The Herald Bulletin

Overnight Update

Opinion

August 22, 2013

Viewpoint: Consider key points of health care plan

The health care corporate complex has spent close to a billion dollars buying politicians and TV/radio personalities to put a stop to what they have named as Obamacare. Which of these key points to the Affordable Health Care for America do you disagree with?

-- 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 surtax on the workers wage up to 8 percent.

-- 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 percent 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 insurers to continue to dictate limits on evaluations 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 with regard to a consumer's income.

-- Requiring most Americans to carry or obtain qualifying health insurance coverage or face a fine for non-compliance.

-- 5.4 percent surtax on individuals whose adjusted gross income exceeds $500,000 ($1 million for married couples filing joint returns).

-- 2.5 percent excise tax on medical devices.

-- Reductions in projected spending on Medicare of $400 billion over a 10-year period.

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