Maine Writer

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Location: Topsham, MAINE, United States

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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Chief Justice John Roberts - Ruling Puts Penalty in the Right Account

Americans have been paying a penalty for those without insurance for decades!

Although Republicans can whine all they want about the penalty for not having health insurance in 2014, the fact is, middle class Americans and bureaucrats like Senator Mitch McConnell are already paying a penalty on their premiums. Yes, all of us have been paying for the uninsured for many years!

 Hello!!! Wake up!!! Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts ruled that this insurance penalty will now be placed where it ought to be- on those who consume health care without paying for it.
People who can't or won't pay for their health care drives up the costs because they are subsidized by those of us who have insurance.  In 2014, this situation will begin to reverse.  After the provision for mandatory health insurance goes into effect, more people will be required to pay for their health care. Those who are complaining about this mandate as a "tax" simply don't understand how the flawed system works now.

A recent CNN news poll (link above) reports how Americans don't support the Health Care Reform law, but the flood of negative ads about the badly needed reforms in the bill have never been countered, point by point, with facts. This has been a problem with communications supporting the bill since it was printed, even before it was passed!  But, the worst part is how the avalanche of money dumped on opposing the health care reform would likely pay the penalty fees for millions of people without health insurance. 

Yet, when Americans are asked if they support individual provisions included in the reforms, they overwhelmingly agree:

-Indeed, people want to keep children on their insurance plans until they are 26;
-They agree about protecting insurance for people with pre-existing conditions;
-Yes, they agree with eliminating  lifetime caps for insurance coverage; 
-Voters agree with opposing insurance companies practice of dropping people in the middle of treatment for chronic illnesses like cancer treatment;
-Voters agree with monitoring how much money insurance companies spend of YOUR premiums on your care - if they spend YOUR money for too many executive bonuses, they must provide a refund.

There is no way insurance companies can absorb the risk of the above benefits without the assurance that they will expand their beneficiary enrollments.  Therefore, when everyone has insurance, the providers of  the coverage can spread the risk while minimizing their fiscal exposure.

If only there were enough money to counter the negative advertisements spreading misinformation about the benefits of health care reform in the ACA (Affordable Care Act).

Until people see how these insurance benefits affect them, they appear willing to believe all the negatives without persuing the positives.

But the fact is, Chief Justice John Roberts put the penalty for not having health care into the correct column of being a "tax". He provided an opportunity for the Obama administration to explain how this penalty is really a cost shift back to the people who contributed to the high cost of health care - the uninsured.

Only people who won't buy health insurance will see this penalty.

Chief Justice John Roberts did American voters a huge favor. His ruling will, hopefully, cause voters to focus on how ACA impacts them. Rather than living in the moment of millions of dollars of paid negative advertising, loaded with misinformation about the benefits in the reforms, maybe his ruling will bring attention to how important the reforms are for improving access to affordable health care for more people.


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