The Affordable Care Act (ACA) mandates that insurance companies deliver value for your premium dollar by spending at least 80% of it on medical care and quality improvement, and protects those with preexisting conditions by prohibiting insurers from denying coverage or increasing rates.
Millions have gained coverage, helping lower costs overall. Yet despite these notable achievements, some Republicans are suggesting repeal of Obamacare.
1. Is it a good law?
The Affordable Care Act has made health care more accessible for millions of Americans. Without its presence, many would have struggled to pay their premiums and medications; many had to choose between health care costs and groceries purchases; those whose coverage were repealed would likely spend less at supermarkets, restaurants and other businesses.
Millions have obtained insurance for the first time due to Affordable Care Act provisions such as allowing young adults to remain on their parents’ policy until age 26 and prohibiting denial due to preexisting conditions, as well as marketplace financial assistance programs. Unfortunately, almost all of these benefits would be lost should its repeal take place without an equivalent plan being instated as replacement.
Recent polls show that most respondents agree that the Affordable Care Act has helped them and/or their family, yet many may be unaware that repealing it without an acceptable replacement plan could mean losing coverage through Medicaid or subsidies for purchasing private health plans.
2. Is it a bad law?
Many Americans believe the Affordable Care Act has provided them and their family members with help, with three in ten finding it easier to obtain health care when necessary.
ACA also protects customers by prohibiting insurance companies from exploiting them; for instance, before it took effect they could refuse coverage of preexisting conditions, cancel policy when someone became sick, and charge more for certain diseases – practices now illegal under ACA.
ACA has made life better through its Medicaid expansion in states that have adopted it, thereby helping reduce racial and economic disparities in coverage and health outcomes.
Even with its many improvements, the Affordable Care Act still faces many obstacles. Many Americans remain confused about its role and purpose; according to a KFF Health Tracking Poll conducted last month, most still view it positively; although more hold an unfavorable opinion than a positive one of it.
3. What do you think should be done?
While the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has increased coverage in the US, it has also raised premiums and reduced benefits for some while adding burden to medical providers. Some are calling for its repeal or replacement; others advocate for single payer healthcare systems.
Finding a consensus among nonpartisan lawmakers on what should be done can be challenging, yet many provisions from the Affordable Care Act have proven popular and should remain even if all or some parts of it are overturned.
As part of its reforms, the Affordable Care Act has prevented insurers from denying coverage to individuals with preexisting conditions and expanded Medicaid eligibility while mandating insurance providers to cover an essential benefits list. Funded through new taxes on medical devices, pharmaceuticals and high incomes as well as savings from Medicare payments, it also requires businesses to offer insurance to employees or pay a penalty fee.
4. What do you think should be done to make it better?
The Affordable Care Act has made health insurance more accessible for millions of Americans who purchase it through marketplaces, but further enhancements could make premiums and out-of-pocket costs even more manageable. Major subsidy reform measures, like H.R. 5155’s improvements for families who purchase coverage through marketplaces could make an enormous difference; such funding would ensure premium tax credits and cost sharing reductions; thus bringing net premiums of subsidized ACA consumers down closer to Massachusetts levels.
This bill makes it easier for families to use health savings accounts (HSAs) and eliminates rules prohibiting employers from helping employees pay the portion of their premium that’s not covered by ACA. Furthermore, it removes lifetime limits and annual caps on insurance plans; and prevents insurers from denying coverage based on preexisting conditions.
Since 2010, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has succeeded in cutting uninsured Americans by over 17 million, even as 21 states refused to implement its Medicaid expansion. For health reform to truly succeed, however, states should no longer have the ability to opt out and instead provide permanent new federal funding for marketplace subsidies associated with the ACA marketplace subsidies.