Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The White House: Video: President Obama Signs Health Care Reform Law

This blog was originally posted at FRS FreeStates on Blogger

What do I think of the Affordable Health Care Act?  Well to be brief, and I guess this is simplistic, I would say that it is the best health care reform bill that could've been passed in this Congress. As a liberal, I believe in private enterprise and capitalism and open competition, as well as freedom of choice.  Thats what the public option would've brought, another option not a mandate like a single payer system.  Americans could choose  where to get they're health insurance among providers who would compete fairly in the private market. 

It's not a Medicare system for all, which would force everyone in the country to purchase Medicare whether they wanted it or not.  It offers a tax credit for employers and people who aren't eligible for Medicare and Medicaid that goes a long way toward seeing that these people are able to afford health insurance.  The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that the Health Care Act will provide health insurance to an additional 30M Americans who currently don't have it.

Other than the tax credit to purchase health insurance, the best part of the Health Care Act, along with the fact that its totally paid for according to CBO and won't add a penny to our national debt, is that it has a Patients Bill of Rights.  This was debated in Congress ten years ago.  New federal regulations  prevent health insurers from abusing their customers and sitting on their profits instead of providing health insurance, which is their primary purpose.

No longer will health insurers be able to dump patients who have pre-existing conditions or just because they are sick and need their health insurance. No more caps on the amount of health insurance claims over a lifetime. Health insurers are required to spend a certain percentage of their profits on patient care.  They'll actually have to provide health insurance for  patients instead of sitting on their profits. 

I'm a Liberal and I believe in freedom.   Part of freedom is economic freedom, the ability of people to set their own course in life.  People need to be able to make money to do that.  Economic freedom provides freedom of choice so that people can decide for themselves where to get the services they need in their lives.  A big part of that, of course. is health insurance, the ability to pay for your own health care.

The Health Care Act supports this by stripping away the most common abuses committed by the private health insurers.   It improves the private health insurance market so that people of modest means, but who aren't poor, will now have the resources to decide for themselves where to get their health insurance, just like upper middle class and upper class people can.

John F. Kennedy Liberal Democrat

John F. Kennedy Liberal Democrat
Source: U.S. Senator John F. Kennedy in 1960