It’s been a year since The Affordable Care Act was passed, but there was not much of a celebration. It was not only Democratic politicians that chose to ignore its anniversary, but also Republican counterparts. Even if Karl Rove’s American Crossroads group released a short video of Obama & U.S. Sen. Key Hagan quotes which say “If you like your plan, you can keep it”, there was mostly silence. This is because the ‘Obamacare’ issue, which was supposed to become a serious issue for voters, quickly became a non-issue, for a very simple reason: it is actually working.
Let’s take a look at a few statistics and findings about the Affordable Care Act:
- More and more insurance companies are competing in exchanges and insurance premiums are declining in some states (or are not increasing).
- In the last year, the number of uninsured United States citizens was reduced by over 10 million. In addition to this, hospitals are reporting less uninsured patients.
- Those who lost their coverage because it was not in accordance with the Affordable Care Act ended up with better coverage at reasonable prices due to tax credits.
- According to the Congressional Budget Office, ACA cost roughly 36 billion dollars in 2014. This means that it was 5 billion dollars cheaper than it was projected. The projected cost of health care law for 2015-2024 was also lowered by 104 billion dollars.
- Overall health care costs are not rising quickly. This is because of the recession and its aftermath but also because the Affordable Care Act is imposing penalties for hospital re-admissions.
- People who have obtained healthcare insurance say that they feel more economically secure and less stressed now.
By looking at these results we understand that ACA is not such a “nightmare for millions of Americans”. What is clear after a year of Affordable Care Act is that the opposition had weak health care proposals. Let’s remember Mitch McConnell’s doom-saying on the eve of the ACA launch:
“Nearly every day seems to bring more news of another state project massive insurance premium increases, or of another insurance company pulling out of the market entirely, forcing Americans off plans they like and want to keep.”
All in all, “Obamacare” has encouraged more insurance companies to participate and more people to get better plans with low deductibles. Sure, ACA has its glitches, and it needs some fixes, but it has helped a great number of people. It has also helped address the issue of income inequality. Lastly, it gave citizens the peace of mind knowing that an accident or illness won’t leave them financially devasted.