Health insurance for everyone; the Affordable Care Act (ACT)
Currently the US Healthcare system is experiencing the most significant policy implementation since Medicaid and Medicare. According to CDC, in 2009, there were nearly 60 million American citizens who did not have health care insurance (CDC, 2010). Miraculously, less than 6 years later, On March 23, 2010, President Barack Obama signed the 1st comprehensive health plan into law, the Affordable Care Act, infamously known as Obamacare. This historic legislation was viewed by a widely-diverse populous of the American electorate as the most significant legislature of time. Health insurance for everyone. The thought of health coverage for every American citizen was a phenomenal ideal. The notion of “health insurance for everyone” was a marvel; much more than a dream come true for many.
It’s no secret that change is difficult and neither is it unknown by the American people that the US Healthcare system has changed over the years. In fact, the US Healthcare system has evolved into what is now considered a healthcare-business industry. The two most recent events that pale in comparison and that are of the same caliber and magnitude like the ACA has are the 1965 amendments to Social Security; Medicaid and Medicare. These two dynamic programs were created to provide funding and healthcare to low-income families and increase healthcare provision benefits to the elderly. As Obamacare has done, Medicaid and Medicaid have renovated the US Healthcare system. Yes change may be inevitable, needed and required to bring about necessary reformations. However, that doesn’t erase the challenges involved with the “process of change”. In addition, the challenge of change is not solely responsible for the opposition to Obamacare.
On the surface, health insurance for every American citizen appeared to be smooth. After all, a legislature with so much promise and so many benefits for those deserving should have passed with flying colors. Surprisingly, that was not the case and Obamacare, the statute to provide health insurance to everyone has become one of the most controversial contentious laws of American history. The magnitude of the opposition to Obamacare has been no stranger since the law passed in 2010. For example, the US House of Representatives has attempted to repeal Obamacare 62 times; all unsuccessful. However, the 62nd attempt had enough House votes to send a bill to President Obama to repeal the Affordable Care Act. On Jan 06 2016 the House sent the bill to President Obama to sign and on Jan 08, 2016, President Obama vetoed their legislation. With so many attempts one can’t help but to ask if these repeal attempts against “health insurance coverage for everyone” or are they against factors that aren’t so apparent? Obamacare is a federal law; mandating every American citizen to get health insurance which means state and city governments have no ruling power over this statute. What happened to federalism?
Is the Affordable Care Act Legal? Is this health law serving its purpose?
In June 2015, the Supreme Court, decided in the “King v Burwell; the Subsidies’ Lawsuit” to uphold the Affordable Care Act; determining that this health law does not violate the constitution. According to CDC statistics, in 2009 nearly 60 million people in the United States were without health insurance; 15.7% of the American people. Now, 6 years later, the rate of Americans without health insurance has fallen from 15.7% to 9.2%; approximately a 59% decrease. This is the lowest rate in 50 years. And 6 out of 10 Americans are now paying $100 or less for this health insurance. So it’s safe to say that as of this date the Affordable Care Act is Legal, is affordable and is serving its purpose; providing the American people with more health insurance.
How long will “health insurance for everyone” impact our society?
Even though the ACA has met opposition, it is big; having become bigger than it was ever imagined to be. The ramifications of the ACA are huge. For example, the insurance companies have a larger pool of consumers; the more people they have the more money they are bringing in, the HMO’s and the physicians are getting paid more because more people now have health insurance and are following through with appointments, the small business owners now have to follow the ACA mandates because of the Hobby Lobby case, some employers have decreased their full-time employees down to part time so they don’t have to pay their share their health insurance coverage. The ACA has become the center piece of the healthcare business industry; affecting consumers, retailers, and manufacturers. Regardless, its evident that this health law will have an ongoing impact on the American people and the business industry.