Ask Yahoo News: Supreme Court upholds the Obama health care law
National Affairs reporter Liz Goodwin answers reader questions about the Thursday ruling upholding the president's health care law.
- Hi Amber, thanks for your question! Yes, you must have health insurance by 2014 or pay a fine of 1 percent of your income or $95, whichever is greater. (This would probably come off your refund at tax time. It will eventually increase to 2.5 percent of income or $695 by 2016.) If you don't get health insurance already through work, you will be able to buy it on your state's exchanges, which are supposed to be set up by 2014. People making up to 400 percent of the poverty line will be eligible for subsidies from the government to purchase this insurance. (So a single individual making up to $44,680/year would qualify for a subsidy.) People who live at 133% of the poverty line ($14,856/year for a single person) will be eligible for Medicaid, which is set to expand by a lot.
- Hi Linda, Is your plan through the government or private? My guess is that your plan will change in the next few years, since part of the law makes health care plans provide a minimum of services to their customers. Most of the bare-bones emergency-only plans will have to beef up what they offer, and raise their prices. (Though lower-income people will also be eligible for subsidies to purchase insurance.)
- I'm curious ... what implication does Obamacare have for those who participate in group medical plans that don't technically qualify as insurance (such as Samaritan Ministries or Christian Healthcare Ministries)? Will they be asked to pay for this new insurance even though they are already taken care of through other means?
- Hi Davey, you bring up a good point. Romney's campaign raised more than $1 million today on the health care announcement, and the decision may provide Romney with some momentum in the race. On the other hand, Romney also passed a form of health care reform when he was governor of Massachusetts, so it's a bit of a tricky issue for him to campaign on. Polls show most Americans are indifferent or don't like the law, and they also don't know what is in it. So Democrats will have to work on selling it better if they want to gain support for it.
- Hi Leslie, people on Medicaid or Medicare won't see much change, except that Medicaid is expanding by a lot to cover almost all low-income people. (Assuming governors go along with the expansion.) Right now, Medicaid primarily covers low-income parents, but low-income single people don't have access to it.
- Travis had a good question about the subsidies. The subsidies will be provided to people living at up to 400 percent of the poverty line (more than $80k/year for a family of four). The subsidies fill in the gaps based on what you pay for insurance. So if you pay 12 percent of your income on buying insurance, the government will give you enough money so that you are only paying 9 percent of your income on it. The subsidies are on a sliding scale based on income, here's the full info: http://www.kff.org/healthreform/upload/8061.pdf …
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- Kaysee King DavisSince the Supreme Court says that the individual mandate is a tax; will this go down as the biggest tax increase in the history of the US middle class?2012-06-28T22:21:28.240Z
- deb1ryanLiz, I would like to see you tell these people they will not be forced to see doctors the government is mandating, they will continue with the doctors in their...Liz, I would like to see you tell these people they will not be forced to see doctors the government is mandating, they will continue with the doctors in their current plan, and employers explain about employers with less than 50 and 25 employees. So many people think these small business will be hurt and I just don't see it in the new law.more2012-06-28T20:44:04.252Z