The ACA is also known as the Affordable Care Act. Since it was first introduced by President Obama, it is often also referred to as Obamacare. There is a lot of controversy surrounding this legislation, but it finally passed and was signed into law by President Obama on March 23, 2010. Even though it is now a law, this has not stopped the debate surrounding the issue of healthcare for all Americans. No matter how you look at it, the Affordable Care Act will have far reaching long-term effects on all Americans.
This Act was introduced by Obama as a way to reduce healthcare costs across the board for Americans and make healthcare more accessible to all. The issue of healthcare in America is one that spurs on debate and riles up both sides. Evaluating the effectiveness of the Affordable Care Act is all about taking a closer look at the pros and cons. The ACA offers both advantages and disadvantages that need to be further dissected.
The decision to reform healthcare in the United States was a huge one. Obama was very passionate about this issue and used it as a part of his platform when he ran for office. It took some time, but the ACA was eventually signed into law. In order to totally examine the impact that this healthcare reform will have one the healthcare industry and the economy, you need to look at both the pros and cons. There are many benefits to the Affordable Act Care, but there are also some serious downsides. Weighing the pros and cons of the ACA against one another gives you a better viewpoint of the issue.
What Are the Pros of ACA?
1. Increased HealthCare Coverage
One of the biggest advantages of the ACA is that it allows for increased coverage for Americans. There are many Americans that are either not insured or underinsured. With the Affordable Care Act, it will now be required by law that all Americans have health insurance. This will increase the number of Americans that are covered, but it will also be much easier and affordable to get health insurance. There are more than 30 million Americans that did not have healthcare coverage that are now required by law to have it due to the passing of the ACA. Increased healthcare coverage will begin in 2014 when this Act went into law.
2. Healthcare Coverage Will Be Easier to Obtain
Now that healthcare coverage will be required by law, it will now be more widely accessible. As a result of the Affordable Care Act all Americans between the ages of 19 and 25 can be added to the insurance plans of their parents. This applies to more than 3 million Americans alone. Those with preexisting medical conditions will also find it much easier and more affordable to get health insurance. Preexisting medical conditions will no longer be a reason to not qualify for coverage. Insurance companies will also no longer have the ability to drop plan members once they get sick. Those that can’t afford health insurance coverage on their own will be added to the Medicaid program. No matter your situation, the ACA makes it easier and more affordable to get health insurance than before.
3. Lower Healthcare Costs
A major benefit that comes from the ACA are lowered healthcare costs. Not only will health insurance be more affordable, but healthcare costs as a whole will be reduced substantially. This Act makes more than 95% of Americans obtain health insurance, which means that preventative healthcare will now be more available to all Americans. This means that all Americans can seek medical attention at the first sign of an issue and will no longer be putting off doctor visits or checkups due to lack of health coverage. As preventative healthcare becomes more accessible this helps to reduce the cost of healthcare as a whole.
4. Lower Budget Gaps
One benefit of the ACA that you might not realize is the ability to help lower budget gaps. The national budget deficit can be reduced substantially by signing this Act into law. All of the taxes and fees associated with the Act can lower the national budget deficit by more than $140 billion before 2020. This is just an estimate, but the ACA will definitely have a positive impact on the budget gap.
What Are the Cons of ACA?
Even though there are many positives associated with the Affordable Care Act, there are also a few negatives that you need to be informed on. There are more than just a couple downsides to this healthcare reform. Those opposed to the ACA even hold the belief that the cons of this Act are more impactful than the benefits.
1. Less Healthcare Professionals
Implementation of the ACA could lead to a shortage of healthcare professionals in the future. Studies conducted recently have shown that there could be less healthcare professionals than are needed as early as 2025. With more Americans visiting primary care physicians, it could lead to a shortage of available physicians. This could leave many Americans without medical care even if they are covered by health insurance.
2. Drug Costs Will Rise
Health insurance might be made more affordable by the ACA, but the cost of drugs will rise significantly as a result. Due to the ACA, pharmaceutical companies will be forced to pay about $80 billion in fees over the next decade, but these fees will obviously be passed onto consumers. This means that the cost of drugs will rise and you will still be paying high prices for medications even if you are covered with health insurance.
3. Working Americans Will Pay More
Like most laws that are passed, this will effect working class America most prominently. Those that are in the middle class and already have health insurance through their employer will see their health care costs rise more than any other demographic. Employers will be looking for ways to lower health insurance costs across the board and many middle class Americans will be forced to pay more for their coverage as a result of the ACA.
4. Moral Values and Coverage
Another con of the ACA is that it requires by law for some employers to offer health coverage that they are opposed to for moral reasons. Examples of this type of coverage include contraception. Many of those opposed to the ACA feel that this Act goes against the moral beliefs and rights of some employers.
Why is it a Controversial Law?
You might think that an Act designed to make healthcare more affordable and accessible would be widely supported, but this is not completely true. Although there are many supporters of the ACA, there are also many that are opposed to this becoming a law. Many of those opposed to the ACA have serious concerns and doubts about how these type of healthcare changes will impact the economy. Since this law is still fairly new the full ramifications are not quite known yet. There is still a lot of speculation, but the controversy surrounding the Affordable Care Act is not dying down in at all.