Will There be Health Care Reform?

During Donald Trump’s presidential campaign one of his bigger campaign promises was to ‘repeal and replace’ the Affordable Care Act (ACA), that was established under the Obama administration.

So far there’s been division over the law, as many who are under the ACA fear that they won’t be able to be insured for preexisting conditions, or won’t be able to pay the skyrocketing insurance rates. So will there be ‘repeal and replacement’?

The Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010 under the Obama Administration and is considered one of the many accomplishments from Obama. Ever since it passed into law republicans and democrats have argued whether its been beneficial to Americans.

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President Obama signing the Affordable Care Act in 2010. Credit: Doug Mills/The New York Times

How Has Obamacare Helped Americans?

The general purpose of Obamacare (also a name for the Affordable Care Act) was for Americans who were uninsured to be insured, and it worked. Since the law passed over 20 million Americans have been insured under Obamacare, according to the New York Times.

Obamacare has also proven that low-income Americans are less likely to struggle with health-related finances, like medical bills, medical care costs, and medical debt. The ACA also reduced the inequality between the low and middle incomes to with higher income families. And it’s also made the health care system more comprehensive when it comes to what should be covered like maternity care, treatment for drug addiction, mental health counseling, contraception, cancer screenings and more.

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2016 enrollment facts provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

The Struggles Obamacare Still Face

With all the successes Obamacare has brought there are cons to the law. According to the New York Times, health insurance still is very expensive. “Obamacare’s marketplaces and Medicaid expansion make health coverage a good deal for those near the poverty line, but those earning not much more still often struggle to pay health plan premiums, and face deductibles that are much higher than those seen in typical employer health plan.”

Another drawback is the complexity of the health care system. Although it may be easier to shop for now, finding the right health care plan is still almost impossible for Americans who are unsure of their health needs. “After picking their insurance, patients can still struggle to use it, and can get stuck with surprise bill or long negotiations with their insurance companies.”

With these, increased insurance premiums, and high-deductible health care plans, there has also seen a harp increase with prescription drugs.

According to TIME Money, the federal government estimate total prescription drug spending in the U.S. at 457 billion in 2015. TIME reports that the increase in drug spending has to do with population growth, and the leniency doctors have when writing prescriptions to patients. But the main contributor has to do with old-fashioned price hikes. “Because co-pays have risen and high deductibles have become the norm in the Obamacare era, patients are paying more out-of-pocket for prescriptions than they did in the past.”

It seems easy to say that the Affordable Care Act has done little to improve America’s health care. But TIME Money does bring up a good argument, “Today, Americans face higher health insurance premiums, vastly higher deductible in health plans, and higher prescription drug costs. But because millions more Americans have health coverage, and because things might have been even more costly had the Affordable Care Act never gone into effect, we may be better off, collectively. ”

For more information click on the hyperlinks for each site:

U.S. News: Obamacare enrollees

New York Times: Grading Obamacare

New York Times: Mapping the Uninsured

TIME Money: Health Care costs in American

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