2 votes
Apr 11, 2015

I'm going to try to cite most of these, if I didn't cite one and you find I was wrong please feel free to correct me. Here's the bill: LINK

I support it for the following reasons:

  • It decreases overall insurance costs through forcing everyone into risk pools.
  • It limits profit that private insurers can make off an individual to avoid price gouging. (Page 41)
  • Improves rebates on drugs through medicare. (Page 235)
  • Allows the FDA to approve generic drugs more quickly increasing competitive pricing. (Starting Page 766, this is covered by an entire section in the bill called Title VII)
  • Restaurant (and I believe even liquor) must display health information for their products. (Page 518)
  • Insurance companies can no longer discriminate based on disabilities of the patient. (Page 66)
  • Forbids insurance companies from claiming a patient has reached their "lifetime limit", that is to say that a patient has been covered so much that the company refuses to cover them any further. (Page 33)
  • Insurers are limited on how much they can fluctuate their prices to customers. (Page 47)
  • Insurers can no longer just drop customers once they get sick. (Page 33)
  • More anti-fraud mechanisms are introduced. (Page 718)
  • Insurers must go through an appeals process when they turn down a claim, this protects the customer by giving them other recourse than lawsuits when they are turned down. (Page 42)
  • No more "pre-existing conditions" at all starting this year. (Page 64, 65, 76)
  • Fixes the Medicare "donut hole". (Page 398)
  • Medicaid is extended up to 133% of the poverty line. (Page 198) Note: A court hearing recently made this an opt-outable clause for states.
  • Small businesses get a tax credit for 2 years. I think this one ended already though. (Page 157)
  • In 2015 doctor's pay will be based on the quality of care, not number of patients cared for.
  • Insurers must tell their patients what they're spending money on.
  • Kids are covered by their parent's plan until they're 26 (Page 34)
  • There are a few other positive things as well but I am going to move on from here...
The things I dislike about the bill are as follows:
  • It decreases overall insurance costs through forcing everyone into risk pools. The mandate is tough, no doubt about it, it's a forced expenditure from many who may not be able to afford it. It attempted to ensure that it would only force those to pay for it that could by expanding medicare upwards, but there is still a small group of unlucky people (including myself) who are stuck paying high cost and getting nothing in return.
  • It creates a new 10% tax on indoor tanning booths. (Page 942) My girlfriend likes to tan.
  • Many of the plans have a high deductible, often times patients feel that they are paying for nothing.
  • It is a common concern that forcing an employer to purchase insurance for their employees will kill jobs. Thus far we haven't seen this effect too much, but it seems a reasonable concern.
  • Most importantly, it does not expand medicare enough. I am a full proponent of expansion of medicare to be a single payer system, I think the single payer system has worked out very well in many of the scandisocialist countries as well as Hong-Kong. Although cancer survival rates are the best in the world in America, citizens of say Switzerland have an average lifespan, cancer included, of 82.8 years. While America boasts 79.8 years. Source.
All in all I had to vote yes because it introduced many things that we were lacking in comparison to other countries and their advanced medicare systems. It would be far fetched to find a pill bottle in Britain being sold for over 100x what they cost to produce, but here in America you might pay $ 5,000 for some pills that cost $ 3.00 to produce.

Ultimately to me and probably many liberals (of which I am not), and many democrats, single payer is the superior system based on its success across the world. Many Republicans/Conservatives argue that America is different because not only is America extremely massive in population in comparison, but it is not nearly as homogeneous in ethnicity as those countries.

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