The Impact of Obamacare

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The ruling from the Supreme Court did not end the debate over President Obama’s Affordable Care Act. However, it was decided that mandating individuals to carry health insurance is constitutional. That means, someone like Kathy Holcomb must get coverage by 2014 or face a tax penalty.

“I’m optimistic that it’s going to be a good thing, but I wonder how it’s all going to play out,” said Holcomb.

There are many uncertainties, but also optimism. Holcomb is self-employed and has been denied coverage due to having pre-existing conditions. Under the law, insurance companies cannot discriminate against those with pre-existing conditions.

Dr. William D. Strampel, dean of MSU’s College of Osteopathic Medicine, is a strong believer that all Americans should have a basic level of health coverage and that everyone should share the cost.

“The arguments are going to be up and down the chain on the issue that we can’t afford it. Well, we’ve been affording it all along,” said Dr. Strampel.

He goes on to provide an example of someone who gets into a car accident. He says that person will be treated in the emergency room even if he or she doesn’t carry insurance.

MSU Law Professor Brian Kalt says the tax penalty for someone who opts out of purchasing insurance could be a lot less than the cost of insurance premiums.

“It depends on your income and your family size. The penalty for people who really can’t afford to buy health insurance…would be zero or very small.”

While Holcomb doesn’t like the idea of being forced into a policy, she says affordable insurance for all Americans is something she looks forward to.

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