For example, people with a long and ongoing criminal record should not qualify for free stuff including health care…
What purpose would that serve?
If they already have a criminal record (whether on-going or not), it's unlikely that they could get a job that would enable them to either get employer-provided health care, or be able to pay out of pocket for health care (insurance or otherwise).
Hell - I'm full time employed and make really good money at my job, and even if I weren't covered by my job's health care coverage, I -still- couldn't afford a health-care plan for me and my wife. Have you ever priced them? They're insanely priced for what you can get. For anything decent, forget it!
How do I know this? Well - you could say I made a "bad choice" in my life once: I trusted an employer and strove to help them get "back on their feet". I was employed by them for several years, had coverage, etc. I'm not exactly sure what happened, but things fell apart, and the health coverage was the first thing to be "delayed", with constant excuses of "oh, we're working on it". This was a small company with maybe 5-6 employees.
Ok - so maybe my mistake was in believing in them, and in the product. I was still getting my paycheck. Well - for a while. Then there was a time where I (and others) didn't get our paychecks - with constant promises of "just give us a chance, we'll get back to where we were - and with insurance!".
Never happened. But I believed in my employer. I believed in the product. Yes, I was a fool. I am still owed that backpay (about $5k when all said and done - I'll never see it, though - and because we never had real pay slips, I don't have much documentation - did I mention I was a fool?).
I went for about 2 years without healthcare coverage, other than some dental coverage. At the age I was at the time, it was pretty nerve-wracking. Had the ACA been in place and going, I could have probably at least afforded something; I looked around for self-pay plans - none were anywhere near in my price range.
In 2011, I finally quit, found another job that made more money, and had coverage (that said, I never did get coverage - let's just say you shouldn't attempt to find a job via Craigslist - the new place was a complete scam, though I did get paid properly to the very end). Six months later, I was looking for another job, and this time I'm at a company that I know I don't have to worry much about them going belly up, scamming anybody, or anything else. I have full coverage, and I feel better now.
...but I know what it's like to be working, and having no health coverage, nor any way to get or afford any (I certainly didn't qualify for state coverage, since I make way too much). Maybe if insurance companies had established pools for small businesses and single payers in various "groups" so that they could all pitch in collectively to get lower rates - we wouldn't be talking about this today. Of course, that just would have eaten into their greed.
Which leads me back to the ACA: Do you notice how the insurance companies are being kinda two-faced about it? One face is hating it, but the other is kinda "meh - whatever" and working with it? Personally, I think the ACA is a crock, overall, and that all of us is going to be screwed over by it in some fashion. Health care costs will probably go up - not because of "free healthcare" (which it won't be - most people will have to pay something to get on the ACA plans) - not because of "too many people to cover". I don't know what the real reason will be, but we're going to get it.
It should've been a single-payer system all along, or at least something like Congress has (I think that should've been one the requirements for the ACA - make our reps eat their own dogfood - but no, they get to keep their cushy and wonderful plans, while us plebes get the dregs while being raped).