The wit and wisdom of Walt Kelly, as put into the mouths of the characters in his comic strip, Pogo, come to mind as a proper way to introduce this topic. For example:
Y’see, when you start to lick a national problem you have to go after the fundamentables. You want to cut down air pollution? Cut down the original source… Breathin! (Churchy speaking to Howland)
Is we runnin’ TO it or FROM it? (Beauregard, in response to being awakened from sleep by a stampede of animals and being told “The DAM is bust”)
For the handful of readers outside of the United States, I understand that this topic will not be of much interest to you, except from a purely academic point of view. But there will be more posts to come regarding topics of broader interest. I need to post this now, because it is timely. Because of the length and complexity, it will take three days.
This is a difficult topic to write about, not because it is painful, but because it is complex and there are so many conflicting opinions about it. This is not surprising, considering that it is a 2572 page law, with many sections referring to changes being made in other laws.
Here is a passage from Section 6056 of the law. I am told it is representative of much of the law.
1) Subparagraph (B) of section 6724(d)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (relating to definitions), as amended by Section 1502, is amended by striking “or” at the end of clause (xxiii), by striking “and” at the end of clause (xxiv) and inserting “or” and by inserting after clause (xxiv) the following new clause:
“(xxv) section 6056 (relating to returns relating to large employers required to report on health coverage), and”
2) Paragraph (2) of section 6724(d) of such Code, as so amended, is amended by striking “or” at the end of subparagraph (FF), by striking the period at the end of subparagraph (GG) and inserting “or” and by inserting after subparagraph (GG) the following new subparagraph:
(HH) section 6056c (relating to statements relating to large employers required to report on health insurance coverage).
Were you able to make it all the way through? Or did your mind start to numb and you skipped ahead, rightly assuming that the rest was more of the same? Is it any wonder that those who promoted and passed the law admitted that they hadn’t read it? Nor, in the three years since, has there been much enthusiasm for anyone to read it and check all the cross-references, too. You can be sure, however, that those whose financial well-being will be affected by the new law have studied it intently. I am speaking of hospitals, other health care facilities, medical practitioners and insurance companies.
So even a limited discussion on Obamacare is a daunting task. Even so, if we have been able to face and begin to deal with the issues of transition, what challenge in life will be too big for us? Therefore, I press on. Whether confident or foolish, I will let you decide.
First, I need to disclose that I will probably benefit from Obamacare financially. While I have not yet applied for myself, I have helped a client apply. He is in similar circumstances to me: a resident of New York State, single, under 65, and self-employed. It gave me a look at the income guidelines for subsidies. So I know that I am likely to have my insurance heavily subsidized, perhaps even up to 100%. Fortunately, the New York State website was easy to access and navigate, not the like the current nightmare of the Federal site.
In the next post, I will discuss the positive aspects of the new health care law as it relates to the transgender community, especially to transsexuals.