Understanding The Numbers Behind President Obama’s Healthcare Reform Bill

by Sara Peak

There is a lot of talk about the new Healthcare Reform Bill President Obama signed into law on Tuesday, March 30th.  After the house passed the legislation, President Obama said the Bill, “proved that we are still capable of doing big things. We proved that this government — a government of the people and by the people — still works for the people.”

Here’s a highlight of the numbers involved in the bill:

32 million: People the bill will expand health insurance coverage to.

95%: Estimated amount of legal citizens in the United States that would have coverage under the plan.

83%: Current estimated legal citizens that have coverage today.

219: House votes in Favor of the Bill.

212: House votes Opposed to the Bill (note: this is all Republicans in the House).

$750: Estimated annual fine for people who don’t purchase insurance, starting in 2014.  Exceptions apply to low income individuals.

$940: Estimated cost of the plan, in billions, over the next 10 years.

$22,050: Current Federal Poverty Level for family of four. The bill will allow individuals and families who make between 100% and 400% of the FPL to be eligible for subsidies.

10%: Tax on tanning bed usage.

2014: Year in which insurance companies will not be allowed to deny coverage due to pre-existing conditions.

26: Age a child can remain on parent’s insurance, if unable to attain insurance elsewhere.

To pay for the cost of the plan, CBS News reports that starting in 2012, the Medicare Payroll tax will expand to include unearned income.  For families making more than $250,000 per year, that’s a 3.8% tax on investment income.  For individuals, the income limit is $200,000. In addition, insurance companies will pay an excise tax of 40% on high end insurance plans.

For more information on the Bill and how it applies to your current situation, visit The White House Website, http://www.whitehouse.gov/health-care-meeting/reform-means-you which provides answers to common questions such as “Can I keep my doctor?” and “I’m a business owner…what does this mean for me?”

In addition to the health care reform, the same bill also addresses student loans by eliminating the middle men, making all loans now going through the US Department of Education. Also, loan repayments will be capped after graduation to 10% of the graduate’s income.  Most of the changes will not take place in time for current students to enjoy.

This is a weekly featured post on Own The Dollar from Sara Peak, a Certified Financial Planner and a veteran of the finance industry. In addition to her monthly “Money Matters” column in Kentucky Living magazine, she also writes about money and personal finance topics on her blog.

Be sure to look for more great featured articles every week from Sara.  If you have a question or topic that you would like for her to discuss, please contact us.

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{ 1 comment }

Peter April 2, 2010 at 11:38 am

32 million more people get health insurance: NOT YET! Where’s the money? And furthermore where are the doctors?
95% of legal citizens get this new coverage: see above.!
83% have coverage now, OK: Why destroy their coverage to possibly, maybe, with lots of the “hope(e), change(e) stuff and destroy the economy to add 12%?
219 house democrats were cajoled, threatened, and bribed to ignored the constitution to vote for this wonderful bill. Why, because it was a horrible bill.
212 voted against this bill. The vote against was BIPARTSAN!
$750 fine for folks that don’t buy insurance for $6-10 thousand a year…… duh.
$940,000,000,000 cost over next 10 years. However, the GBO was required to use very strict rules that the democrats gamed to make the bill look good. Real numbers being released today are $2,500,000,000,000. Not this is more than twice the GBO estimate. Here are some of reasons: counted savings from Medicare twice, left out the doctor fix, added an amendment for federal takeover of education loans, used general inflation rates rather than healthcare rates. (Oh yeah, the savings predicted from nationalizing education loans turns out to actually add $52, 000,000,000 instead of reducing costs)..
$22,050 current poverty level (let’s have discussion on this someday). This bill gets folks who earn 4 times the FPL on the public dole. Will these folks vote to enslave themselves to accept other folks money? You know $88,200 is a lot of money….for most of us. Why would someone that earns taxable income over $88 thousand want the government to take money from someone else at the point of gun and give it to them to pay for health insurance.
10% tax on tanning beds… just picking some low hanging fruit. What will the feds tax next?
26 year old adults get to mooch off their parents for a few more years. NOT YET!
$250,000 per year is taxed an additional 3.8% on investment income, $200K for individuals….Oh Great! Reinstituting the “marriage penalty”. M physician earns just under 200K, her husband earns just under 200K. Married they get hit, divorced they don’t.
Insurance companies will pay additional %40 on high end insurance plans. No they won’t, their clients will pay. Also, who defines what is “high end”? However the union folks across the street at you competitor’s business will not have to pay this extra tax.

Since no one read the bill it didn’t even cover the children like all the democrats bragged about… it will after they fix it, but that’s a piss poor what to run a county.

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