We got an email from our H.R. department today at work. In part, it read:
On March 23, 2010, President Obama signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), making health reform certain and expanding coverage to all Americans over the next several years…
We anticipate that health care reform will have some impact on our health care offerings and their cost (emphasis mine), and we will keep you updated as we have more information.
Here are some changes in the law that will affect our plans; beginning with our next plan year that starts January 1, 2011:
- An eligible employee’s children will be eligible for health care coverage until their 26th birthday, as long as they do not have access to other coverage through their employers. This provision applies even if your child is married, whether or not your child attends school full-time or lives with you, and applies even if your child is not your tax dependent.
- The plan will remove caps on lifetime limits on most benefits, and some changes may be made to annual dollar maximums on certain benefits.
- Pre-existing condition exclusions for children under age 19 will be eliminated; these exclusions will be eliminated completely beginning in 2014.
One of my coworkers, who is Hispanic and left-leaning politically, has a couple of children who are not beyond their teens. I walked up to him and said, “soon I’ll be able to put all five of my children on my medical plan even though they are no longer minors and no longer live with me. This will not cost me any more than the regular family plan. Your coverage options, on the other hand, will not change – but your premiums will go up just the same. Thanks for paying the health insurance for my kids!” He remained silent and somewhat subdued. In day to day life, this person is quite intelligent and a very likable fellow. So I wonder about the thought process of such people. Do they really believe that government can create goods and services ex nihilo? Does their belief system include some sort of giant Easter Bunny or Santa Claus that magically produces bags of goodies out of thin air? Does their naivete allow them to suppose that large corporations will simply absorb the cost of such measures without having to charge us more for them?
As for me, if I’m already forced to pay higher premiums, would it be morally wrong to include my grown kids within my health plan knowing that my coworkers are paying for it? I’m not even sure I’ll have a choice in the matter except, maybe, to be a martyr and go to jail.
When I contemplate not just my own grown kids, but the millions upon millions of other kids who employers and insurance companies will be forced to accommodate, I find it hard to wrap my mind around the magnitude of the troubles that await us. I do take small comfort in the fact that many of those fools who supported Obamacare will end up being bitten by it. They will wake up one morning and wonder how a bill that is called the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” could, in fact, end up costing them so much more.
Hard times await us, and not just monetarily. As has already been said countless times, health care rationing will soon be our lot. Long waits, mountains of paperwork, inferior care and unnecessary death will be the rule. This is what happens when the government forces health insurance upon millions of people who had, under normal circumstances, already decided they don’t need it. Now most of those who had already known they need it, will suffer much more.