Since 2010, when it first passed into law, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has come under fierce criticism from critics and lawmakers alike. A Supreme Court case will soon decide whether it should be overthrown altogether.
Reducing or repealing the Affordable Care Act would have devastating repercussions for millions of American’s health insurance, financial security, and economic security. Therefore, many experts caution against repealing it.
Many Americans rely on premium tax credits from the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to help afford coverage, so if they were to lose health insurance they would find it harder to afford other expenses such as food and housing – leading to decreased consumer spending that could eventually impede economic growth.
Repeal of the Affordable Care Act would also remove requirements that insurers not discriminate against those with preexisting conditions, allowing insurers to charge more for women and people in specific occupations; reinstate age rating bands; and restore coverage exclusions.
Young adults would face particular obstacles should the Affordable Care Act be repealed fully. They rely heavily on its essential health benefits (EHB), such as maternity care and mental health treatments that the EHB provide; without it they could find it more difficult to access these essential services while simultaneously dealing with pandemic outbreaks and pandemic pandemics. Repeal could exacerbate racial disparities already apparent during times of crises.
Expansion of Medicaid
Medicaid is a joint federal/state program that covers most of the costs for low-income Americans’ health care. Under ObamaCare, states were encouraged to expand Medicaid eligibility so more low-income working parents and childless adults were covered by this coverage. States that participated would receive a 90% Federal match which helped decrease costs in participating States.
Supreme Court’s ruling to allow States to opt-out of expanding coverage means millions will remain uninsured, either opting for expensive emergency services or purchasing marketplace insurance with federal tax credits, thus shifting costs onto state and federal taxpayers.
Additionally, hospital bills from uninsured patients can be expensive for hospitals. Medicaid expansion helps offset these expenses by decreasing uncompensated care and increasing hospital operating margins; as a result, hospitals generally support expansion.
Essential Health Benefits
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) mandates that all plans sold on the individual and small-group markets include essential health benefits (EHBs). EHBs cover 10 categories of care such as prescription drugs, maternity, mental health services, preventive services and preventive services – helping keep costs for vulnerable patients down while eliminating gaps that would otherwise lead to higher premiums and deductibles.
EHBs also help protect those with preexisting conditions. Without them, insurance companies could exclude certain services or set draconian annual and lifetime limits that would exclude high-cost patients altogether and hurt over 20 million Americans – including millions of COVID-19 survivors – while also slowing the economic recovery in this country.
The Trump administration is actively working to weaken or abolish EHBs and other key components of the Affordable Care Act by changing how they are measured, restricting funding for EHBs, and creating rules allowing insurers to sell short-term plans that don’t include these essential benefits – which threatens to destabilize ACA and jeopardize financial security of young adults who rely on this coverage support for medical needs management.
Trump’s presidency has focused on dismantling the Affordable Care Act and health care more generally. During COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, this meant seeking to deprive millions of Americans from health insurance coverage and end protections for people with preexisting conditions.
Under a repeal scenario, President Trump would stop funding outreach and insurance marketplace subsidies as well as revise rules governing private insurers’ policy designs – leaving millions without coverage or charging them more or denying coverage due to health conditions they already possess.
Additionally, repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s mandate and preexisting condition safeguards could lead to reduced incomes in families for basic necessities like food and rent – potentially cutting jobs and harming the economy in turn. Furthermore, its repeal could cost lives – with services like PrEP that help some prevent infection spreading disease being put at risk due to reduced spending on preventive services being compromised as a result.