Medical nirvana was only a Democrat vote and a Presidential signature away. Now that health care reform has been signed into law, people are asking for their free health care and finding reality never quite lives up to the hype.
“They’re saying, ‘Where do we get the free Obama care, and how do I sign up for that?’ ” said Carrie McLean, a licensed agent for eHealthInsurance.com. The California-based company sells coverage from 185 health insurance carriers in 50 states.
And while we’re on the subject, where’s the free houses? And the free food? How about some free clothes? Who couldn’t use some free clothes? A free car would be nice and free gasoline to power it. And a free vacation. Spending a few days on a warm beach – for free – is necessary for a healthy lifestyle.
Whatever is coming, isn’t fully coming until 2014. According to Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) who said in March that 70 people die every day due to lacking health insurance, that means roughly 100,000-plus more Americans will die before the Democrat’s miraculous health care insurance over-hall takeover reform goes into affect.
Until then, insurance offices, doctors’ offices, human resource departments, etc. are being flooded with phone calls for clarification. People are asking: Where’s my free health care?
“We tell them it’s not free, that there are going to be things in place that help people who are low-income, but that ultimately most of that is not going to be taking place until 2014,” McLean said.
It isn’t free at all. What they are really asking is: When is someone else going to pay for my health care?
Nevertheless, Obama’s health care legislation still means no free coverage for adults with pre-existing conditions for four more years. Children age 26 and under, if you can call adults age 26 and under “children”, are allowed to be covered under their parents plan. But that doesn’t start until September.
And then there is the question of who qualifies for what now, if anything, and who doesn’t and who determines who qualifies and who doesn’t. According to the report by McClatchy Newspapers, the Department of Health and Human Services will establish those regulations, though they are still in development states. And will those guidelines, if developed in time, help the laid-off workers who will see their federal COBRA subsides gone by next month?
Then beyond the individual questions is the concern for businesses, what this means to them, what are the new requirements, what are the new expenses, can they afford them, and will layoffs be necessary to stay in business, according to the National Federation of Independent Business, the small-business lobby.
“The next question that comes out of their mouths is: ‘What do I have to do right now?’ They need to start talking with their accountant, depending on how they’re organized, what industry they’re in and whether they’re offering insurance now and what kind they’re offering. We’re suggesting they talk to their agent or broker.”
The drain of the legislation on small businesses could mean fewer full-time employment options and higher unemployment, an economic side effect not being discussed.
And despite the tax credit Obama has been touting that would offer help to small businesses, Dimarob of the National Federation of Independent Business said most businesses wouldn’t be able to participate. Like all other government programs, this one has too many “intricacies” and complications and loopholes and requirements for most businesses to reap any benefits to help shoulder the extra burden.
For now, Obama is back on the campaign trail to promote his health care reform, a move to answer the question that may not stop being asked for four more years: Where’s my free health care?