Making Sense Of The Presidents Healthcare Reform Law

06.29.12 | Sarah Harnisch

What does the new law mean for you? The ruling affects virtually every American. You must be insured, or as of 2014, you'll be fined. It's 285-dollars for a family of four the first year. By 2015, it goes up to 975-dollars. And by 2016, it's 2-thousand dollars for every four people in your house. The taxes are based on a sliding scale though, and if you're income doesn't meet the guidelines, you don't pay.

For those that are already insured, here are your rights. Insurers will be given a list of basic benefits, and they will not be allowed to charge co-pays for anything on the list. They must charge men and women the same price for procedures. Insurers will be prohibited from denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions.  Insurance exchanges, places where you can rate companies coverage against each other, will be set up, so you can comparison shop.

Most Americans like the provisionsm but there seem to be two overarching arguments. They don't like that the federal government can require you to purchase healthcare, and they don't know how a half a trillion dollar program will be paid for.

Gary Bauer, the president of American Values, said "60 percent plus of the American people do not believe they should be forced to buy insurance. Beginning in January, all sorts of new taxes go into effect that are in this law." Any individual making more then 200-thousand-dollars a year, and couples making more then 250-thousand dollars a year will get new payroll taxes, as well as a new 3.8 percent tax on all their investment income. The program will be funded by taxes on the rich, cuts to medicare to fund medicaid, and taxes on people who don't want to pay for insurance.