Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Obamacare vs. Romneycare - There IS a difference

OBAMACARE                                       ROMNEYCARE
HC Bill: 2,700 pages long                    HC Bill: 70 pages long
No one read it before passing it          Everyone read is before passing it
Regulates entire HC industry               Does not regulate HC industry
Raises taxes on indiv & Biz                  Did not raise taxes
Cuts Medicare                                     Does not cut Medicare
Gives Medicaid to non-poor                 Didn't affect Medicaid expenditures
No indiv HC tax Deduction                  Expands HC indiv tax incentive
Unfunded by current revenues            Shifted costs from funded programs
Bill had no bi-partisan support            Bill had bi-partisan support
Enforcement by the I.R.S.                    Enforcement by MassHealth
16.7% of US still uninsured                  1.8% of MA still uninsured
11% of US children uninsured              0.2% of MA children uninsured
U.S. ranks lowest in world                   MA ranks highest of 50 states
$1.9T incr. costs over 10 years           Net cost to reform < 2% budget
Ruled unconstitutional twice               Constitutionality upheld in court
Obama supported 100% of OC            Romney vetoed 8 parts of RC
Obama pushed for more HC reg         Romney pushed for less HC reg
US:Obamacare approval 35%               MA: 67% "satisfied" in 2010
Don't like it? Tough.                           Don't like it" Try another state.

More at 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Health Care Reform and Me

What does the ruling of the Supreme Court mean to me?
Q: Does this mean the Affordable Care Act is in place forever?
A: When SCOTUS ruled on Thursday, June 28, 2012, it meant the ACA is in place for now. The future of the law depends on who controls the White House and Congress after elections in November 2012.

Q: What about benefits that are now in place?
A: For now, parents can still keep their children on their insurance plans until age 26. People on Medicare will continue to see the "doughnut hole" or coverage gap for prescription drugs close.

Q: What is next if the law stands?
A: Most of the big changes, or mandates, begin January 1, 2014. For one, most Americans will be required to carry [approved] health insurance or pay a tax penalty. The tax penalty is set at $95 a year, initially, but will increase significantly in later years.
The Medicaid program will be expanded to cover millions of people, effectively adding Billions to the deficit. Another batch of people with low incomes will get tax credits to offset the premiums they will pay for health insurance.

Q: I already have health insurance. What about me?
A: You are bound to see changes in your health insurance coverage as your employer plan or your individual plan will have to meet new regulations under the law. You will probably see more  preventive services covered without out-of-pocket costs. If your current plan does not provide for prescription drug coverage, you may see those benefits added to your plan.

Q: I'm already paying high premiums. What will happen to my insurance premiums?
A: Health insurance premiums will only increase and co-payments rise. Why? For one, the cost of health care continues to increase. Secondly, the new law requires insurance plans to cover more and more preventive benefits as well as new benefits that add to costs. The law contains a few mechanisms to curb premiums but not by much.

Q: What about these new Health Insurance Exchanges?
A: The mandated exchanges are to be in place January 1, 2014 (October 1, 2013 in Washington). These are to be the new way to purchase health insurance. There will be State controlled Exchanges as well as Private Exchanges. The State Exchanges and Private Exchanges are to offer identical plans. The State Exchanges will likely serve people eligible for tax credits or subsidies to help them pay the premiums - people with low incomes. There will be four plans currently referred to as "metal plans" namely Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze. Details of each plan are not yet available and premiums are yet to be determined.

Contact Richard Ek at if you have other questions about health insurance, Medicare health plans or other coverage.