Debate Team paper on Obamacare - Part 2
Our team’s debate topic covers a controversial issue within the Affordable Care Act in America, known as Obamacare - Debate Team paper on Obamacare introduction. Obamacare is the universal health care in the United States that provides Americans access to affordable, quality health insurance, with a goal of reducing growth in healthcare spending. This universal health plan is technically a mandate or tax, in which non-compliers may be penalized through their federal return. Our topic debates whether Americans should be forced to pay this ‘shared responsibility fee’ for not complying with Obamacare. Arguments for Pro’s The United States of America is a rich and powerful country.
The way we handle political, social, and ethical issues are closely watched by the entire world. We are a free democratic society who has entrusted our government to make the best, most appropriate decision for each individual in this country, even if that means we have to pay a little more. Obamacare is one of many policies that illustrate the American people’s willingness to help one another.
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According to “Obamacare Facts” (2013), Health and Human Services (HHS), the department in charge of implementing and overseeing the Affordable Care Act, reported that in the first two months of open enrollment nearly 1. million Americans had selected a health plan. With so many people utilizing these policies, it sends a positive message to other countries demonstrating how, through democracy the American people’s concern for and willingness to help one another is evident. In countries like Japan, the government has been working together with its citizens to help with healthcare costs without any hesitation. According to “The Lancet” (2011), “In healthcare the government overtime succeeded in changing the basis of medical practice from Chinese to Western medicine.
Moreover the transition was achieved without minimal cost and limited social disruption [ The same social compliance can be achieved through Obamacare, even with the tax mandate in place. Throughout history, the American people has overcome tremendous social hardships (9-11 and Sandy Hook/Connecticut to name a few), by coming together and supporting one another, exemplifying our tenacity, resilience and dedication to each other] Arguments for Con There is another side of the coin that should be addressed.
With the tax penalty and the implementation of Obamacare not being as smooth as our government would have liked, many Americans who were in favor of Obamacare are quickly rethinking their stance. For Americans to fully utilize the Obamacare healthcare system, Americans must accept responsibility and pay the tax for non-compliance. Obamacare offers healthcare packages specific to ones’ needs along with many added benefits. Due to a significant amount of Americans who need or want to obtain health insurance, the cost of these plans must be covered.
For Americans who are experiencing an increase in healthcare expenses due to the unacceptable regulations of insurance companies and the rising costs of prescription medications, Obamacare seems to be a perfect solution. Yet, some Americans insist that the tax is unfair and feel they should not be forced to pay anything. According to the “ARC” (2007), “Observe that all legitimate rights have one thing in common, they are rights to action not to rewards from other people. The American rights impose no obligations on other people, merely the negative obligation to leave you alone.
The system guarantees you the chance to work for what you want not to be given it without effort by somebody else. ” Ethical, Moral, Legal, and Technical Issues There are many ethical, moral, and legal issues that lie within the Affordable Care Act. Ethical issues like younger American’s being relied upon to cover the benefits of the older, sicker Americans. The moral issues like the fact that other countries with universal healthcare- Japan for example, strictly regulates cost to keep insurance affordable yet, Obamacare does not guarantee affordability for its citizens; and legal issues like the “fix” on grandfathered health plans.
Americans who will consume healthcare less frequently are “needed to subsidize the cost of older sicker ones” (Oliphant, 2013). In order to achieve affordable health insurance and include the benefits of the packages, not only must Americans actively participate in the healthcare law but younger Americans especially. “In theory, the law would create large pools of younger, healthier participants whose premiums would help offset the cost of providing care for older policyholders who use the health care system more” (Cohen, 2013).
As the eadline approaches for Americans to shop and purchase healthcare packages, the desperate need for compliance by young Americans has increased and has been communicated to the People. According to CNN News reporters, President Obama encouraged young supporters to recruit their peers to sign up for healthcare on Wednesday December, 4th 2013 (Cohen, 2013). Americans who will be depending on their healthcare more, will also depend on Americans who are healthier, to comply and pay into the plan as an attempt to maintain affordability in Obamacare.
Affordability in Obamacare is not however guaranteed. “The ACA was enacted with the goals of increasing the quality and affordability of health insurance [and] lowering the uninsured rate by expanding public and private insurance coverage” “Wikipedia/Affordable Care Act” (2013). As Americans shop, some are experiencing significant rate increases. Obamacare offers many rights, protections and benefits including, “improvements to women health services”, “better care and protection for seniors”, “no annual or lifetime limits” (Obamacare Facts, 2013), and acceptance of pre-existing conditions.
In order to include these essential additions, some Americans are facing increases in their premiums or, for Americans who were not covered before, experiencing higher than expected insurance costs. “Several studies on insurance premiums expect that with the subsidies offered under the ACA, more people will pay less (than they did prior to the reforms) than those who will pay more, and that those premiums will be more stable (even in changing health circumstances) and transparent, due to the regulations on insurance” “Wikipedia/Affordable Care Act” (2013).
Even though many Americans will notice a discount, when compared to health care in Japan, Obamacare communicates a stance of quality over affordability. The Japanese Government strictly regulates health care to ensure its consumers are paying as little as possible out of pocket. The affordability of Japanese healthcare may be a factor in utilization that is 4x that of the United States. This government regulation guarantees affordability for the Japanese causing an increase of usage of health care.
Not to mention,“people who live in Japan can expect to remain in good health longer than anybody else in the world, according to the World Health Organisation(WHO)” (BBC news, 2000). Legal issues like the “grandfathered plan” fix have impacted the roll-out of Obamacare. Confusion raised when already insured Americans experienced significant increases in costs of current premiums. This confusion was due to the promise of President Obama to Americans, “if you like your plan you can keep it”; that Americans who were already insured would experience no change in premium costs.
After further review, Grandfathered plans (plans in effect before March 23, 2010) now remain effective until 2015. President Obama’s statement “if you like your plan you can keep it” still stands. Previously insured Americans can take advantage of their current plans that “don’t have to follow ObamaCare’s rules and regulations or offer the same benefits, rights and protections as new plans” (Obamacare Facts, 2013). The issues that exist within the healthcare law require the American people to develop skills that aid in the execution of complying with Obamacare guidelines.
Despite these issues, all Americans share a responsibility to obtain the means and abide by the healthcare law Career Competencies Obtaining health insurance requires many Americans to develop a skill-set of research, evaluation, critical thinking, decision making, and also coping with pressure due to the many inconsistencies of the roll-out and progression to deadline. Too short paragraph. One’s competence in assessing and shopping for plans provides him or her (or business) the incentive to choose the package that fully covers all specific needs.
Creating an understanding of information on plans and details within the package, along with applying these expertise to shop and choose the perfect plan, allows consumers to take an active role in achieving health insurance. Whether you are shopping for individual, family, or employee coverage, paying attention to the qualifications, offers, and costs of each package will allow one to find quality health insurance while remaining aware of the benefits of Obamacare. Americans who choose not to shop for healthcare packages must also achieve competence in evaluating fees. The individual mandate goes into effect January 1st, 2014. The penalty will be applied to your annual taxable income for each month you do not have health insurance. The fee for not having insurance in 2014 is $95 per adult and $47. 50 per child or 1% of your taxable income (up to $285 for a family), whichever is greater” (Obamacare Facts, 2013).
For employers who have over 50 fulltime equivalent employees and wish not to provide insurance, competence in calculating the fee is also important. The annual fee is $2,000 per employee if insurance is not offered. The fee is a per month fee due annually on employer federal tax returns starting in 2015. So the per month fee is 1/12 of the $2,000 or $3,000 per employee” (Obamacare Facts, 2013). Americans who choose to shop, as well as those who make the decision not to comply must obtain the necessary skill-set to remain informed and be prepared of how Obamacare will affect their finances and life beginning January 1st, 2014.
In times of non-compliance, web-site flaws, the need to become familiar with new information, and fighting the clock to deadline, Americans must also cope with pressure. Maintaining a positive outlook and working productively to choose a plan, despite the circulating flaws that may arise, will promote healthy mental processes that will guide one to successful decision making. Keeping emotions under control during difficult situations will help individuals, families, and businesses obtain quality health insurance while remaining stress free and open-minded.
Making the decision to pay tax rather than comply with standards of Obamacare may also increase stress. Americans making this tough decision must think critically on the matter yet remain level-headed to ensure valid and sound arguments against the insurance of their health. Conclusion American’s may feel stripped of their “freedom of choice” when forced to either pay more taxes on private health insurance or enroll in the Affordable Care act, better known as Obamacare.
Many years Americans have gone without having health insurance which has increased the cost of insurance, as well as increased the cost of hospitals, medications, health insurance premiums, and other medical related costs. Over the past few decades, health in American people had deteriorated due to lifestyle choices. One of the initiatives of Obamacare is geared towards young people also known as “get covered”. “It also seeks to nudge young adults into action by portraying insurance as a social responsibility, and encouraging peers and parents to put pressure on the uninsured” (Bohan,2013).
After many years of this continued practice and still increasing costs, we are indirectly paying for the people who go to receive treatment and do not pay their medical bills. It could be argued that Obamacare will force Americans to reassess and accept responsibility of their healthcare. Obamacare allows Americans to make a conscious decision to carry the cost for being provided quality health insurance, whether it is choosing to pay the “penalty tax” or enrolling in a healthcare plan.
Life expectancy has increased over the past decades and unfortunately, this means more people have utilized Medicaid over a longer period of time. Instead of being reactive when diagnosed with heart disease, diabetes, or other long term conditions which are very costly over time, Obamacare will make Americans proactive in awareness of their health by having set parameters of the requirements in coverage, i. e. , “requiring a physical”. Having a healthy nation that helps young Americans understand the importance of health is something we all must contribute to.
The mentality of why Americans must pay penalties, follow requirements, and how freedom of choice will change is the first reaction to the unknown. Obamacare provides access to a market of quality and affordable health insurance for Americans. Obamacare mandates that anyone who can afford it must provide themselves, family, or employees with quality health insurance. To ensure a more healthy nation and align with the notion of shared responsibility and a willingness to help each other, Americans must abide by the mandate or pay the shared responsibility fee.