The Affordable Care Act (ACA) introduced numerous changes to federal programs and tax policies regarding health insurance coverage, affordability and accessibility as well as reforming financing of medical care.
Not all reforms were successful, however; for instance, certain provisions in the Affordable Care Act have failed to control quickly rising health care costs.
1. It is not a social program
CBO analysis disproved claims that the Affordable Care Act would kill jobs, showing instead how it will give families more options outside the workplace to pursue their passions and start businesses or take time off work to raise families or retire when it’s time. Furthermore, health insurance will become more cost effective through the Act improving families’ financial security and well-being.
Additionally, the Affordable Care Act reforms the individual insurance market by mandating that insurers offer comparable plans, prohibiting preexisting condition exclusion or cancellation policies, and restricting rate increases. Furthermore, Medicaid has been expanded up to 133% of poverty level thus reducing uncompensated care costs.
The Affordable Care Act contains significant tax provisions that impact individuals, families, businesses, insurers and tax-exempt organizations. Although its implementation presents challenges, despite these obstacles the ACA is making strides toward its goals but may still not do enough to improve Americans’ economic prospects.
2. It is not a tax
In September 2013, the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance marketplaces opened, giving millions of uninsured families access to cost-cutting plans at reasonable monthly premiums with assistance that reduced them further.
The law prohibits insurance companies from setting annual or lifetime limits on benefits, providing patients with protection against being hit with unexpectedly large medical bills that they could not afford to pay. Insurers were also barred from requiring prior authorization for women visiting an ob/gyn; further, specialty physicians or hospitals no longer had leverage against insurers by using group bargaining power against them by threatening not to provide services.
CBO estimated that the Affordable Care Act would reduce deficits by an estimated $109 billion over 10 years; these reduced long-term deficits will lead to greater national saving and capital accumulation – thus raising productivity levels and driving economic growth – and improve our standard of living as a nation as a result.
3. It is not a welfare program
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly known by its acronym Obamacare, is a healthcare reform law which is revolutionizing how Americans receive medical care. It aims to reduce costs, promote innovation and expand access to coverage while offering financial aid for families living below poverty threshold to purchase health coverage. Obamacare plays an integral role in US healthcare system implementation – its success or otherwise could have major ramifications on both individuals’ healthcare journeys as well as that of society at large.
The Affordable Care Act requires private insurers to cover preventive services free of charge for every member, which has enabled millions to avoid expensive medical procedures and incur large medical debts. Additionally, annual and lifetime limits have been eliminated, which had prevented many patients from accessing care and caused them to accrue large medical debts. It also created state-based health benefit exchanges where individuals can purchase coverage with premium subsidies offered to households earning between 133%-400% of federal poverty line and expanded Medicaid to low-income adults.
4. It is not a public health program
The Affordable Care Act has brought numerous changes to federal programs and tax policies related to health care, including creating the Health Insurance Marketplace, expanding Medicaid eligibility, prohibiting insurers from discriminating against those with preexisting conditions, covering a set of essential benefits at cost transparency prices; with medical loss ratio (MLR) rules forcing private insurers back onto policyholders if they spend less than 80%-85% of premium funds directly on actual medical care services provided; it has even created rules forcing private insurers back on policyholders if their expenses fall below this threshold; also known as medical Los Ratio (MLR).
It has bolstered efforts to address health disparities and advance medical research. Its Prevention and Public Health Fund assists states in addressing risk factors for disease such as tobacco use, obesity and physical inactivity; its Section 1115 waivers encourage states to experiment with innovative solutions that improve coverage cost and quality; however it left approximately 19 million Americans eligible for subsidies or Medicaid, never reaching its universal coverage goals.