Obamacare, also referred to as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, is a healthcare legislation that was signed into law by President Obama in March of 2010. The goal of this act was to improve quality and affordability of healthcare services and to reduce healthcare related costs at both the individual and federal levels. Affordable Care Act (ACA) ensures that all applicants are covered by the minimum standards set by the act.
Obamacare’s goal to assist American families in gaining affordable healthcare is done through a few avenues. The act works towards monitoring insurance company regulations, providing preventative care, creating the 80/20 rule, fortifying the Medicare system, and administering better options for healthcare coverage. The Affordable Care Act regulates insurance companies and prevents any limitations to be placed on individuals with previously-existing conditions or rare diseases.
Previous to the ACA, insurance companies were able to set a cap on services retrievable by individuals falling in this category. Obamacare also has set up requirements for preventative care to be covered for all individuals. This includes services such as mammograms, colonoscopies, and depression screenings. The 80/20 rule enforced by the ACA refers to insurance company spending. Prior to the act being in place, companies were spending up to as much as 40 cents for every dollar towards expenses such as CEO salaries and company marketing costs. After the act was passed, insurance companies have been required to spend 80 cents per dollar on the individual’s health care costs and any money not spent must be returned to the individual.
Medicare, a social security program that funds health care services for individuals over 65 is also impacted by Obamacare. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ensures that qualified recipients of Medicare are receiving free preventative health services, including annual visits to doctors and provides decreased costs on name-brand medication for prescription drugs.
Lastly, ACA aims to create better and more widespread options for Americans. The act allows individuals up to the age of 26 to remain on their parent’s healthcare plans and eliminates discriminatory qualifiers for recipients by insurance companies.
Obamacare is the largest regulatory act to infiltrate the healthcare system since the induction of Medicare and Medicaid, established in 1965. Obamacare impacts the 85-90% of Americans who receive healthcareand are able to receive the free preventative care and stability now required by insurance companies. Debates around whether Obamacare is more helpful or detrimental to the American people has been a popular discussion with vast media coverage since its inception. Many Americans falling in the middle to upper-middle classes report the negative results of ACA to be higher premium costs and costlier medication, though there are also individuals on the other side of this debate who have received the full benefits intended by the implementation of this act.