Also known as Obamacare,
In the House, 34
I think passing health care reform along strictly partisan lines was the biggest mistake Obama made during his presidency. In hindsight, once it became apparent
I believe Obamacare caused
Now, it seems
The situation creates numerous political problems for the
Instead, the "Ryancare" or "Trumpcare" bill proposes to reduce health care costs for wealthy people and increase them for poor and elderly Americans. The
I accept criticisms of Obamacare. The rollout was botched. Medical costs continue to increase. The individual mandate is unpopular. Due to requirements that insurers comply with standards, some Americans actually lost health care coverage and many pay higher premiums.
I think this creates a Catch 22 for
If, on the other hand, the
For the moment, it's plausible to blame all of Obamacare's faults on
But as of this week,
That's a pickle of a political predicament.
Maybe I'm wrong. It's possible the
During debate about Obamacare,
Compare that to the American Health Care Act, which passed out of Republican committees in the dead of night and was marked up before the CBO released its analysis. It's now headed for a vote by the full House this week.
It seems like
The pressure is on
I agree with Republican
"If you don't get both parties together, nothing is sustainable," Kasich told host
At this point, bipartisan cooperation on any issue seems unlikely. If I knew how to get
Despite its many flaws, polls show a majority of Americans support the Affordable Care Act. People like how the law requires insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions, and offers subsidies that help poor people afford coverage. Millions more people have insurance. The law isn't perfect, but I think it's wrong to depict it as a "complete disaster."
But that's how
As it stands, I don't have a horse in the race in the political battle between
My wife and I have two adult children. Back in the 1990s, when they were born, we had bare-bones health insurance that didn't include maternity coverage. Both our kids were born without complications, but back then we paid tens of thousands of dollars out of pocket to bring our kids home from the hospital.
The hospital, doctors and other creditors relentlessly demanded payment. We didn't have the money, but I borrowed from family to pay off the medical debt.
I wouldn't do anything different today. I'm glad we started our family when we did, even though our health insurance didn't cover the cost. We went without a lot of luxuries for years, but we eventually paid off what it cost for our kids to be born.
I'm glad I had health insurance when I had a heart attack. My share of costs for that incident ran into the thousands of dollars. But after meeting the deductible, the bulk of the costs were covered. Trust me -- you could buy a nice home for what it costs to have a heart attack these days.
More recently, I had a health savings account through a previous employer. You hear politicians talk about health savings accounts or HSAs as one of the solutions to help consumers deal with high costs of health care. I, however, had a bad HSA experience.
The concept is you put money into a health savings account, then you are not taxed on those funds when you withdraw them to pay medical bills. The problem is, I rarely had any surplus money after paying bills each month. I wasn't able to put much money into the HSA, but I was still paying medical bills that were due.
Our family of four pays a lot each year in out-of-pocket costs for premiums, deductibles, prescriptions and medical costs not covered by insurance -- especially for services like dental and vision care. Our share is significant, but the costs to the employer providing our insurance have been much greater.
The first time I filed income taxes after having an HSA, I didn't know you were required to file an
The following year, I figured I was done doing my own taxes. It had become too complicated. I took our forms to an accountant. He not only got us a refund that year after we were used to owing the government more money -- he got us back the penalty we paid because of the missing HSA form.
I bet our experience is fairly typical. I'm resigned to the fact that American health care is expensive, and that the cost of having insurance will always be high.
I don't blame
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