big thanks to reddit user CaspianX2 for typing all this out!
What people call “Obamacare” is actually the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. However, people were calling it “Obamacare” before everyone even hammered out what it would be. It’s a term mostly used by people who don’t like the PPaACA, and it’s become popularized in part because PPaACA is a really long and awkward name, even when you turn it into an acronym like that.
Anyway, the PPaACA made a bunch of new rules regarding health care, with the purpose of making health care more affordable for everyone. Opponents of the PPaACA, on the other hand, feel that the rules it makes take away too many freedoms and force people (both individuals and businesses) to do things they shouldn’t have to.
So what does it do? Well, here is everything, in the order of when it goes into effect (because some of it happens later than other parts of it):
Already in effect:
It allows the Food and Drug Administration to approve more generic drugs (making for more competition in the market to drive down prices)
It increases the rebates on drugs people get through Medicare (so drugs cost less)
It establishes a non-profit group, that the government doesn’t directly control, to study different kinds of treatments to see what works better and is the best use of money.
It makes chain restaurants like McDonalds display how many calories are in all of their foods, so people can have an easier time making choices to eat healthy.
It makes a “high-risk pool” for people with pre-existing conditions. Basically, this is a way to slowly ease into getting rid of “pre-existing conditions” altogether. For now, people who already have health issues that would be considered “pre-existing conditions” can still get insurance, but at different rates than people without them.
It renews some old policies, and calls for the appointment of various positions.
It creates a new 10% tax on indoor tanning booths.
It says that health insurance companies can no longer tell customers that they won’t get any more coverage because they have hit a “lifetime limit”. Basically, if someone has paid for life insurance, that company can’t tell that person that he’s used that insurance too much throughout his life so they won’t cover him any more. They can’t do this for lifetime spending, and they’re limited in how much they can do this for yearly spending.
Kids can continue to be covered by their parents’ health insurance until they’re 26.
No more “pre-existing conditions” for kids under the age of 19.
Insurers have less ability to change the amount customers have to pay for their plans.
People in a “Medicare Gap” get a rebate to make up for the extra money they would otherwise have to spend.
Insurers can’t just drop customers once they get sick.
Insurers have to tell customers what they’re spending money on. (Instead of just “administrative fee”, they have to be more specific).
Insurers need to have an appeals process for when they turn down a claim, so customers have some manner of recourse other than a lawsuit when they’re turned down.
New ways to stop fraud are created.
Medicare extends to smaller hospitals.
Medicare patients with chronic illnesses must be monitored more thoroughly.
Reduces the costs for some companies that handle benefits for the elderly.
A new website is made to give people insurance and health information.
A credit program is made that will make it easier for business to invest in new ways to treat illness.
A limit is placed on just how much of a percentage of the money an insurer makes can be profit, to make sure they’re not price-gouging customers.
A limit is placed on what type of insurance accounts can be used to pay for over-the-counter drugs without a prescription. Basically, your insurer isn’t paying for the Aspirin you bought for that hangover.
Employers need to list the benefits they provided to employees on their tax forms.
Any health plans sold after this date must provide preventative care (mammograms, colonoscopies, etc.) without requiring any sort of co-pay or charge.
If you make over $200,000 a year, your taxes go up a tiny bit (0.9%)
This is when a lot of the really big changes happen.
No more “pre-existing conditions”. At all. People will be charged the same regardless of their medical history.
If you can afford insurance but do not get it, you will be charged a fee. This is the “mandate” that people are talking about. Basically, it’s a trade-off for the “pre-existing conditions” bit, saying that since insurers now have to cover you regardless of what you have, you can’t just wait to buy insurance until you get sick. Otherwise no one would buy insurance until they needed it. You can opt not to get insurance, but you’ll have to pay the fee instead, unless of course you’re not buying insurance because you just can’t afford it.
Insurer’s now can’t do annual spending caps. Their customers can get as much health care in a given year as they need.
Make it so more poor people can get Medicare by making the low-income cut-off higher.
Small businesses get some tax credits for two years.
Businesses with over 50 employees must offer health insurance to full-time employees, or pay a penalty.
Limits how high of an annual deductible insurers can charge customers.
Cut some Medicare spending
Place a $2500 limit on tax-free spending on FSAs (accounts for medical spending). Basically, people using these accounts now have to pay taxes on any money over $2500 they put into them.
Establish health insurance exchanges and rebates for the lower-class, basically making it so poor people can get some medical coverage.
Congress and Congressional staff will only be offered the same insurance offered to people in the insurance exchanges, rather than Federal Insurance. Basically, we won’t be footing their health care bills any more than any other American citizen.
A new tax on pharmaceutical companies.
A new tax on the purchase of medical devices.
A new tax on insurance companies based on their market share. Basically, the more of the market they control, the more they’ll get taxed.
The amount you can deduct from your taxes for medical expenses increases.
Doctors’ pay will be determined by the quality of their care, not how many people they treat.
If any state can come up with their own plan, one which gives citizens the same level of care at the same price as the PPaACA, they can ask the Secretary of Health and Human Resources for permission to do their plan instead of the PPaACA. So if they can get the same results without, say, the mandate, they can be allowed to do so. Vermont, for example, has expressed a desire to just go straight to single-payer (in simple terms, everyone is covered, and medical expenses are paid by taxpayers).
All health care plans must now cover preventative care (not just the new ones).
A new tax on “Cadillac” health care plans (more expensive plans for rich people who want fancier coverage).
The elimination of the “Medicare gap”
Aaaaand that’s it right there.
The biggest thing opponents of the bill have against it is the mandate. They claim that it forces people to buy insurance, and forcing people to buy something in unconstitutional. Personally, I take the opposite view, as it’s not telling people to buy a specific thing, just to have a specific type of thing, just like a part of the money we pay in taxes pays for the police and firemen who protect us, this would have us paying to ensure doctors can treat us for illness and injury.
Plus, as previously mentioned, it’s necessary if you’re doing away with “pre-existing conditions” because otherwise no one would get insurance until they needed to use it, which defeats the purpose of insurance.
This gives me hope
I didn’t have an opinion on Obamacare because I didn’t know what it consisted of.
I am now informed and agree with it totally.
This makes me so happy. :)
There is A LOT more this person missed. The bill itself cuts 500 Billion from Medicare spending without establishing responsible procedures to weed out the waste and fraud in the system.
It also places a HUGE burden on states expecting them to cover the cost of a decent amount of the new people who could sign up for health care benefits. States are already cash strapped and once this goes into full effect they would have to make even more cuts to vital services to compensate.
Not only that but the provision allowing states to create a better system is based solely on approval from federal officials allowing whoever holds the Presidency to play politics and deny a state from putting in place a system they agree with and up until the Supreme Court rules today and Health and Human Services Secretary could actually strip a state of ALL it’s federal Medicare funding if they opposed the bill.
It places a huge new tax burden on those who are hurting most; the lower middle class and also increases taxes on pharmaceutical companies and producers of live saving medical devices.
And to top it all off the Congressional Budget Office predicted the contrary to the bill’s name “Affordable Care Act” it would actually increase health insurance premiums for many Americans.
Gay people have got to stop fighting each other. How can we fight the oppression of the Right Wing nutjobs when we can’t stop attacking each other over the dumbest shit? We need to UNITE and stop tearing each other down.
If you’re planning to continue to use a downloading system (and I honestly hope you do - saying megaupload shutting down is the end of downloads would be like saying file sharing was dead when napster got taken), here are a few tips:
rename your files something simple - for example, “GOT” or even “throne” for Game of Thrones, or “TVD” or “vampire” for The Vampire Diaries. Sometimes files will be taken down for being named something copyrighted.
change the extension of your file to .ppt or .abc - after downloading the person can change it back to .avi
there are lots of other downloading sites! Filesonic, fileshare, rapidshare, mediafire… get out there and explore for your links, you’ll find heaps of them (and probably in HD - megaupload was the go-to source of medium quality files, but 720p is usually uploaded to other servers)
tehparadox is a goldmine for links - and most of them are filesonic/fileserve, which means they’re still valid.
you can use torrenting! Here is a guide for everything you need to know about torrents and how to use them. It’s not complicated at all, and in some ways a lot simpler than direct download.
Install JDownloader! It will change your life, I swear.
filestube is a great way to find links - just be really cautious as to what links you’re sent to - if you’re getting vibes that it isn’t a legit link (size is often an indicator here: regular shows should be about 350mb, movies 700mb - anything incredibly large (unless it’s HD) or small in size is not the real deal), don’t download it.
AVOID programs like limewire - i hope this doesn’t even need to be said, but downloading programs are crawling with viruses.
ngl, the loss of megavideo is a blow in this department. I would say that if you can, download, but if you can’t, livestreams like justintv can work well.
tumblr tags! Searching for a movie or show in the tags can produce a wealth of download or streaming links (the “shame” tag has been going off lately for this reason, fyi).
American sites like ABC often stream episodes after they’ve aired - for Americans only, of course. Use a proxy program like tunnelbear or hotspot shield to bypass country limits - this can be used for sites like hulu as well.
Have fun and be smart when it comes to downloads!!