The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act which is also referred as The Affordable Care Act was duly signed by the President of United States of America, Barack Obama on 23rd March 2010. The act allows and ensures all the legal Americans to gain access to quality and affordable health care and will also create transformation within the health care system necessary to contain costs (DPC Senate, 2010). As stated by HSS, the affordable care act would likely to put the customers’ in charge of their own health which in turn provides a great degree of flexibility and stability and they can be wise informed decisions about their health concerns. The ACA act also prohibits of any denial of coverage and claims based on pre-existing conditions as well as insurance taxes and penalties for insurance carriers, businesses, and individuals (Jones, 2014).
Well, the act is bit complicated that comprises of 907 pages with additional 55 pages, however the essence of the law is to reform and change the pre-existing healthcare system by providing more Americans with affordable quality health insurance and eradicating the spending on the U.S. healthcare. These reforms comprises of new rights and protections, benefits and rules for the Insurance firms, taxes, tax breaks, spending, funding, education and many other reforms (Obama Care Facts). It’s pretty simple, the act focuses on reforming the current U.S healthcare system and the legal citizens of America would have access to better quality and affordable health insurance by possessing new powers, benefits, rights and protection. The PPACA is comprised of 9 titles that addresses essential reforms;
1. Quality, affordable healthcare for all Americans
2. The role of public programs
3. Improving the quality and efficiency of healthcare
4. Prevention of chronic disease and improving public health
5. Health care workforce
6. Transparency and program integrity
7. Improving the access to innovative medical therapies
8. Community living assistance services and support
9. Revenue provisions. (DPC SENATE, 2010)
All of the above nine titles focuses on enhancing and improving each essential reform components that are addressed above.
The ACA also nicknamed as Obamacare, was enacted with the main aim of improving and reforming the healthcare sector of the United States, however, there are certain compelling arguments arguing that the ACA act didn’t make its mark. As stated in the report by (Forbes, 2014), the ACA law is not failing or falling, but it has skyrocketed the premiums and the healthcare has been more costly than ever, and it would have been better without the Obamacare. However, its due to the Obamacare or the ACA act, a million jobs have been created in the healthcare industry.
Since the ACA law enactment in 2010, around 982,300 jobs have created which contradicts the argument that stated once the ACA law is a job killer (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014). Contradictorily, the ACA act would likely to put costs on the American citizens and is more advantageous for the insurance companies. As the law dictates that everyone should have a health insurance policy, else the penalty shall be inferred upon one who doesn’t have it.
These would likely to push the citizens forcibly to buy insurance policies. The insurance companies having a large group forced customers in the market, they would likely the hike the prices of the policies to higher premiums, which hinders the very goals of the ACA law (Forbes, 2014). (Moody, 2014), the Obamacare not only threatens bottom-lines of the insurers, but also the pocketbooks of the customers’. The ACA act also urges to replace the existing healthcare policies with new policies that are in line with the minimal value requirement of an ACA law. The pre-existing policies are likely to become obsolete and this would financially impact the consumers’ as they have to buy a new policy which meets the federal minimum value and affordability standards.
According to the report by (Rand, 2010), the ACA act would or might lead to the consumer financial risk situation. As the newly insured would buy new insurance policies and spend more on healthcare, they would likely to face a lower risk of very high expenditures and can utilize more services. But this is the benefit only for the newly insured groups which due to the advent of the policy change. However, the law has both positive and negative effects.
Due to the ACA reform, there is considerable amount of decrease in the uninsured and increase in the insured groups. During the ACA implementation in 2009, there were around 50.7 million uninsured individuals, whilst after the implementation there were around 30 million uninsured in 2010. Out of 27.8 million of uninsured individuals, around 6.6 million people got insured by their employers which is due to the ACA reform (Jones, 2014). The act allows the parents to add up their children’s underage of 26 to the policy plans, which would create profit blocks for the insurance companies (Department of Health and Human Services). As stated by the U.S Economist (Amadeo, 2014) the ACA act would also provide tax credits for the middle-class states that are required to set up insurance exchanges, which makes easier to shop health plans.