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Old 08-04-2013   #1
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Location: Portland, OR
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Default Affordable Care Act and Implications for the Reserves

For those who live in the U.S the Affordable Care Act or Obama Care takes up much of the debate in the media. It appears to be a complicated law and more expensive than previously reported. What I think about the law doesn't matter, but what I do wonder is if this law could cause changes to the reserves (includes National Guard). If reports are true and businesses are in fact cutting employee work hours below 30 hours a week in order to avoid paying health care benefits, could or should the reserves attempt to fill the income gap? I donít know what type or if any health insurance reservists receive or are eligible for to receive.

I think one could argue that a reservists serving an additional 40+ hours on top of their one weekend a month will be better trained and more proficient at his/her MOS. I think one could also argue this would a reservist more relevant to an operational reserve, which might allow for further reductions in the active force.

Making up the lost work hours, pay and benefits may or may not be at the same level provided by the civilian employer. This depends on oneís civilian job and their rank in the reserves. If this country goes to a true nationalized healthcare system I would think weekly work hours becomes irrelevant.

I see positives such as a larger reserve, smaller active force (more money to replace old equipment), and a closer relationship between the military and civilian USA. This may lead to everyone knowing someone in uniform which in turn may lead to more active participation in national security debates.

The downside would be an active force entirely too small which would require an operational reserve to be more operational than reserve. Also, I could see a tiered force that consists of special ops, contractors, and the better trained and prepared reserves, but still cheaper than active soldiers.
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Old 12-11-2013   #2
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The prospect of cheap insurance may be a draw to the RC, but if doctors opt out of MEDICAID then they won't accept TRICARE either, which means it'll be like being on AD, except you'll have to buy your own Motrin.
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