October 1 is quickly approaching, and for millions of Americans that means access to quality, affordable health care.
Soon, the government will open the online marketplace where people can view their health insurance options under the new law. However, in recent weeks there has been an influx of lies, myths, and outright scare tactics to undermine the health care law known to millions as Obamacare.
Here are 5 common myths about the law:
1. “Obamacare will restrict my choice in health care provider.” This claim is simply not true. Under Obamacare, Americans will be required to purchase health insurance, and as is the case with any private insurance plan, those insured will have the freedom to choose who their health care provider is.
2. “Obamacare does not benefit me.” The law has a bundle of benefits that affect millions of Americans from young adults to seniors. To list a few, young Americans can now stay on their parents’ health insurance plan until the age of 26. Additionally, Obamacare ends lifetime limits to essential health care services, so that somebody who has medical complications isn’t stuck footing an enormous bill because they’ve exceeded their coverage.
3. “Government controls my health care.” The government is only regulating the industry to ensure that insurers do not discriminate against children, and eventually adults, who have preexisting conditions. They are also regulating profits to prevent unnecessary spikes in health care costs. What’s so bad about that? No death panels here.
4. “Obamacare is going to result in more abortions.” The law does not fund free abortions. In fact, no taxpayer money can be used to fund abortions. That's a separate cost incurred by the person seeking an abortion. However, Obamacare will make access to preventative care available for no cost to women and men. Such preventative care includes STI screenings, mammograms, and access to FDA approved contraception. Arguably, creating more access to contraception could actually lower the incidence of abortion.
5. “Obamacare is a job killer.” Obamacare will require companies to provide health insurance to their employees, if they employ over 50 full-time workers. Employer-based health insurance is already the largest source of health insurance in this country. In 2011, about 45% of Americans received health care benefits from their employers. There is no evidence that Obamacare will result in higher unemployment as a result of this law. Since nine out of 10 business that would be bound by the law already comply with it, the negative repercussions would likely be negligible. If companies that have more than 50 employees fail to provide health insurance they will be faced with a penalty of $3,000 per employee. This is referred to as “shared responsibility payments.”
Republicans like Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) continue to impede lawmaking by wasting agenda time trying to repeal the law. Earlier this week, Senator Cruz took to the Senate floor holding an unofficial filibuster for over 21 hours.
Some Republicans have expressed frustration with their own party. Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) said yesterday that the people spoke: "We fought as hard as we could in a fair and honest manner and we lost," he said. "One of the reasons was because we were in the minority, and in democracies, almost always the majority governs and passes legislation."
Since the passage of the law, Republicans have attempted to repeal Obamacare at least 40 times. This at a time when Congress has failed to pass comprehensive immigration reform, or even universal background checks on firearms. As a result of this obsession with repealing the health care law, the United States Congress has been in an unprecedented gridlock, unable to perform its basic duty of passing legislation.
The people have spoken. In five days a key provision of Obamacare will be implemented, regardless of the misinformation being pushed by the bitter minority.
For more information about health insurance reforms visit healthcare.gov.