A balanced look at the historic law that creates Obamacare.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (known as the Affordable Care Act or “ACA”) was signed into law in March 2010 during the Obama administration.
The law aimed at some of the major inefficiencies in health care coverage in the United States, particularly the staggering rates of uninsured and underinsured Americans.
The law also prohibited exclusions for pre-existing conditions, including pregnancy, while also eliminating discriminatory practices in premium pricing.
However, the Law was not exempt from criticism, in particular regarding the anticipated price of said review. Obamacare also had a difficult time getting off the ground in the online marketplace (healthcare.gov) and created some problems at its intersection with religious freedoms.
The law has taken a few twists since its inception, and the individual mandate, which imposed a fine on those without health insurance, was removed in 2018.
A Fiorella Insurance Agent can help you choose insurance that’s right for you.
Additionally, the current Trump administration has introduced a measure known as short-term health insurance, which is not ACA-compliant but is much cheaper.
No law is perfect, but the pros and cons of the Affordable Care Act lay out one thing we can all agree on: health care is extremely expensive but should be accessible to everyone.
A Business Look at Obamacare
From an entrepreneur’s point of view, Obamacare has its ups and downs. When it was enacted, employers who did not already provide coverage to employees had to readjust their balance sheets.
While Obamacare seemingly got the job done, resulting in only 0.2 percent of American businesses with more than 50 employees not offering health insurance to full-time employees, small businesses struggled from the start with the employer mandate, a provision that assesses sanctions in companies with more than 50 employees -Work of employees who did not comply with the provision of coverage.
One pro, however, is the generous tax incentive and credits offered to businesses to help offset the costs of providing health insurance to employees.
There are even credits and incentives available to businesses with fewer than 50 employees that choose to provide workers coverage even though they are not required.
The increase in premiums occurred after the law went into effect. This means that since insurance companies are now required by law to provide certain medical services, policy prices increased for everyone, even those in the lowest-risk group (unmarried single men with no dependents).
Conversely, businesses also cannot abandon people if they become seriously ill or injured, and Obamacare also prohibits businesses from initiating rate hikes on consumers.
1. Pros and Cons- Demographic
The pros and cons of the Affordable Care Act vary from person to person, such as:
2. Older Americans Older
Americans who benefit from Medicare saw an increase in available services covered by the program, specifically related to routine doctor visits and preventive care.
A major drawback, however, is the reduction in Medicare allowances for home health care (ie, visiting nurses), which many older Americans prefer rather than leave their homes to live-in care facilities. long-term.
Additionally, Medicare deductibles for most older Americans decreased under the ACA, except for high-income seniors who saw an increase instead.
3. Low-Income Americans
Professionals are disadvantaged when it comes to health care for low-income Americans under the ACA. First, the Act greatly expanded Medicaid coverage for adults and seniors, creating mandatory essential health benefits that must be covered.
In addition, many states have chosen to initiate expanded Medicaid coverage, which allows those earning up to 138% of the Federal Poverty Limit (FPL) to access Medicaid for themselves and their dependents. The Affordable Care Act created mandatory essential health benefits including screening and testing for all women’s cancers, reproductive and contraceptive counseling, prenatal care, postnatal care, lactation assistance, and all care related to childbirth. Many of these services are required to be free of charge to the patient.
Unfortunately, not all states have chosen to expand Medicaid to cover people who live only 138% (or less) above the FPL, leaving many unable to afford a self-pay plan through their employer or From the market. However, the states that chose to expand coverage did so to allow an additional 15 million Americans the opportunity to access comprehensive coverage.
Obamacare exponentially increased the number of services, both preventive and curative, that benefit women’s health.
As discussed below, there is a controversy over the mandate to cover contraceptive health care in light of religious freedoms, which is a con for some employers and those with such convictions.
5. The market
The Affordable Care Act also created what is known as the marketplace, which allows private sector insurance companies to compete for business for those who need a health insurance policy.
There is the Federal Marketplace Exchange, found at www.healthcare.gov, where prospective enrollees from across the country can purchase coverage.
Then about half of the states chose to create their exchanges, while half did not.
These states that have opted out of state-run exchanges have left the administration of the market, which has not always run smoothly, to the federal government.
As a result, federal tax dollars have been used to run the online marketplace in these states, leading to fees for insurance providers and ultimately higher premiums.
Other pros and cons
The overwhelming proof of the Affordable Care Act is the provision of comprehensive health care coverage for millions of Americans, adults and children alike, who would not otherwise qualify for coverage due to pre-existing conditions or inability to pay. Additionally, forcing insurance companies to provide minimum essential health benefits has created a competitive marketplace where buyers can seek the highest level of care at the lowest cost.
Religious freedom concerns remain a con for many conservative Americans, as faith-based business owners have challenged mandates to cover certain women’s health services, including contraceptives, “abortive” treatments, and termination of pregnancy. Litigation is ongoing on these issues and is likely to continue until a mutually acceptable settlement is reached.
When it comes to availability of care, pros outperform Affordable Care Act cons
While no law is without its flaws, including Obamacare, this legislation was the result of a long-overdue consideration of health coverage in America.