User:Woozle/blog/2011-01-14 0507 Obamacare myth the second
Obamacare myth #2: It forces individuals to buy insurance they can't afford.2011-01-14 0507
Much is made of the health insurance "individual mandate", and how this forces people -- many of whom are out of work and in financially stressful situations -- to buy health insurance, even if they don't need it.
What doesn't get mentioned as much are the affordability provisions.
First: if you earn under 133% of the poverty level, Obamacare gives you Medicaid (free). That means you have insurance, which means you don't have to buy anything.
Right now a lot of people can't get Medicaid because they don't qualify. This makes healthcare available to millions of people who previously could neither afford paid insurance nor qualify for Medicaid.
Next: if you're too well-off to qualify for Medicaid, then this applies: "low income persons and families above the Medicaid level and up to 400% of poverty level will receive subsidies on a sliding scale if they choose to purchase insurance via a health insurance exchange." In other words, insurance is made available at a price that is reduced to the point where you can afford it.
In other words, there's no way you couldn't afford insurance under this plan.
Finally, it should be noted that the individual mandate is part of why Obamacare will not increase the deficit: healthy people buy insurance so that sick people can pay the same low rates as everyone else.
This is a basic part of any sane insurance plan -- it wouldn't make sense to let you buy insurance only when you need help.
This is part of maintaining "personal responsibility" so that individuals never become a burden to society -- a principle that conservatives claim to support wholeheartedly.