In the year 2010, former President Barrack Obama proposed a law that would have the objective of increasing the amount of insured Americans. The law, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also referred to as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or Obamacare, set policies that are meant to protect the rights and health of the general population and are a clear form of government involvement in health care. This law acted in response to the lack of coverage of many insurance providers.
Despite the possible rise in premiums that would result from Obamacare, government involvement in health care should continue due to the increase in the insured population of Americans and the protection it provides to consumers. The Affordable Care Act is an effective policy that has insured a large portion of the United States’ population. In 2004, approximately thirty-two million people younger than sixty-five had insurance and in 2010, when Obamacare was passed, 44. million people of the same age group were insured with Medicaid (“Health Insurance Coverage” 1).
The rising number of insured Americans shows the indubitable benefits Obamacare has brought upon the general public. In other words, had the government not passed Obamacare, millions of people would be uninsured. In agreement with this idea, statistics show that the amount of uninsured adults decreased by 4. 6 percent after Obamacare became active and from 2014 to 2015, eleven million people enrolled in Medicaid (“Obamacare Facts” 1).
According to Tami Luhby, supporter of the Affordable Care Act, if Obamacare were to be dissolved, then the Medicare “donut hole” could leave many people uninsured (1). Luhby’s statement corroborates the fact that Obamacare has facilitated the acquisition of health coverage such as Medicare, allowing for the increase in the insured population. Apart from Medicare, “under the ACA many states have expanded who is eligible for Medicaid” (Katz 79). The broadening of the requirements for obtaining public insurance has accordingly led to the directly proportional rise of insured Americans.
In addition to the benefits government involvement has brought for the uninsured, government involvement has benefited those who are already covered. Government involvement must not be revoked because it brings advantages to those who have health coverage. For instance, Obamacare “mandates that insured Americans don’t have to pay out-of-pocket for certain health care services and supplies, including breast pumps” (Karlamangla 1). Karlamangla is pointing out how under the Affordable Care Act, insured people are offered gratuitous services and medication.
Such services help many, including pregnant women; however, women are not the only ones who benefit from government involvement. According to Obamacare advocate, Michelle Katz, “under the Affordable Care Act, every state must provide comprehensive coverage for children, including routine checkups, immunizations, doctor visits, prescriptions, dental and vision care, inpatient and outpatient hospital care, laboratory and radiology (x-ray) services, and emergency services” (Katz 52). Lower insurance prices have been another benefit for insured people.
Katz adds that there are ten essential health benefits including ambulatory patient services, emergency services, hospitalization, maternity and newborn care, mental health services, rehabilitative and habilitative services, laboratory services, preventative services, pediatric services, and prescriptions that must be covered by private insurance companies (Katz 13-17). Some of the ten requirements under Obamacare for private insurance companies were not offered by all providers prior to the law being passed, such as mental and behavioral health services and substance abuse services.
The decrease of insurance cost has proved another benefit of the passing of the Affordable Care Act. According to Tami Luhby, “the White House estimated that the typical Medicare beneficiary is paying about $700 less in premium and cost sharing this year because of slower growth in costs”(1). She also added that millions of Americans “have saved an average of more than $2,100 a person on prescription drugs, according to the White House” (Luhby 1). Luhby further explains how the ACA policy saves Medicare spending billions of dollars.
The integration of Obamacare into the world of health insurance has had a noticeable impact on the lives of many because of the reduced spending on coverage. Obamacare’s benefits are not limited to the general public; they spread to the most vulnerable integrants of American society. The passing of the ACA has provided the elderly and disabled in the United States new opportunities. Essential benefits have been offered to older citizens because of Obamacare’s existence. If the act were to be revoked, then senior citizens would have pay more for hospital stays and doctor appointments (Luhby 1).
Due to their age, the elderly population is more vulnerable to illnesses, making hospital stays and doctor appointments more important for their welfare. Prescription medicines are also more affordable due to government involvement even further benefitting the elderly. Another vulnerable group of people is the homeless population. The homeless are one of the groups targeted by the Affordable Care Act and have shared the benefits of government involvement in health care with the rest of the population.
According to Nancy Elder, “the National Health care for the Homeless Council notes that homeless people are three to six times more likely to become ill than housed people” (Elder 1). The homeless are even more vulnerable than the elderly. The immensity of the homeless population is also astounding. Thousands of people find themselves on the streets with no place to stay and no place to recover if they become ill.
According to The National Alliance to End Homelessness, “there are 564,708 people experiencing homelessness on any given night in the US. 6,907 (6. 38%) are children, 47,725 (8. 33%) are veterans, and 269,991 (47. 6%) are disabled and unable to work” (“U. S. Homelessness Facts” 1). Given that 47. 6% of the homeless are disabled, the homeless are even less likely to obtain health coverage. That factor when taken into account with their susceptibility to illness make for a lethal combination. Doctor Nancy Elder states that when the ACA was passed, “poor and sick adults who previously had to choose between medicine and food, or health care and housing, had an opportunity to have both” (1).
Had it not been for the government’s involvement in health care and the expanding of public insurance eligibility, such as that of Medicaid, many homeless people would not have been able to receive insurance coverage and would be utterly defenseless against sickness. Health insurance also aids in the struggle against the increasing homelessness. Elder continues by mentioning that “health care is important not only to relieve suffering, but because untreated medical and mental health problems are significant contributing factors to unemployment and homelessness” (1).
Evidently, homelessness and health are closely correlated, which means that if one of those two problems were to be resolved, the other would be easier to resolve as well. Furthermore, some exceptions are made for the homeless when looking for a suitable insurance plan. Impoverished Americans without a home may not be forced to pay the penalty fee under the ACA required from those who fail to enroll in a plan that satisfies all of the ACA’s requirements if evidence of homelessness is presented, making the situation less difficult for uninsured people and opening the pathway to a healthier life.
Government involvement has assisted not only the most vulnerable members of America as it protects the health of consumers. Protection of consumers’ health and rights is a main aspect of the federal government’s hand in public health care. An example of how the consumers’ rights are protected is Obamacare’s policy on eligibility. Prior to the ACA, insurance companies were able to deny applicants based on preexisting medical conditions; however, this is no longer true due to Obamacare’s policy (Katz 8). In making this comment.
Katz is showing that the government’s authority over health care companies ensures that affordable and impartial insurance coverage is available and that sick applicants are not denied essential help against their disease. Beyond expanded eligibility requirements, government involvement has set limits to the price of premiums of insurance to prevent overcharging consumers. Consequently, the public is protected from overpriced premiums and prescriptions are made more affordable by the ACA. As outlined by the ACA, insurance providers must offer coverage of prescriptions (Katz 55).
Prescription coverage is advantageous to all Americans, ranging from children to the elderly. A feature of Obamacare that is widely accepted among both Republicans and Democrats, including President Donald Trump, who plans to dismantle Obamacare, is the policy that allows children to stay on their parents’ health care plans until age twenty-six. The advantages of this policy are that children and their parents may make appointments with the same doctor, allowing the doctor to become familiarized with the entire family, thus, making them more effective when treating the individual members.
Family plans are more economic than individual plans, which saves families who may have economic issues money. Examples of the effectiveness of government involvement are found in other nations, particularly Canada and Mexico. Canada and Mexico serve as examples of the positive effects of government involvement. For instance, in Canada, there is a limit to how much one can pay for medicine (Katz 182). In Mexico, drugs are generally less expensive than those in the United States. For this reason, many Americans go north or outh of the country to purchase affordable medicine.
Further evidence is found on internet pharmacies. Internet pharmacies, such as those in Canada, sometimes have medications that cost thirty-three percent of what it costs in the United States due to the limits set on their drug prices (Katz 187). If it were not for government involvement, affordable drugs would be unattainable by many. The ACA was not met with open arms by every American. Many who are against the law argue that “as the ACA finds its ooting, it’s possible that more essential health benefits might be added, which could increase insurance premiums” (Katz 13). This argument is weakened by the fact that the ACA actually sets limits on premiums. The ACA also saves people more money, because of the gratuitous services and items it provides. Others claim that government involvement in health care lowers the quality of care.
Providing uninsured people with health coverage does not compromise the care others receive. In actuality, overnment involvement benefits the already insured population with affordable services and prescriptions. For these reasons, the opposition’s objections are futile. Due to the wide range of people government involvement expressed through the Affordable Care Act benefits, the government should continue to regulate health care. Government involvement has proven that it helps insure and protect grandparents, children, and the homeless. If it were not for the ACA, these people would be uninsured and susceptible to illnesses and suffering.