America has Obamacare, where every Americans is insured for medical care, right? Wrong.
America has various ways people receive healthcare, and all are under federal guidelines (Obamacare).
ELDERLY: First, the elderly (65 and older) are required to use under government Medicare, a health insursnce program which costs a couple hundred dollars a month and has options to “buy” more coverage. An example is that you have to additionally purchase prescription coverage. Monthly premiums are generally deducted from monthly Social Security payments. Seniors may elect to keep additional private insurance, but Medicare is required to be used first by law, and the other insurance coverage must remain supplemental only.
CHILDREN: Children are either covered by their families’ private healthcare policies or by government Medicaid. 43% of all children in America are currently covered under Medicaid. That should tell you something about Obamacare—their parents can’t buy it.
SINGLE MOTHERS: Single mothers of children for which they have legal custody also qualify for Medicaid based on earnings. If the father has legal custody, but child lives with the mother for any reason; while the mother can’t afford health insurance fir herself, she is sill denied Medicaid.
DISABLED: Some disabled persons under age 65 also qualify for Medicaid, but it is generally a insurance process for approval and is really not approved for most with the exception of mentally or other handicapped. That means that those living on a monthly Social Security disability payment (my brother’s check is $1,400/mo), and who already have pre-existing medical conditions, still have to buy Obamacare, plus pay out of pocket for medical items not covered such as in his case $200/mo diabetes testing supplies.
YOUNG ADULTS: Young adults up to age 26 either living at home or attending an institution of higher learning are legally covered under family policies (their parentt’s Obamacare), provided their parents are insured. If they do not go to college or if they get married, they are responsible for purchasing Obamacare.
ADULTS: Private insurance (under Obamacare guidelines) is what almost everyone else has. Private coverage is what pays to subsidize the fluctuations in everyone else’s healthcare costs. It is based on your earnings, size of family, general health, and age. My own private policy at age 64 (excellent health) is over $800 per month (no dependents), with various provider and prescription co-pays, plus a $4,500/yr deductible. Many insureds have family deductibles of up to $20,000 per year, and/or premiums as high as $1,800 /mo.
VETERANS: The military promised to take care of its own and VA hospitals and clinics are all throughout America. This form of health care has come under much scrutiny the past five years with complaints of dangerous wait times to see physicians, or to obtain testing or care. Thanks to whistleblowers, the lid was blown off the policies and poor care given our vets, and a high priority has been set by the new President to fix existing VA hospital problems. Trump also budgeted more money for military needs.
THE REMAINDER: What’s left is a group of 28.5 million (10.5% of the population) uninsured, able-bodied (meaning they are not in the disability column) adults (mostly) and in a few cases their dependents, who cannot afford private insurance, but fall in an income gap making a little too much to qualify for Medicaid. This group would pay the highest insurance premiums under Obamacare —even with age or income subsidies, although they are generally young and healthy. Many in this group are starting careers, did not go to college, married under 26 years of age, are working part time in a still weak salaries economy, or maybe work as self employed (such as their own lawn care business), where health insurance is not employer subsidized. Some Americans move in and out of this category for years based on employment. (Note: I should also mention that this group also incorporates a very vulnerable group of people who are very ill and fighting the system for legal disability status, and who are not yet age 65, when they would automatically have Medicare coverage. They could have debilitating heart or injury problems or end-stage disease, so they cannot work. It can take five years or longer in many cases to get approved for SSD [which we pay into all our working lives … it is not charity or welfare], while these people have zero income, and typically lose everything they have, so naturally they don’t have health insurance.)
Prior to Obamacare, private insurance for most of the remaining group would have been offered as the least expensive, and these folks were also able to even opt for catastrophic-only health insurance (the cheapest). But at present (Obamacare), the societal consequence for falling into this group means an unbelievable legal responsibility for a health tax of $1,200-$2,500/yr or more per person— an uninsured tax that that is a penalty for not buying government-required health insurance. These fines are collected by the IRS at tax time, and if not paid, are seized from tax refunds, private bank accounts, and/or employee garnisheed wages (paychecks).
POLITICS: This tax was considered unjust by most Americans— that the government can force its citizens to buy a service and then instill government punishment (taxes, fines, seizures) for disobiedience. When the penalty fee became the subject of the courts as being unconstitutional, Obama changed to fine to a “tax”. The fees (taxes) by law were to be collected April 2014; but Democrat lawmakers, under Obama, who instituted this gastly policy, realized there would be severe political repercussions to enforce the tax then, when they needed to maintain power in the Senate branch of government during mid-term elections that year. So to keep the realities of the effects of the tax at bay and quiet, Obama independently postponed the law’s penalty due date to 2015 instead. Republicans won the Senate, perhaps in part because voters knew that not one Republican had voted for Obamacare— mainly due to the penalty rule. The White House had to take a closer look then, at what effects the penalty fees would have on 28m voters in the upcoming 2016 Presidential election, so Obama again wrote an Executive Order to suspend uninsured tax until April 2017, after the election. Obama left the White House with the tax deadline effective 4–18–17.
It only stands to reason, that this group of uninsured Americans could not afford healthcare, so how could they afford the penalties? President Donald Trump, as the newly-elected President, did not believe in the unfair tax on a vulnerable group of working Americans, so eliminated it with an Executive Order on January 21, 2017. His action saved millions of Americans from losing much money to taxes last month. Our US media, siding with Democrats and very far from being impartial journalists, refused to give any credit to the new President, and never covered this news. And the taxpayers who would have paid the fines last month were so trusting of a Democrat law (it must be good for me) that very few any even realized they would have been required to pay.
So what happens when the uninsured get sick and can’t afford health costs beyond an occasional dr visit, the flu, or a well-woman check up? For an emergency, the hospitals will not turn out a medical emergency patient. In addition, most hospitals have hospital and community foundation funding set aside to cover expenses for hospital healthcare for the indigent. In addition, for and ongoing care for any illnesses including major illness like cancer, each town/city has social service clinics…. some are sliding-scale (you only pay based on what you earn) and others are free to those without healthcare insurance; and they have systems in place for outsourced doctors, mental health workers, surgeons, specialists, and dentists who volunteer their expertise to take a number of medical cases for free. Maternity clinics are always free to those who don’t have insurance and have been in place in every county or city for 50+ years.