Is ObamaCare Real Insurance?
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) commonly referred to as ObamaCare was signed into law by President Obama in March of 2010. ACA revolutionized the healthcare landscape and ensured that all Americans have access to quality, affordable health care and initiated transformations within health care systems meant to contain the overall expenditure.
ACA mandated that over 30 million uninsured people over the country get a health insurance, or face a tax penalty. But what has been in many people’s minds is whether the ACA or ObamaCare is a health insurance in the first place or not. This uncertainty has been fueled even more by the political mistrust and threats to repeal it. Trump Administration vowed to repeal the Affordable Care Act piece by piece, “to the maximum extent permissible by law.” Those aside, let’s look at what ObamaCare really is.
What is ObamaCare?
ObamaCare is a term given to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act by the opposition until the Obama White House embraced it. It is a law, not an insurance, which requires compulsory insurance. All Americans are required to buy a subsidized insurance by employers or possibly the government. ObamaCare offers subsidies or tax credits to qualified groups, for example, families with low income (below the federal poverty line) and employers with less than 25 employees receive tax credits that help them reduce their premiums.
How ObamaCare Works
The ACA has a target to expand access to health insurance and ensure that maximum population gets insured. Different channels have been employed to achieve this target, expansion of Medicaid, the creation of insurance exchanges (online portals where individuals can shop for coverage – including Healthcare.gov), and the individual mandate. Individual mandate imposes one to have a health insurance coverage or face a tax penalty; Trump administration was strongly against this requirement and successfully scrapped it off in December 2017.
A recent estimate showed that over 23 million people have gained health insurance coverage through the ObamaCare expansion initiative. Insurance companies are also prohibited from denying people with pre-existing conditions; they also cannot raise premiums as it were before the ObamaCare. All insurance plans provide the ten essential health benefits and allow children to stay under their parent's cover up to 26 years. Families with low income also get tax credits and subsidies towards their insurance premiums. This has improved health insurance affordability and ensured that a bigger part of America's population stays healthy.
Policy makers are having trouble defining the effect and value of ACA even after the government has invested over $15 billion over a 10 year period. The individual mandate also sparked a row as universal health care should not tax those who opt out of it. People also lost their employment-based health insurance as companies opted to pay a more cost-effective penalty and let their employees get their own plans through exchanges. You should, however, note that Obamacare has more benefits; only that lack of political support has weakened and portrayed the Act as a failure.
As the debate heats up about the repealing and replacing major aspects of the ACA, the gains achieved over the years. Increased insurance and ease of access to free and subsidized medical care will all be drained and the population subjected to pre-ObamaCare days. The individual mandate, that already is scrapped off, means that people will have no motive to get an insurance especially those who deem themselves healthy. Insurance companies will also have the liberty to deny and raise premiums for people with pre-existing conditions.
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