Did you know the moon is made of cheese and the world is flat? Hopefully not! Like information being shared about the Affordable Care Act, these too are myths. Here’s a fact that should scare you — the United States is ranked 49th in life expectancy in the world. So obviously we don’t have anywhere the quality health care many believe. The Affordable Care Act has been passed by Congress, and found to be Constitutional by the Supreme Court — so it is time to move on. Here are some facts about the individual mandate, which was the basis of the Supreme Court’s involvement in determining Constitutionality:

• 1. Begins in 2014 with a required $8 a month or $95 per person annually
• 2. In 2015 the cost per person is $27 a month or $325 per person annually
• 3. When this portion of the Act is fully implemented in 2016 it will cost an individual $58 monthly or $695 per year and a family $174 monthly or $2085 per year

(In all of these cases, there are exemptions for low income persons and hardship cases)

• 4. If you have a higher income you will pay a higher premium. For example a couple making $100,000, their premium will be approximately $169 a month or $2,025 annually. Currently a typical family plan runs $700 to $1,000 monthly or $8,400 to $12,000 annually.  The current Federal Health Plan runs $9,450 annually for a family and $4,159 for singles.
•  5. The penalty for not having insurance is a “tax” which will not result in going to jail, seizing property, or a tax lien or levy.  The tax will be a fine similar to late payment on taxes.

Under our present system, if someone without health insurance receives services, those of us with insurance pay the bill. According to Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, John Roberts, “having health insurance is a shared responsibility.” The court’s decision determined that the individual mandate is legal protection for everyone. It is time to move on! To check these facts go to http://factcheck.org/2012/06/how-much-is-the-obamacare-tax/
— Shelley Dunham, Hesston; Louise Smith, Hesston; Ken Walsh, Halstead