Obamacare is aimed primarily at decreasing the number of uninsured Americans and reducing the overall costs of health care. It provides a number of mechanisms, including mandates, subsidies, and tax credits, to employers and individuals in order to increase the coverage rate. Additional reforms are aimed at improving healthcare outcomes and streamlining the delivery of health care. Obamacare requires insurance companies to cover all applicants and offer the same rates regardless of pre-existing conditions or sex.
The benefits and protections that the Affordable Care Act provides for the middle class include, numerous provisions to keep health care costs low, promote prevention, and hold insurance companies accountable. The 250 million Americans who already have health care, whether it is through private insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid, have a more secured coverage through the Affordable Care Act. Here are some examples of what the Affordable Care Act covers. Over 86 million Americans have gained from coverage of preventive care free of charge, like mammograms for women and wellness visits for seniors.
Obamacare gives seniors’ access to cheaper drugs, free preventive care, reforms Medicare Advantage, and closes the Medicare hole. The AARP agreed that costs would not rise because of Obamacare, if anything, the improvements to the system will decrease the average cost of health care for seniors. The law has already helped 5.3 million seniors and people with disabilities save an average of over $600 on prescription drugs in Medicare coverage.
The law has helped 6.6 million young adults who have been able to stay on their parents’ plans until the age of 26, including 3.1 million young people who are newly insured. Starting in 2014 this law will offer an array of quality; affordable, private health insurance plans to choose from for any American who does not have insurance.
What are the downsides of a universal healthcare system? A universal healthcare system is likely to decrease patient care and doctor flexibility. Loss of private practice options will dissuade potential physicians from entering the market. Malpractice suits will then be government liability, as it becomes the controlling agency. Those countries that have single-payer systems or systems heavily weighted toward government control are the most likely to face waiting lists, rationing, restrictions on the choice of physician, and other barriers to care. Patient privacy and confidentiality may be compromised, as it becomes government responsibility. Individual freedoms, such as smoking, drinking, and fast food, may face additional restrictions as they can impact health. Those countries with government health systems already in place, such as France, Netherlands, and Switzerland are not without problems. Many have loosened government control due to rising health care costs and injected marketing functions to increase competition among providers and insurers.
Changes are desperately needed in the American health care system. The changes will