This week’s speaker was David C. Dean, M.D. who will present the Pros and Cons of the Affordable Care Act (“Obama Care”).  The winners and losers of the ACA will be discussed by Dr. Dean, whose specialty is Interventional Cardiology and who is also Board Certified in Cardiovascular Disease and Internal Medicine. He is a graduate of the John Hopkins School of Medicine and had residency at Boston Medical Center, Strong Memorial Hospital, West Roxbury VA Hospital, and Massachusetts General Hospital.  He is associated with Millard Fillmore-Suburban Hospital.

The ACA was signed by the President on March 23, 2010 and will change the way all of us will experience health care in the U.S. The legislative bill has had a rough rollout, as it was passed by the House by 5 votes, and survived the challenge in the Supreme Court by 1 vote.

The major goal of ACA is to insure the estimated 50-million Americans who do not presently have health insurance. This group is too rich for Medicaid, too young for Medicare, and not rich enough to afford private health insurance when it is not provided as an employment benefit.

The need for the ACA was prompted by the facts that health care in the U.S. trails far behind the rest of civilized world …. life expectancy is lower (i.e. lower than Cuba), the U.S. infant mortality rate is higher than many countries, and the U.S. per capita expenditure on health care is the highest in the world and continually climbing.


Highlights of his presentation included:

·         Voting history—not one Republican voted in favor of ACA

·         25 states with Republican governors have refused to increase Medicaid or set up exchanges.

·         Reviewed the troubled roll-out of ACA

·         16% of the population of the US is uninsured

·         Many uninsured are covered by other means, e.g., military personnel, veterans, American Indians, and prisoners

·         The ACA has a multi-year timetable

·         Individual mandate tax increases to greater of $695 or 2.5% of AGI to a max. of $2,085

·         2012 Poverty Levels:

o   1 person--$11,170

o   2 people--$15,130

·         20 new taxes:

o   Tanning salons—10%

o   Tax on medical devices

o   New 3.8% unearned income tax

o   40% tax on “Cadillac” health plans

o   Tax on use of HSA to buy OTC drugs

o   Deductibility of medical expenses limited to amount over 10% of AGI, up from 7.5%