I’m not entirely on the “kill the bill” bandwagon. There is definitely some good being done in the bill, but it is being overshadowed by the bad.
One issue I haven’t seen addressed is the effect on charitable care. The bill supporters out there seem to either ignore the issue, or just aren’t aware of it. Let me explain.
There are numerous charitable organizations out there that help people with health care. On top of that there are numerous programs that also help, including programs offered by the pharmaceutical companies. Some of these programs are very generous, including the pharma ones that actually give out free medication to people who can’t afford them. Of course there is one big requirement for these programs – having no insurance.
With a lot of these programs their financial guidelines are much more lenient than those of the health care bill. Some even let people qualify at 250% of the federal poverty level. The problem is that once people are mandated to buy insurance, the lower income people will have a tough choice to make. Will it be cheaper to skip insurance, pay the fine and continue using these programs, or will it be better to pay for insurance and fork out the cash for the co-pay. There is no single answer here. It will all depend on each individual case; their finances, current medication and treatments, etc. But given that you can see that there are situations in which this bill can hurt people.