The Affordable Care Act (ACA), often referred to as Obamacare, was signed into law in 2010.
Purpose: The purpose of the ACA was to provide all Americans with a baseline healthcare plan.
Pros of Obamacare:
Unemployed Americans, as well as those with low-paying jobs, are eligible for healthcare coverage
“More than 16 million Americans obtained health insurance coverage within the first five years of the ACA. Young adults make up a large percentage of these newly insured people.”
Forces healthcare industry to offer a much wider range of coverage options
“Insurance companies must now spend at least 80 percent of insurance premiums on medical care and improvements. The ACA also aims to prevent insurers from making unreasonable rate increases.
Insurance coverage isn’t free by any means, but people now have a wider range of coverage options.”
Children Can Stay On Parent’s Health Insurance Until They Are 26 Years Old
“Allowing children to stay on their parent’s health insurance plans enables young adults to establish themselves before being forced to pay for insurance.”
People with pre-existing conditions, such as cancer, can no longer be turned away by insurance companies
“A preexisting condition, such as cancer, made it difficult for many people to get health insurance before the ACA. Most insurance companies wouldn’t cover treatment for these conditions. They said this was because the illness or injury occurred before you were covered by their plans.
Under the ACA, you can’t be denied coverage because of a preexisting health problem.”
Insurance companies can no longer set a dollar-limit on how much they will cover
“Before the ACA, some people with chronic health problems ran out of insurance coverage. Insurance companies set limits on the amount of money they would spend on an individual consumer.
Insurance companies can no longer maintain a preset dollar limit on the coverage they provide their customers.”
Promises to lower prescription drug costs
“The ACA promised to make prescription drugs more affordable. Many people, particularly senior citizens, are unable to afford all their medications. The number of prescription and generic drugs covered by the ACA is growing every year.
According to a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services press release from 2017, Medicare beneficiaries have saved over $26.8 billion on prescription drugs under Obamacare.
Requires Most Companies To Cover Birth Control For Free
“Conservatives have also baulked at Obamacare’s rule requiring most companies to cover birth control for free.
The Trump administration tried to put in place new guidelines for organizations to opt out on moral grounds in 2018, but two federal judges blocked the move.”
Cons of Obamacare:
Higher Premiums For Those Already Paying For Health Insurance
“Insurance companies now provide a wider range of benefits and cover people with preexisting conditions. This has caused premiums to rise for a lot of people who already had health insurance.”
Taxes Increase To Cover The Cost For Those Who Couldn’t Originally Afford Healthcare
“Several new taxes were passed into law to help pay for the ACA, including taxes on medical device and pharmaceutical sales. Taxes were also increased for people with high incomes. Funding also comes from savings in Medicare payments.
The wealthy are helping to subsidize insurance for the poor. Some economists, however, predict that in the long term, the ACA will help reduce the deficit and may eventually have a positive impact on the budget.”
Loss Of Company-Sponsored Health Plans
“Some businesses may find it more cost-effective to pay the penalty and let their employees purchase their own individual insurance on the exchanges rather than provide employer-sponsored coverage.”
The Enrollment Process Is Confusing
“The ACA website had a lot of technical problems when it was first launched. This made it difficult for people to enroll and led to delays and lower-than-expected signups.
The website problems were eventually fixed, but many consumers have complained that signing up for the right family or business coverage can be tricky. In recent years, the enrollment period has also been shortened to between November 1 and December 15.
Many hospitals and public health agencies have set up programs to help guide consumers and business owners through the setup process. The ACA website also has sections devoted to explaining the procedures and available options.”
Businesses Are Laying Off Employees To Avoid Extra Costs
“Opponents of Obamacare claimed the legislation would destroy jobs. The number of full-time jobs has gone up in recent years, but there are still reports of businesses cutting hours from employee schedules.
Business with 50 or more full-time employees must offer insurance or make payments to cover healthcare expenses for employees. By reducing hours, businesses are able to get by the 30-hour-per-week definition of a full-time employee.”