The purpose of the Affordable Care Act was and still is to provide health coverage to all people, including those who cannot afford it. The key stakeholders are employers, healthcare providers, states, and consumers (Armour, 2021). Despite the fact that the ACA faced many challenges, its major outcomes include transforming the American healthcare system, expanding health coverage, protecting patients from discrimination, and making health care more affordable, especially for women and low-income households.
Although it was known that in 2009 that there was a special health care overhaul plan, the history of the Affordable Care Act, which Democrats proposed, started on March 23, 2010. This was the day when President Barack Obama signed the new act (Muchmore & Liss, 2019). Further, in September, the first provisions took effect, and on October 1, 2013, Healthcare.gov, a new online marketplace for people to buy health insurance, was launched (Muchmore & Liss, 2019). In January 2014, health insurers were banned from denying coverage or charging higher premiums because of ongoing health conditions.
Further, the Act had to face a number of challenges from the Trump administration. On July 28, 2017, “republicans under President Donald Trump attempted to repeal the ACA, the last attempt of which failed” (Muchmore & Liss, 2019, para. 11). In December, the individual mandate penalty was eliminated, and healthy people gained an opportunity of not electing coverage. Unfortunately, a year later, the ACA was ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge in Texas. In 2020, the scope of the ACA provision that prohibited discrimination against patients was narrowed by the Trump administration (Armour, 2021). Finally, in 2021, the Supreme Court rejected Republican-leaning states’ challenge to invalidate the Act.
Political Climate Surrounding Each Political Reform Era
The Affordable Care Act’s implementation and challenges are characterized and caused by the political climate. Since Republicans and Democrats have always had diverse views regarding the healthcare system and access, many representatives of the former did not support the idea of the ACA. Therefore, the political climate surrounding this Act was not friendly, and since the beginning of the presidency of Donald Trump, there have been many challenges faced by the Affordable Care Act.
Comparing and Contrasting Current Political Climate
Nowadays, there are still debates and disagreements about the necessity and eligibility of the ACA. However, even though some states still try to repeal the Act, many Republicans recognize its value and benefits, and the Supreme Court throws out the suits against it. Therefore, it is possible to say that some trends related to the ACA and the political climate surrounding it remain the same, while others are changing.
Recurring Trends of the Health Care Reform
After studying the timeline and challenges faced by the Affordable Care Act, it is possible to say that there are some recurring trends in health care reform. First of all, one would agree that access to care, satisfaction with insurance plans, and the number of people recognizing the necessity of electing coverage are growing, and this is a recurring trend. Further another one is that Republicans are constantly trying to challenge the ACA.
What Makes Health and Health Care So Politically Charged and Polarizing
Unfortunately, the last ten years have been marked by an increased polarization of the health care system. It is reasonable to ask about the reasons that cause this phenomenon, and the answer will be related to money and people. Many politicians are not interested in increasing the population’s quality of life and improving the various outcomes. Instead, their aim is to earn more money, making healthcare politically charged and polarizing (Sindhu, 2018). Additionally, the growing divide between Republicans and Democrats makes it more difficult for them to agree on many topics and issues, including those related to the healthcare system.
Armour, S. (2021). The Affordable Care Act: A brief history. The Wall Street Journal. Web.
Muchmore, S., & Liss, S. (2019). Timeline of the Affordable Care Act — still under siege. Healthcare Dive. Web.
Sindhu, K. (2018). Political polarization is harming America’s health. KevinMD. Web.