The ObamaCare Map

The author, who’s drawn an ObamaCare Map, asks what would happen if the Affordable Care Act is repealed after the November election, and suggests looking at the different routes these potential changes may take us

OPINION – September 12, 2012 -- During the last two years, I have become an avid supporter of ObamaCare. Due to several unforeseen health issues in our family I began taking a closer look at the Affordable Care Act. It had become very clear that the healthcare industry was not necessarily a good fit for everybody, especially for those who found themselves due to job changes between health insurance companies and coverage, or those with pre-existing conditions, or even worse those without any health insurance coverage at all.

The path that I chose in drawing my ObamaCare Map and the time it took surprised me. It began while I was waiting for my wife in the doctor’s office. I noticed an article on the Affordable Healthcare Act and I wondered how it would deal with people with pre-existing conditions because my wife would fall into that category. Due to my retirement and my wife’s change in employers we found ourselves in the middle of a health insurance dilemma.

We were dealing with the HIPAA law which provides the ability to transfer and continue insurance when you change or lose your job. We chose the COBRA option that let us stay in the insurance pool, for an additional six months, with my wife's previous employer.

At home I began to investigate the Act and began doodling by hand a "road map" of different concepts. I connected the different parts that were similar in concept with roads. This soon became difficult because of the amount of material and the number of
main concepts I was trying to incorporate. I began culling the material to a manageable amount. This was about the time the Republicans wanted to repeal the act. I then added alternative paths showing what would be left if they repealed the act. Over a period of months I settled on the idea of concentrating on 6-8 main ideas in ObamaCare.

I began adding and subtracting information that I gleaned from many different sources and by using a simple drawing program already loaded on the computer I came up with a simple blueprint of my information. I finally decided to purchase a software program to help manage and draw the map. My last addition was to include the changes from the recent Supreme Court decision.


The author has made every attempt to be accurate. However the material on the ObamaCare Map is presented as general information only. It is not intended as legal, financial or medical advice and must not be relied on as such. You should make your own inquiries and obtain independent professional advice tailored to your specific circumstances before making any legal, financial or medical decisions.

Gary Jackson, who is retired and on Medicare, spent 31 years as a teacher in the Gresham-Barlow School District, and now has a small rental business.

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The map starts with the fallacy that if you like your employer-organized insurance "you can keep it." Actually, that depends entirely on whether your employer continues to offer it. You are at the mercy of what your employer offers. I once had to give up a doctor because my employer changed plans. And of course your employers' choices may be changed by insurers, either in benefits offered, premium prices and various forms of "cost sharing." It is true that the government won't force you to change insurance. It is also true that if you don't like your insurance, you have to keep it, or pay a fine. The Exchange and its subsidies are only available to people whose employers don't offer insurance. Your boss offers insurance you don't like, maybe high deductible so that you will forego needed care due to income barriers? Tough luck.

Well done! This would be wonderful to share with the media. Now the question is, what are the costs and savings associated with each of these initiatives and where does the money come from. I can see some of it comes from excise taxes and an individual tax. But the big question is Medicare. Is it true that some money will be allocated out of Medicare?