Vic, I'm pretty Conservative, but here's a perspective on why ACA was needed:
Say you're a 55 year old HPQ (or ORCL or IBM or Accenture or any other tech company) employee who's devoted your life to the company and received good reviews. Then Mark Hurd becomes CEO and decides he wants to put you out of work so he can steal your paycheck, healthcare, and pension for HIS bonus, which he wants to increase from $25,000,000 to $50,000,000
So there you are, out on the street with no paycheck at the time in your life when you most need it, and no chance of being re-employed for any decent amount of money at your age. How are you going to pay $15,000 a year for health insurance + $5,000 in out of pocket expenses to product you and your family from medical emergencies? Answer is, you can't. The ACA is your lifeline.
You're not a non-productive parasite on society. You worked hard for 30 years to build the company's business and would be glad to take any other job that paid enough to support a family. But the jobs aren't there to be had at your age. You've got 10 more years to go before you're eligible for Medicare. What are you going to do if you or your wife gets cancer or diabetes or one of your kids breaks a leg in a skiing accident? IF that happens you'll lose EVERYTHING you've worked your life to acuire, including your home.
The ACA is your only lifeline.
Now, if some degenerate rat-b@@@stard CEO like Carly Fiorina or Mark Hurd can take away YOUR health insurance, while lavishing their own family with the best company-paid plan than money can buy, then you're da---n well entitled to insist that the government guarantee a basic level of affordable insurance to YOUR family. Your kids, and mine, are just as good as Mark Hurd's. Why should THEY go without medical care because he stole their Mom and Dad's company-paid insurance?
Lang, you aren't very conservative if you believe the government should run your life. Your example is way over the top anyway. My father has a small business and he pays insurance for himself and 5 employees. It has a high deductable ($2K) and he is paying about $9K per employee and this covers families. No where near your $15K w/ $5K deductable. I have another relative that was layed off and they are paying $600 a month for a family of 3 of course with a $2.5K deductable. That is only $7.2K a year.
Lan I've long stated our health care industry had problems (most of it stemming from greedy insurance companies) but I just don't see that the ACA is going to fix much (stemming from greedy bureaucratic gov't agents now). A 2k page bill along with 20k pages of new regulations won't fix much at all. Most people don't even know about the FPL cliff. When they go to file taxes for 2014 there will be some folks caught off guard.