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The other side of what health care decision means to Georgia

POSTED: July 18, 2012 4:00 a.m.

Last week Rep. Amos Amerson (Republican, 9th District) wrote about the Supreme Court Decision to uphold the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, or ObamaCare as the Republicans like to call it.

He called it a tax that would fall primarily on young people and the poor people who can't afford it.

I assume he was talking about the penalty that would be imposed for those who do not buy insurance.

The purpose of the Affordable Care Act is to make it possible for everyone in the country to have access to affordable health care.

To that end, the act would expand Medicaid to cover people whose income falls into the range of 133 percent of the poverty level.

That means a single person making $15,000 a year would be eligible for Medicaid as would a family of 4 making $31,000 a year.

After that, persons whose income is up to 400 percent of the poverty level would be able to buy insurance on the state insurance exchanges with credits up to $6,000 per person, per year to help cover the cost.

The only people who would pay the penalty are those who refuse to sign up for either of these programs.

It is estimated that this would be around 1 percent or less of the population.

Therefore, his statement that this tax would affect the poor and the elderly the most is wrong.

The cost of this program will be paid for by the federal government 100 percent in the first three years.

The only issue that will face the poor and the elderly in Georgia is whether or not Republican Gov. Nathan Deal and our state legislature decide to take the aide from the federal government.

If they don't then the poor and the elderly will not have affordable health care available to them.

They won't have to pay the penalty, as it will be their governor and not them that made the decision not to sign up for insurance.

Bette Holland
Dawson County

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