With the new health care law being in the news a lot since it was first proposed, it can be a confusing subject with varying opinions. There has been a lot of debate over the fact that if you do not buy health insurance, you will incur an annual penalty. This penalty with be either a flat amount, or a percentage of your income.
The new law will also have many other effects on various groups of people. For seniors, they will receive benefits like slowing eliminating the “doughnut hole” that they currently have to deal with when purchasing medications. Currently, if seniors pay between $2,700 and $6,154 per year on medications, they have to pay it all themselves. The new law starts with a $250 rebate with a 50% discount on brand names starting this year. By the year 2020, this doughnut hole would be completely gone. Also starting this year, seniors who have Medicare will receive a free annual wellness visit and a preventative plan personalized just for them.
For parents with children, the age that the children may stay under their insurance has gone all the way up to the age of twenty-six. The age for this was normally 19, or whenever the child graduated from college. This new coverage is optional however, and if parents choose to opt for it they could always ask their older children to help pay for it by paying their co-pays and deductibles.
By 2014, things like limits on benefits will be illegal, and insurance companies won’t be able to turn you away if you have a pre-existing condition. You also won’t be able to be dropped from your health insurance anymore and they won’t be able to limit how much coverage you can get within during your lifetime.
There have been District Court rulings since October of 2010 on Section 1501 of the new health care law because of the fine that is stated will incur if you do not purchase any health insurance by 2014. People argue that this goes against our constitutional rights and different states such as Virginia and Florida have come out and declared the health law unconstitutional. Florida went even further and attacked the entire health care law, not just section 1501. A judge stated that since Section 1501 is invalid due to the fact that it allows Congress to control interstate commerce instead of require participation in it and it is the way in which the health care law would be paid for, it makes the entire health care law invalid as well.
The Obama Administration has responded to both of these arguments formally. They argued for the dismissal of Virginia’s claim, stating that Virginia didn’t have the authority to test the law, but even if they did that the law is within the Commerce Clause. There are certainly differing opinions on the constitutionality of the health law, but in the end it comes down to the Supreme Court’s ruling on the matter. They are the ones who will determine whether or not this law is valid and just, or not.