Like many progressives I was deeply disappointed we did not get universal healthcare. But after diving into the basic elements of the Affordable Care Act soon to become law on Jan 1, 2014, I believe the case can be made that what we're about to get is a vast improvement over what we currently have, in terms of both what is covered and how much it will cost you. There have been many articles here and elsewhere with important bits and pieces of the new law. We thought it would helpful if we could introduce a more organized, nuts and bolts overview this week, following up in future posts by drilling down to specific points of interest such as out-of-pocket cost, how you will choose and enroll in a policy, and providing a platform for the kind of ongoing discussion DailyKos is almost perfectly designed to host.
The Affordable Care Act, AKA Obamacare, is essentially a three layer-cake, meaning a three-way interface between the 1) the Health and Human Services department of the federal government (HHS) which will oversee 2) online exchanges created by the states where 3) people can compare policies and even enroll in one. For a brief over view of these three elements and a hypothetical rate calculator, please join me below.