordable Health Care for America Act, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Current Population Survey, National Center for Health Statistics, National Health Interview Survey, United State, United States House of Representatives