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Obamacare: A Year After

Jan 19th, 2012

ObamacareLast year, the United States Republican Representatives voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act, more popularly known as Obamacare. Without the Act, beneficiaries of the important and life-saving health care measures would have been in jeopardy. One of the new law’s ultimate goal is to ultimately provide more affordable health insurance; and we have seen wide effects across the board.

Without the new law, we will face the following today:

There Will Be More Uninsured Young Adults. The health reform allowed 2.5 million young adults to have coverage under their parents health insurance program.

Higher Cost of Prescription Drugs for Seniors. With Obamacare, seniors and those with disabilities get 50% discount on prescription drugs. October 2011 data shows savings of more than $1.5 billion for 2.65 million seniors.

Seniors Will Have to Pay More for Preventive Care. With the Affordable Care Act, preventive care like colonoscopies, prostate screenings, and mammograms are free for those under Medicare. 24.2 million seniors received such services as of November 2011.

People With Preexisting Conditions Will Still Be Uninsured. The Affordable Care Act provisions include Preexisting Condition Insurance Plan which allowed 45,000 individuals (as of November 2011) who were previously ineligible for insurance because of their condition, to get medical coverage.

15 Million Americans’ Health Insurance in Danger of Being Dropped by Insurance Companies. Obamacare finally ended the insurance companies’ abusive practice of retroactively canceling coverage for policyholders who made honest errors in their paper works. Before this law was enacted, about 15 million insured individuals were in danger losing their coverage because of this practice. Individuals with rescinded policies will be responsible for past expenses and will not have any coverage for medical care.

Businesses Will Have to Pay More to Cover Early Retirees. To help cover the cost of caring for retirees ineligible for Medicare, the Affordable Care Act provided $5 billion to a reinsurance program for companies and other health insurance plan sponsors. The funds are intended to help with the cost of coverage for employers, workers, retirees, and their families.

More Than $100 Billion in Higher Deficits. Over ten years, the Affordable Care Act will result in a reduction of national deficit by as much as $100 billion. Additionally, other health reforms like the Partnership for Patients will save the government even more money, saving Medicare about $50 billion over the next ten years.

Many states, several organizations, and numerous individuals have challenged the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act and have filed actions against it in federal court. The constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act has been upheld as of January 2012. The United States Supreme Court has scheduled to review the suits. Oral arguments have been scheduled in March 2012.

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