The main aim of the Affordable Care Act is to provide high-quality healthcare that is affordable to all Americans. In the long run, this will curb the growth in healthcare spending. This piece of legislation is meant to deal with vital deficits found in the American health system. For instance, close to 50 million people do not have access to health insurance (Zuniga, Marks, & Gostin, 2013).
Commonly known as ObamaCare, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been met with a fair share of praise and criticism. Some claim that it’s unconstitutional while others believe that it has brought a sense of relief for a majority of Americans. The Affordable Care Act came with several challenges and benefits that have had an impact on the healthcare economy as a whole and the healthcare facilities in the U.S.
One of the challenges posed by the Affordable Care Act is the reality of working Americans having to pay more. Studies have shown that a majority of middle-class American citizens who are employed on a full-time basis are given health insurance by their employers. The prices of healthcare were rising before the ACA became law. After the enactment, employers will likely seek to bring down the cost of providing health coverage to their employees.
In the long run, employees with work-based health coverage may have to pay more. Moreover, those whose work-based coverage is very high may see their benefits reduced in a move to avoid the taxes that such plans will incur shortly. Others who are against the ACA argue that employers may be forced to increase the amounts paid by employees for health coverage in an attempt to offset any rise in premium from insurers.
Another challenge posed by ObamaCare is the notion that the program will add to the United States national debt. Judging by the state of debt that the country is currently in, it would not seem to be a wise move to add a major program that subsidizes the cost of offering healthcare services to citizens. Apart from ObamaCare having issues that affect the economy, a section of employers in the U.S. are complaining that the new legislation has a few sections that go against their morals and beliefs.
Particularly, the giving of free contraceptives has attracted criticism from religious leaders (Brooks, Koopman, & Wilson, 2013). The U.S. constitution advocates for the freedom of religion. Therefore, enacting legislation that may force some Americans to act contrary to their religious beliefs raises concerns among this group of people. It is, hence, necessary to address this challenge before continuing with the implementation of the ACA.
A major benefit of the ACA is the assurance that Americans who do not have a health coverage plan do so. Additionally, the new legislature is offering state incentives as a move to enhance the expansion of Medicaid. This venture has seen millions of Americans gain access to affordable medical coverage. It does not matter whether an individual does a part-time job or their employers do not offer them medical coverage. ObamaCare has now covered their medical needs.
Moreover, uninsured health occurrences are on a decline thanks to the Affordable Care Act. Some hospitals are now seeking additional money from the government as a result of uninsured Americans who are in dire need of healthcare but are unable to afford it. This may lead to deficits in the national government and an increase in national debt. The Act requires that all citizens have medical coverage. Therefore, the ACA appears to have a positive impact on the economy by reducing cases of uninsured health events.
The ACA ensures that there’s an end to discrimination due to gender or issues to do with health (Persily, Metzger, & Morrison, 2013). Past insurance companies were notorious for failing to provide coverage to certain individuals due to their medical conditions or gender. Other companies charged prices that the average American could not afford.
It is not fair to be denied medical cover just because one has a disability or needs pregnancy care. The ACA has changed the rules by which insurance premiums are set. This move has seen the eradication of extra costs that were previously set by health insurers. As a result, more Americans are now able to gain health coverage after the elimination of those costs.
Another requirement of the ACA is for organizations that have more than 50 full-time employees to offer them insurance coverage by 2016 (Robinson & Franklin, 2013). This move may see an increase in the number of Americans under employer-subsidized health coverage plans. Resultantly, such individuals will be exempt from Medicaid subsidies, saving taxpayers’ money. Conclusion
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA) was met with controversy as soon as it was initialized. This was partly due to the complex perception people had of the Act and an individual can pick out facts that support his or her point. Furthermore, the benefits of the Act are mostly enjoyed by Americans who do not have health insurance.
This may be due to pre-existing health conditions, financial constraints, or their employer. The disadvantages of the Act fall on individuals who are in the higher tax bracket or incur larger operating costs. The government needs to work together and ensure that no discrimination takes place and measures are taken to tackle the challenges of implementing the ACA while at the same time maintaining the benefits of the Act.
Brooks, S., Koopman, D. L., & Wilson, J. M. (2013). Understanding American politics. New York, NY: University of Toronto Press.
Persily, N., Metzger, G. E., & Morrison, T. W. (2013). The health care case: The Supreme Court’s decision and its Implications. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Robinson, R. K., & Franklin, J. C. (2013). Employment regulation in the workplace: Basic compliance for managers. New York, NY: M.E Sharpe, Inc.
Zuniga, J. M., Marks, S. P., & Gostin, L. O. (2013). Advancing the human right to health. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.