The Affordable Care Act was supposed to be our salvation. It helped but the unforeseen rise in premiums caught everyone off guard. Today, we take a closer look on such a hot issue.
It was in the 20th of March in 2010 that President Obama had signed the ACA into law. This heralded a great many changes in the US healthcare system. The goal was to increase healthcare coverage and several others. At the time, it was a very welcome change.
Before the enactment of the ACA, people could only achieve health plans through their employers. Soon after, people could then attain a healthcare plan on their own. It came as a relief that there was another option besides the ridiculous healthcare premiums of existing health insurance companies. It was these high premium costs coupled with large medical bills that drove most Americans into bankruptcy. Everything had looked so dire. It was common to hear stories of retirees who could no longer pay for their own medical bills.
So when the ACA was passed, most Americans thought that the worst was over. There was a drastic drop in the overall number of uninsured elderly persons. The lower income households were now covered.
However, it seems that all the celebrations were a tad premature.
Recent studies have shown that it was ACA itself that drove up premiums further. Around four years before ACA came to be, various families comprised of different age groups had experienced a 9.2% or less. Within the first four years of the ACA itself, every age group and family type received the startling increase of 56-64%.
The families that could previously afford healthcare found themselves at a loss and looked toward acquiring Medicaid. Acquiring this wasn’t as simple as people expected as not all states had chosen to expand Medicaid. This eventually led to an overburdened system that was still in its infancy.
There is no denying that ACA has helped countless families all across the country. However, it wasn’t just the premiums that were rising. Even the deductibles were rising. Deductibles refer to the limit that people needed to pay as covered by insurance plans before they are able to share costs with the insurance company. The combination of the premiums and the deductibles were truly a bit much.
Other than the steep premiums, the extensive coverage of the ACA meant there were longer waiting times in emergency rooms. Everyone hates bureaucracy and doctors are no exception. As ACA was still working out its paperwork, more and more doctors weren’t accepting Medicaid. This meant that the demand for care was still high but now there were fewer doctors to address the needs of the people.
While we aren’t saying that the ACA was a failure, it was certainly flawed. Still, it is certainly better than nothing at all. With the ACA on the verge of being repealed, only time can truly tell if the American public will finally get the type of healthcare it truly deserves.