Sept 12th, 2012 – President Obama’s prior campaign prominently highlighted healthcare reform and arguably one of his major achievement’s in his current term as President was the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare.
The law introduced comprehensive reforms on national health care legislations and is supposed to eventually expand coverage to 32 million uninsured Americans. However, in spite of the Affordable Care Act’s name, it did little to control escalating healthcare costs.
Barack Obama’s healthcare platform from his campaign’s website:
Working families are protected from losing their health care or being forced into bankruptcy when a family member gets sick or is in an accident. Families have the security of knowing their health insurance will be there when they need it most.
Insurance companies are now required to justify rate hikes, and consumers have the ability to appeal to an independent third party when insurance companies refuse to cover services or care.
Starting in 2014, all Americans will have access to affordable health insurance no matter their circumstances—whether they change jobs, lose their job, decide to start a business, or retire early. Purchasing private insurance in the new state-based health insurance exchanges could save middle-class families who can’t get employer-provided insurance thousands of dollars.
Once fully implemented, the law will slow health care premium growth rates, adding another $2,000 to family savings by 2019. The law is expected to reduce the deficit by $127 billion from 2012 to 2021.
Before health reform, insurance premiums were skyrocketing, and the shared cost of caring for the uninsured added $1,000 to the typical family’s policy. The Affordable Care Act promotes better value through preventive and coordinated care, and eliminates waste and abuses.
The Affordable Care Act also helps keep insurance premiums down. Insurance companies must publicly justify excessive rate hikes and provide rebates if they don’t spend at least 80 percent of premiums on care instead of overhead, marketing, and profits. As many as 9 million consumers are expected to get up to $1.4 billion in rebates because the President passed the Affordable Care Act.
Ending discrimination for pre-existing conditions
Fact: The Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) provides insurance to people with health conditions who have been uninsured for six months, helping those with cancer or other serious conditions to get the treatment they need.
Young People and Health Reform
Young adults are now eligible to stay on their parents’ health insurance plans as they enter the workforce, until they turn 26. Since the health care law passed, 3.1 million young adults—traditionally the group least likely to be insured—gained insurance because of the Affordable Care Act.
Ending lifetime limits
Before the Affordable Care Act, more than half of all private insurance plans included a lifetime limit on coverage—and nearly 20,000 people hit a lifetime cap each year. The Affordable Care Act banned these caps, and those who had already hit a lifetime limit will be eligible for unlimited coverage.
Children and Health Reform
Fact: Before the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies could deny coverage to children with medical conditions. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, as many as 17 million children with pre-existing conditions can no longer be denied health insurance.
Fact: All new insurance plans are required to cover certain preventive services without charging a co-pay or deductible.
Fact: More than 47 million Medicare beneficiaries now have access to free health services—including an annual wellness visit, mammograms, and other health screenings—to help detect and treat medical conditions early.
Fact: Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, nearly 3.6 million seniors who fell into the Medicare “doughnut hole” last year saved an average of $604 on prescription drugs.
Small Business and Health Reform
Millions of small businesses are now eligible for a tax credit to help pay for their health care premiums. The credit will increase to cover 50 percent of premium costs in 2014. Under the Affordable Care Act, help for small businesses—including the new insurance exchanges—will reduce small business health care spending by nearly 9 percent, according to independent estimates.
See related post: Mitt Romney on Healthcare