Someone on another site asked this, albeit in a slightly different form, and I provided an answer that I think might be useful for anyone trying to figure out what exactly happened with health care. The issue was – is – pretty hard to follow, given all the detail involved.
Your stoner friend [who said we’re all going to be fined a $1000 a head if no insurance] has grasped some of the truth. It is correct that there are going to be fines for people who don’t have insurance, starting in 2014.
Of course, it is also the case that a number of other provisions in the health care bill kick in before then:
As you can see from the above link, there are going to be enormous subsidies given at the same time to make health care much more affordable, if one isn’t getting health care from one’s work.
Moreover, if one is concerned about the quality of health care, there is some indication this could work:
Okay. I’ve done my best to be balanced. Some of you know I’m not particularly liberal, and I’m very much against health care reform and actually want the law repealed. It’s too much money, it is in a way a takeover of anywhere from 14-20% of the entire private sector in this country (a public option would have made this literally the case over time), and I’m not clear on how many people this actually helps. In fact, I’d go so far as to say Elizabeth Warren’s argumentation that health care bills cause tons of bankruptcies is very problematic, and it isn’t clear to me how many people are dying because they’re uninsured. Moreover, I do worry about the hit to medical innovation that this causes. Right now, a lot of the European models piggyback off our innovation, innovation due to everyone’s favorite Big Pharma. I ask that you guys look up the argumentation for my reservations about health care yourself – Megan McArdle at The Atlantic does a nice job dealing with some of the better argumentation for health care reform, and is very respectful of her Progressive interlocutors.