The seven consist of three retired professionals, one part time professional, one full time professional(me), one retired furnace tender, and one full-time bartender. We are not life long friends, don't associate outside the local restaurant beyond the occasional favor of our profession, and really have nothing in common with each other then the meeting place. It's a group my father was hanging with before he passed away, one of them my uncle, who get up early and have nothing to do at 3am other then hang out at the local resturant. I am not there every morning but when I wake really early I often head there for something to do myself and to let the others in the house sleep.
The debate started when the bartender was complaining about his health care being so expensive that he was going have to downgrade his apartment. We at first suggested he look at different plans. His reply is that in his situation he had only two options in the exchange and the other did not cover him for what he needed. The bartender was covered by the ACA, Affordable Care Act, or as the news calls it, Obamacare. To put it in perspective of the seven I gleaned that two of the retired professionals, the part time professional and the furnace-tender were covered by medicare and a small supplemental they purchased. I have my employment coverage, and the other retired professional had life medical from his employment. The bartender said that all the big insurers were pulling out as they were not making any money, this raised the rates and lowered the options for the enrollees. He, the bartender, was considering dropping it as millions appear to be doing and take the tax hit as it was a lot cheaper. Our reply, is it really cheaper if you have an issue that needs attention?
We went around and around and finally the bartender said that the government needed to supplement more to keep the care affordable. Several of us took issue because of the fact that the government has no money. Any money the government committed to things was taken directly from our ability to care for our families. An example: upon the ACA being enacted the promise of those with employer provided insurance would not be affected was broken. The next year my employer put more of the burden of the care on to my family in the form of increased participation out of my paycheck because a hidden feature of ACA was to tax companies for every employee that had coverage through them.
The debate continued sometimes getting a bit heated but the resulting feeling by everyone was the ACA was a power grab by the government to get its fingers on billions of health care's costs each year. It only temporarily gave people some sort of health care, added billions more to the government coffers by fining those that did not buy health care and now we hear in the news that the 20 million people who supposedly were insured turns out to be 20 million people registered for ACA but the ones that actually took out insurance once they saw the costs was less then a quarter. We may never know as even the government can't keep track of its numbers.
I don't watch the news in any depth on these subjects but I do monitor for it as things like this do affect my ability to retire or care for my family. I do believe that every "citizen" deserves basic health care and there should be a way to provide that without taking away from those who have negotiated with their employers for it. Remember, employer provided health care is not free, it was paid for with reduced wage negotiating power. So when the ACA taxed my company and I had to start paying more for my health care I did not receive a raise to compensate for the expense. The retired professionals and furnace tender who have medicare and a suplamental also paid more as they had to pay higher fees for that supplemental insurance to cover for the losses the ACA caused the insurance companies. And taxing medical device makers was totally self-defeating as that costs was added back into the medical care costs and only resulted in the government grabbing more cash. My thoughts on it is to close all the useless military bases around the world that really do nothing but support other economies at the expense of our own. That saving alone would likely fund both health care and education, another sorely lacking subject.
All in all ACA was a good idea implemented the wrong way without proper debate and vetting; something that will be the outgoing administration's legacy on many subjects. I have planned all my working years for retirement and will be very comfortable. I don't mind paying a little more so that everyone can be covered, but I do not approve the government control of all that cash as the government has a 100% failure rate when it comes to implementing anything.