The Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as Obamacare, was implemented to make healthcare accessible and affordable to all Americans. Young adults may remain on their parents’ insurance for up to 26 months after turning 26 years old while lifetime limits and annual caps for health coverage have been eliminated.
On November 7th, the House of Representatives narrowly approved its version of healthcare bill (220-215) after Republican Bart Stupak threatened not to vote unless language restricting abortion plans that receive federal subsidies was added into it.
Speaker Pelosi has dedicated over 31 years of her life to championing the idea that health care should be available and affordable to all Americans. Through her strong leadership, generations have made progress toward expanding affordable and accessible coverage while ending expensive “Doc Fix” patches and reinstating Children’s Health Insurance Program reauthorization.
She played an essential role in brokering a bipartisan agreement to strengthen Medicare, protect seniors from drug price increases and secure the most significant climate action ever. She fought tirelessly for equality – winning the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act as well as passing bipartisan legislation repealing discriminatory military policies which prohibited gay and lesbian Americans from openly serving in the Armed Forces.
She advocated for bipartisan reforms that would strengthen America’s infrastructure, increase transparency and accountability within government, implement groundbreaking ethics reforms, and restore fairness at the ballot box. She has been an outspoken champion for human rights worldwide – particularly on behalf of Uyghur communities and residents of Hong Kong, Taiwan and Tibet.
The American Rescue Plan
Numerous factors led to the passing of Obamacare, commonly referred to as Affordable Care Act. One significant influence was the November 2008 elections when Democrats took control of both houses of Congress and took steps towards passing healthcare legislation.
In January 2014, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) went into effect, mandating that individuals either obtain health insurance or pay a penalty. Furthermore, it expanded Medicaid coverage so as to cover more low-income Americans.
New Yorkers are receiving enhanced financial aid to assist with paying their premiums, including free preventive services like tetanus, whooping cough and shingles vaccinations. Seniors on Medicare now get these vaccines without paying up to $200 a shot!
The American Rescue Plan includes several provisions aimed at aiding Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic. This included amnesty provisions for repayment of excess premium tax credits in 2020; an extended family glitch for 2021; and additional funding incentives designed to entice states into expanding Medicaid programs.
The Inflation Reduction Act
Due to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), millions of families can save thousands. It helped low and middle income families access health insurance by lowering premium costs, out-of-pocket expenses, and copays.
Congress adopted the American Rescue Plan in March to increase generosity of Affordable Care Act premium tax credits and lower monthly costs for middle-income families. Although set to expire at the end of 2018, under the Inflation Reduction Act they will now continue until 2025.
Millions of seniors will also benefit from the Inflation Reduction Act, which strengthens Medicare prescription drug coverage by limiting out-of-pocket costs and price increases. High drug costs cause many seniors to forgo necessary cancer drugs, blood thinners, or insulin due to exorbitant costs; but this legislation allows the government to negotiate lower prices from pharmaceutical companies while guaranteeing most Medicare beneficiaries pay no out-of-pocket expenses for ACIP-recommended vaccines starting 2023.
The No Surprises Act
The No Surprises Act included in the December 2020 Omnibus Government Funding Bill addresses unexpected medical bills by prohibiting unplanned visits from out-of-network doctors, hospitals and providers like anesthesiologists that insured patients did not plan for or choose. According to Peterson-KFF estimates, this occurs for about 1 out of every 5 emergency room visits and 9-16% of in-network hospitalizations for nonemergency services.
The No Surprises Act assigns states the responsibility for enforcing new consumer protections and determining payments to out-of-network providers. Some state systems for resolving disputes favor health care providers over consumers, potentially leading to larger awards and increasing health care costs.
Most states have collaborated with federal regulators to facilitate dispute resolution through the independent dispute resolution process, but consumers and providers should remain aware of any variations between states to protect themselves against surprise billing.