Obamacare 101

From Lifehacker: How Will the New Health Care Law Affect Me?
  • Individual Mandates: By 2014, every citizen in the US will be required to have health care. Medicaid will be expanded to include a wider range of people, and subsidies will be offered for those who struggle to pay for insurance.
  • Employer Mandates: Employers with over 50 employees will be required to offer some type of health insurance option to employees.
  • No More Pre-Existing Conditions: Insurance companies cannot deny you if you have a pre-existing condition like a chronic illness or disease. In addition, insurance companies can't drop you because of an illness.
  • Children Can Stay On Parent's Plan Longer: Previously, it was up to the insurance company to decide how long a child could stay on a parent's insurance program. Now, children can stay on their parents plans until they're 26 years old, regardless of whether they're in school, married, or considered a dependent.
  • No Lifetime Limit: Insurance companies used to have a lifetime limit on the amount you could spend on treatment over the course of your life. Now, that cap has been removed and your insurance company can't refuse to pay for services because you've reached a cap.

From About.com: Tax Impacts of the Supreme Court's Health Care Decision
  • the requirement for individuals to maintain health insurance coverage beginning in 2014 or else pay a tax penalty;
  • individual premium assistance tax credits to help low- and middle-income families purchase health insurance on state-run insurance exchanges;
  • an increase in the threshold for deducting medical expenses as an itemized deduction from the current 7.5% to 10% starting in 2013;
  • an increase in the tax penalty to 20% for non-qualifying distributions from Health Savings Accounts, Flexible Spending Accounts or Archer Medical Savings Accounts;
  • an additional 0.9% Medicare hospital insurance tax on wages and self-employment income over $200,000 for unmarried persons and over $250,000 for married couples starting in 2013;
  • an additional 3.8% Medicare hospital insurance tax, also starting in 2013, on investment income or modified adjusted gross income over $200,000 for unmarried persions and over $250,000 for married couples;
  • an increase in the adoption tax credit and making this credit fully refundable, effective for the years 2010 and 2011;
  • an excise tax of 10% on indoor tanning services;
  • a tax exclusion for student loan repayment assistance programs for health professionals to work in underserved localities;
  • a tax credit for small employers ranging from 25% to 50% for providing health insurance coverage to their employees, effective for the years 2010 through 2015;
  • a decrease from $5,000 to $2,500 in the amount that can be saved pre-tax through a healthcare flexible spending account, effective starting 2013 and with the amount inflation-indexed for subsequent years;
  • restriction of the definition of qualified medical expenses for healthcare flexible spending accounts, health savings accounts, health reimbursement accounts and Archer medical savings accounts so that only prescribed medications and insulin are eligible for tax-qualified disbursements, effective since 2011;
  • a business tax credit of 28% of covered drug costs for employers who provide health plans offering precription coverage for retired employees, effective beginning in 2013;
  • limitations in the amount that health insurance companies can deduct for any one employee's compensation to $500,000 effective beginning in 2013;
  • a new economic substance penalty of either 20% or 40% for tax transactions after March 30, 2010, that do not involve a substantial change in a person's economic situation or have a substantial business purpose;
  • a new excise tax of 40% on high-cost health insurance plans offered by employers starting in 2018;
  • an annual fee on manufacturers and importers of brand-name prescription medicines;
  • an excise tax of 2.3% on medical devices starting in 2013.

Anything in these lists surprise you? Will you be affected by it? Please share.


  1. Hey Bob, think this needs to be factored in too: http://dailycaller.com/2012/07/09/report-83-percent-of-doctors-have-considered-quitting-over-obamacare/
    Will Obamacare result in the accelerated ushering in of healthcare rationing?

    Also, is the already dramatically escalating costs projections of Obamacare a clear sign that its designers intended it to fail from the outset; resulting in a crisis leading to their ultimate goal of 100% social medicine?

    Bottom line, how can we trust Obamacare that was sold to us, in my opinion, deceitfully as a "bill of goods" that will be in our best interests; yet we were not allowed to know what it was until it passed hastefully by folks whom also did not know what it was all about but nevertheless had the foresight to exclude themselves and their loved ones from it!! Smells rotten!!!

    1. Hard to know the long-term effects Lou. Even if Romney gets elected I doubt that the GOP will have sufficient majority to overturn Obamacare in full. Like most laws I suspect that congress will modify it over time.

  2. The survey that determined that 83% of doctors may quit doctoring because of Obamacare was conducted by the Doctor Patient Medical Association. It’s founder Kathryn Serkes is a long-time veteran of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, a collection of crackpot malcontents that opposes mandatory vaccinations, wrongly believes undocumented immigrants spread leprosy, and dabbled in Vince Foster conspiracy theorism. The group itself is solidly conservative in its politics: it boasts membership in the National Tea Party Federation; describes the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as "Destruction Of Our Medicine," or DOOM; and published a sheet of talking points about the health law to help grassroots activists "beat back the White House spin machine!" Credible surveyors are unbiased, which this group is not.

    The survey didn't actually ask about the Affordable Care Act. Here's the question and the results as given by DPMA:

    How do current changes in the medical system affect your desire to practice medicine?

    I'm re-energized - 4.6%

    Makes me think about quitting - 82.6%

    Unsure/no opinion - 12.8%

    So they're just assuming that every respondent, upon reading "current changes in the medical system," thought "Obamacare" and nothing else? Doesn't seem too likely. And when asked to give their opinion on these undefined "changes," they were only given three options: super-excited, ready to quit, and "unsure." What if they were just slightly dissatisfied? Or cautiously optimistic? The survey left no room for anyone who didn't hold an extreme position.

    The survey was conducted by fax and online from April 18 to May 22, 2012. DPMAF obtained the office fax numbers of 36,000 doctors in active clinical practice, and 16,227 faxes were successfully delivered. The response rate was only 4.3% for a total of 699 completed surveys. That is a very small sample size and one could conclude that the majority of respondents were ideologically sympathetic to the DPMA and had axes to grind. The vast majority, which did not respond, probably recognized that the survey was biased.

    The survey question is entirely worthless, which is likely the reason no one paid it any mind when DPMA released it. But then the dim bulbs at the Breitbart empire picked it up, followed by the Daily Caller and Drudge, leading to its inevitable appearance on Fox News. All highly reliable sources…. Not!

    Regarding health care cost, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation's survey of employers the total cost of health care insurance increased 9% in 2011 versus 2010, which is higher than the 3% increase in 2010 versus 2009 but consistent with the average annual cost increase from 2001 through 2009.

    1. Thanks for the comment Joe. It is hard to imagine anyone quitting a position that they trained so long to do.


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