Today I will start off immediately continuing my post from yesterday on Obamacare rumors and half-truths that seem to be persistent.
I think to refute this statement, we must first ask what socialism really is, then we can see if it applies to the Affordable Care Act. So… What is socialism? Let’s just use the basic definition of socialism:
Socialism: An economic theory or system in which the means of production, distribution, and exchange are owned by the community collectively, usually through the state. It is characterized by production for use rather than profit, by equality of individual wealth, by the absence of competitive economic activity, and, usually, by government determination of investment, prices, and production levels.
Does Obamacare fit this definition?
Are the means of production of insurance owned solely by the government?
No… Insurance is still produced and provided by private insurance carriers.
Are the means of distribution and exchange owned solely by the government?
Some may say the marketplaces are controlling the distribution, but the answer is still no. The Affordable Care Act simply provides a place where private insurance companies can distribute their own policies. You can still purchase insurance plans directly from websites like bluecross.com or sign up for policies provided by your employer.
Is the Affordable Care Act production for use rather than profit?
The answer again, is no. Private insurance companies are still the primary source for health insurance, and they certainly aren’t doing it for free.
Is the Affordable Care Act creating equality of individual wealth?
Certainly not… The insurance companies are still making record profits. The only thing this is providing is basic health care for almost everyone.
Is there an absence of competitive economic activity?
No, the private insurance companies are still competing with each other for your business?
No, it does not. While the ACA does set minimum standards for health care coverage, makes it illegal to deny coverage for preexisting conditions, and sets caps on how much insurance providers can raise rates on people per year, this still does not meet the basic definition of socialism.
So now we see that the Affordable Care Act in no way fits the definition of socialism. Medicare and Medicaid may be socially provided programs, and are part of the ACA, but that doesn’t mean, in any way, that the ACA is socialism. Anyone that says it is, is playing on old embedded fears of Communism in order to bolster their political agenda.
Obamacare is causing insurance premiums to skyrocket!:
I will have to admit that this is partially true. There are states where insurance premiums are skyrocketing…. Now let’s take a look at what a CNN article has to say about this issue:
“While many residents in New York and California may see sizable decreases in their premiums, Americans in many places could face significant increases if they buy insurance through state-based exchanges next year. That’s because these people live in states where insurers were allowed to sell bare-bones plans and exclude the sick, which has kept costs down. Under Obamacare, insurers must offer a package of essential benefits — including maternity, mental health and medications — and must cover all who apply. But more comprehensive coverage may lead to more expensive insurance plans.
Under Obamacare, all Americans must have insurance coverage starting in 2014 or face penalties of $95 or 1% of family income, whichever is greater. Enrollment in the exchanges begins October 1, with coverage kicking in in January. Plans will come in four tiers, ranging from bronze to platinum. Some lightly regulated states, including Indiana, Ohio, Florida and South Carolina, have recently released preliminary rate information highlighting steep price increases. Unlike the blue states of California and New York, these are Republican-led states that have strongly opposed the Affordable Care Act, as Obamacare is officially known.”
So, while it may be true that rates in some states are “skyrocketing” there are various reasons, many of which could have been prevented. One reason being that many of these states offered “bare-bones” (as the article put it) plans that basically covered nothing, and in fact didn’t even meet the minimum coverage required by the Affordable Care Act (which isn’t that much, really), and they also refused to cover anyone with preexisting conditions. The next reason, and this is a big one, is that many of the states seeing high rate increases are Republican-led states. What a “surprise” that the few people signing up for insurance in the Republican controlled states, where the anti-Obamacare propaganda machine was running full-force (or should I said “fool”-force), are seeing skyrocketing rate increases and high premiums. For Obamacare to work like it’s supposed to, it requires people to sign up and for their respective state governments to cooperate. Let’s not forget that many of these states are also refusing the medicare / medicaid subsidies which is leaving even more people out of luck.
One last thing that many people are forgetting when they see their quoted premiums is that they most likely will qualify for significant federal subsidies to help pay for their policies, and if they don’t qualify for subsidies, then they have to be making pretty good money, seeing as how a single person making less than roughly $45,000 a year qualifies for one. Chances are, if they are making more than $45,000 a year, then they are a full-time worker and their employer is required to provide health coverage anyway. Which leads me to my next rumor.
This claim is actually false. Many reports are showing that part-time work is actually decreasing while full-time work is increasing.
“According to the BLS household survey, part-time jobs fell 594,000 in September, while full-time workers were up 691,000.”
Ben Casselman of the Wallstreet Journal stated:
“The share of part-timers who say they usually work between 30 and 34 hours at their main job has been roughly flat over the past three years, at about 28%. (September data aren’t yet available.) If anything, it’s actually risen in the past year, though the change has been minor. The share working just under 30 hours has indeed risen somewhat, but the share working under 25 hours has fallen—suggesting that employers are giving part-timers more hours, rather than cutting full-timers’ hours back. Put another way: If the Labor Department used the same definition of “part-time” as the health law, its data would show no increase in part-time work over the past year.” (Link to the article to follow…)
I know that these two short blog entries do not address all of the Republican rhetoric being thrown around, but I hope that it will at least help some people see that not all of it is true, and much of it is at least partially distorted. The information is out there for anyone willing to look.
Written By: James Garcia (11/10/13)
http://money.cnn.com/2013/08/06/news/economy/obamacare-premiums/ (CNN Article on skyrocketing premiums…)
http://www.businessinsider.com/the-obamacare-part-time-jobs-myth-2013-10 (Business Insider article on part-time jobs myth…)