The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“ObamaCare”) is almost 1,000 pages long — about the size of two Stephen King novels. Yikes. So I’ll wager that most people are like me and haven’t read it yet. But I’m tired of posers insisting that their “ObamaScare” view of the law is correct, so I’m reading the whole thing. I am not a lawyer or a healthcare professional, just a common college-educated person who is willing to put in the time to learn more. I will be posting my notes here periodically when I find interesting tidbits, confusing sections, and comforting or alarming parts. Join me! Find the law here and the recent Supreme Court opinion upholding it here. If you see me getting it wrong, or if you have answers to my questions, please let me know!
Here’s what I have learned so far:
- This is one helluva daunting document. The index alone is 12 pages long. *sigh*
- None of the pages are numbered. (Seriously? That’s idiotic. But maybe that is typical for legislation?) You can see what page you’re on if you read it in Adobe Acrobat Reader.
- We’ve all heard many times that dependents can be covered through age 26. Actually, it is “UNTIL” the child reaches age 26. So to me it sounds like they’re covered “through” age 25. See Section 2714 (a).
- I assumed this, but it’s also spelled out that the covered is extended just to your UNMARRIED children. See Section 2714 (a).
- It covers your dependents up to age 26, but not their children. That’s a subtlety I hadn’t picked up on previously, but it makes sense. So if your adult children are covered, your grandchildren are not. See Section 2714 (a).
- Section 2711’s intro is pretty confusing to me. This section is about “No lifetime or annual limits.” Subsections (a), (1), and (2) refer to that. But then Subsection (b) says that can’t be construed to “prevent a group health plan or health insurance coverage THAT IS NOT REQUIRED TO PROVIDE ESSENTIAL HEALTH BENEFITS UNDER SECTION 1302(B) OF THE PATIENT PROTECTION AND AFFORDABLE CARE ACT from placing annual or lifetime per beneficiary limits on specific covered benefits to the extent that such limits are otherwise permitted under Federal or State law.” The capitalization is mine to point out the part that seems kind of slippery to me. So I looked at Section 1302 (B) – it is several pages long. Going to skip ahead and read that now so I read all the rest in context. But it’s a pain in the butt that the document is not hyperlinked to that. Does anyone know of a copy of the law that is generated in a MODERN format, not just PDF?