Opinion: Supreme Court decision a good deal for U.S. furs
Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Many laws have little practical impact on furry fans one way or another. But this is one we should pay attention to, because it applies especially to us.
Young people are often lucky enough to have few medical expenses. But when they do occur, they can be crippling for those whose finances do not permit the purchase of insurance – in particular, vulnerable low-income artists who are forced to work several jobs just to stay afloat.
The Act expands health care via Medicaid as of 2014 to those who earn up to 33% above the poverty level – just under $15,000 this year – and offers generous subsidies for those who earn up to 400% of it. There's a laundry list of other benefits; most notably, the ability for young adults to stay on insurance until they turn 26, which covers around 70% of adult furs.
The cost of the act falls mostly to singles earning above $200,000 a year, and families above $250,000. Few furs make that kind of money; indeed, as of 2005, only the top 1.5% of households made above $250,000.
As a bonus, insurance companies now cannot raise their rates without having to explain themselves. They'll also have to pay above 80% of premiums on medical care, or issue a rebate – limiting the level of profit they can make, and forcing them to become more efficient. Other changes have been made to limit future increases in the cost of health care, with the goal of keeping the cost to taxpayers low.
Those who pay for insurance through their jobs will benefit from many of the provisions, including no denial due to pre-existing conditions, and free preventative health checks in new plans. Most of all, their less well-off friends will suffer less financially as a result of medical hardship.
The only question now is whether these benefits will be kept. As Mitt Romney put it, you have a clear choice: to vote his competitor into a second term, or to see these changes overturned in 2013. I urge those of you who can to register and vote in the upcoming state and federal elections.