Two months before the recent health reform bill was passed, now officially known as the Affordable Care Act, I had multiple quotes on health insurance plans that provided maternity coverage with monthly premium costs that ranged from $350 to $450. A few days ago, I began shopping for new health insurance only to discover that there weren’t any health care plans (out of the 100 plus results that were sent to me) that provided maternity coverage.
None. Zilch. Notta. Nowhere to be found. It didn’t matter if the insurance premium cost $1,300 per month; maternity coverage was not an option.
It’s not a secret that the topic of health care reform is a hot button issue right now in America. Those on the left want health care reform that gives the government a large role in the health care insurance industry. Those on the right want government to take a backseat and allow the private sector to step in and provide health insurance without government interference. Then, there are people who just want affordable realistic health insurance and don’t care who provides it.
Right now, however, few people are getting what they need out of their health insurance options.
The Affordable Care Act, which doesn’t even go completely into effect until 2014, is currently under attack on multiple fronts. In fact, arguments regarding the Act’s individual mandate provisions have already been argued in front of the United States Supreme Court.
Not surprisingly, those arguments did not go well for those who want the Act to remain in effect. There are essentially three possible outcomes that could come out of the Supreme Court’s upcoming decision. If The Act is held unconstitutional, which could be very likely, then it will be invalidated. From the sound of things, the chances of any portion of the Act surviving past the Supreme Court’s decision are slim.
As a proponent of health care reform and as a lawyer, I was disappointed when I first learned about some of its provisions. Those controlling Congress and the White House should not have chosen to take such blatant and obvious risks with those questionable provisions. Their lawyers should have seen the potential constitutional issues long before the bill went to a vote, which means those who are in charge either didn’t have competent lawyers, or they chose to ignore their lawyers’ advice. Congress and the President might have had one shot at getting health care reform right. And they might have blown it.
Even without considering the constitutional issues, the Act is also under attack from the Republican Party and the Tea Party. Conservatives have not made it a secret that they intend to repeal the Affordable Care Act at their earliest possible chance. A decision that I strongly disagree with.
Despite my desire for it to be reformed, the Affordable Care Act is essentially a dead Act walking.
I don’t pretend to be an expert in health care or health care insurance. I’m not one of those spectators who believe America’s problems could be solved by a competent fifth-grader. I know they are complicated with numerous variables.
I just want a realistic health care plan to be available and affordable to everyone. I don’t care which side is right. I don’t care which side proves the other side wrong. I just want the problem fixed. If that means government comes up with a sustainable and workable solution, fine. If that means the private sector steps up and provides affordable health insurance, that’s fine too.
So far from what I’ve seen, however, the government blew its opportunity to establish competent health care reform and the private sector has utterly failed to prove that it has the solution by pricing itself out of the market.
Until a solution is found, however, my family will stand pat at four.
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