The Affordable Care Act- Stumbling Towards Universal Healthcare

The 2010 Affordability Care Act has sparked controversy while simultaneously helping millions of Americans obtain health insurance. Although the ideation of the Act has become a political talking point and the source of many fights from the senate floor to the family dinner table, simple wins of the ACA are often brushed under the rug. Those working full time for companies who never offered insurance benefits were now mandated to, increasing the number of insurance policies for working Americans. Citizens of the United States who are either self-employed or underemployed and were thus ineligible for private insurance options in the past are now able to buy policies from the ACA hub online. The biggest factor in helping Americans receive the healthcare they need is the banishment of pre-existing conditions. Prior to the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies could choose to charge more for premiums of those with certain ailments, or worse, choose to deny coverage to those who need healthcare the most because of their history of sickness. Once the ACA effectively put a stop to differences in coverage or denials based on pre-existing conditions, private insurance companies were no longer allowed to unfairly deny those with birth defects, genetic mutations, cancer, or any other nonpreventable adequate coverage. The online hub of insurance plans allows users to tailor coverage around them, their family, and the amount of care that they feel necessary withing different price points, giving Americans more of a say in the level of care and the costs of their healthcare.

While it is a step in the right direction, the American Care Act model is far from perfect. One of the several factors that contribute to the failures of the ACA is cost. Not only does the revamping of the insurance model to provide more insurance plans to citizens cost more to the country, buying into these plans cost more to employers and the individuals enrolling in the programs. Debates on pricing and who should have to pay for it has divided a country in half, creating a tribal sort of us versus them mentality on both sides of the argument. Conservatives traditionally align themselves more with the old model of private insurers providing coverage through employers and the liberals tend to be more in favor of a universal healthcare system for all. Commonly referring to the Act as “Obamacare”, a term which has been adopted by those on both sides of the political spectrum, the right-aligned actively sought to make the program an “us versus them” talking point. In reality, the ACA meets in the grey area between the predominate parties, leaving both sides in a national game of tug of war over who should have healthcare and who is going to foot the bill for all of this. While the United States has more ground to break regarding the state of healthcare in the nation, the ACA is a monumental first step. Perhaps through bipartisan action, the ACA can improve its services while simultaneously decreasing its cost to the American people.

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