The Affordable Care Act is an impressive policy accomplishment. It has reduced healthcare costs, expanded coverage and enhanced care quality for millions of Americans.
However, the law is far from perfect and there remain numerous opportunities for improvement. For instance, there are a number of critical steps in place that aim to address prescription drug affordability.
It’s a big deal
The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, has significantly reduced the uninsured rate and saved thousands of lives. It codified protections for people with preexisting conditions, eliminated patient cost sharing for high-value preventive services and held private insurance companies accountable for charging fair premiums.
The Affordable Care Act created state-based insurance exchanges, where you can shop for coverage online. These marketplaces, along with Medicaid expansion, provide premium subsidies to make healthcare affordable for low-income Americans and small businesses alike.
RAND research found that these provisions, combined with the individual mandate, made it possible for many previously uninsured Americans to gain coverage and access health care. Unfortunately, an estimated 19 million individuals will remain ineligible for Medicare or subsidies under the ACA and thus remain “left behind” by its effects.
The Affordable Care Act is an important milestone, creating a patient’s bill of rights that safeguards you against abuse by insurance companies. These safeguards include ending preexisting condition discrimination, guaranteeing issue, banning lifetime and annual dollar limits as well as excessive waiting periods.
It’s a good idea
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) extends insurance to more people, shields them from abusive practices by insurers and puts them in control of their healthcare decisions. Millions of Americans are now safeguarded against preexisting condition discrimination and can choose a plan that meets both their needs and budgets.
The law guarantees you get value for your premium dollar by mandating insurance companies to spend 80 percent of their funds on medical care and quality improvements rather than advertising, overhead or bonuses. If they don’t meet this goal, you may be eligible for a rebate.
Furthermore, the Affordable Care Act is contributing to economic growth by creating jobs and lowering unemployment rates in the short run. Furthermore, it’s creating a foundation for future economic expansion by helping families save and accumulate capital, which in turn boosts productivity over time.
It’s a bad idea
Since President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act (ACA) into law, millions of Americans have gained access to affordable health insurance. Furthermore, they enjoy rights and consumer protections that safeguard them against abusive insurance company practices.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) strives to reduce healthcare costs by requiring insurance companies to spend at least 80 percent of your premium dollars on medical care and quality improvements instead of advertising, overhead, or bonuses for executives. Furthermore, it ensures that insurers do not raise rates too high.
Unfortunately, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) doesn’t solve all our healthcare woes. We continue to spend a substantial amount on health care even as the number of uninsured Americans has drastically reduced.
Republicans are currently seeking to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act with a tax cuts-only law. Doing this would leave millions without health coverage, driving up the uninsured rate to more than 7 percent.
It’s a mixed bag
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has seen success on many fronts. Millions more Americans now have access to health coverage, and the law has obliged providers to provide better care for patients.
However, the law also has some serious shortcomings. Despite its creators’ best intentions, many health outcomes have not improved, marketplace insurance plans remain too expensive and national health care spending has been lower than anticipated.
The Affordable Care Act has ignited a national conversation about the need for an integrative approach to realigning the healthcare system for long-term improvements in quality, organizational design and patient information transparency. Furthermore, it offers substantial financial assistance to low- and middle-income individuals through “premium tax credits” and cost sharing reductions.