The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is a landmark piece of legislation that made health insurance more accessible and expanded Medicaid eligibility. Additionally, it safeguarded people with preexisting conditions by prohibiting insurance companies from discriminating against them.
It was an important development in the US healthcare system, but it may not have gone far enough. There are numerous shortcomings with ACA, particularly when it comes to cost and value.
Over the past decade, the Affordable Care Act has enabled millions of Americans to secure health insurance, saved countless lives, and strengthened our health care system. Yet despite its successes, this law remains under sustained attack.
The Trump Administration and Republican-led Congress have repeatedly sought to repeal or weaken the Affordable Care Act (ACA), with courts challenging both in court as well as in Congress.
One of the primary objectives of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is to make health insurance affordable. To this end, it established signature health insurance marketplaces where consumers could shop for coverage and receive financial assistance.
Another significant ACA safeguard shields people with preexisting conditions. The law prohibits insurers from charging more for those with these conditions, denying coverage or raising premiums because of them, and excluding essential benefits like prescription drugs, maternity care, and mental health services.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) expanded Medicaid in order to provide low-income children and adults with affordable health coverage. Furthermore, it included pediatric dental and vision care as essential health benefits.
Why did the law fail?
In 2010, President Obama signed into law the Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as Obamacare. Its main objectives were to expand coverage to more Americans, improve health outcomes for those already insured, and lower insurance costs for consumers.
For those without health insurance, the law created a marketplace where individuals could shop for plans at competitive prices and purchase them. Furthermore, it prohibited insurers from denying coverage or charging higher premiums to people with preexisting conditions.
Furthermore, the Affordable Care Act required insurers to spend at least 80 percent of premiums on health care and provided tax credits to help lower-income people afford coverage.
Since its passage, this law’s accomplishments have been celebrated on both sides of the political aisle. It has significantly decreased uninsured rates and broadened access to healthcare for Americans.
What can be done?
The Affordable Care Act was a groundbreaking law that provided coverage to millions of Americans, saved lives and strengthened our health care system. However, it has come under attack by President Trump and his allies.
The Affordable Care Act’s guaranteed issue and community rating provisions safeguard individuals with preexisting conditions from discrimination by insurance companies. They also help keep premiums low for young, healthy Americans by creating a healthy risk pool.
Additionally, the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that all health plans provide 10 essential categories of essential health benefits guarantees that Americans have access to a basic set of services. This includes prevention and wellness activities as well as treatment for serious illnesses like cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
Despite these protections, many consumers remain uninsured or underinsured due to the cost of insurance in the individual market. And those who do have coverage often face high deductibles and increased consumer cost sharing that make ACA-compliant plans unattainable.
How can we fix it?
Despite its shortcomings, the Affordable Care Act has enabled millions of Americans to gain access to health insurance that was previously out of their reach. In particular, the Affordable Care Act’s signature health insurance marketplaces have made it possible for many Americans to afford a quality, affordable medical plan. Though the law proved a hurdle for some, a new Congress now has the chance to improve upon previous administration’s shortcomings and make healthcare more equitable for all Americans. Thankfully, the Center for American Progress is here to help with that task. Our mission is to champion the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and other groundbreaking reforms that have made America’s healthcare system more affordable, accessible, and equitable. To accomplish this goal, we combine public policy analysis, research, and advocacy efforts. On this anniversary year, we will continue to honor the monumental contributions of our nation’s healthcare leaders by sharing best practices, advocating for advancements, and fighting for those who are less fortunate – all in pursuit of a healthier, safer America.