“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” Those words were famously spoken from Barack Obama during his election period. Following through with those words, he begins to make change in the country. Change isn’t easy, yet you hope it’s worth it in the end.
The USA seems to be standing on both sides of the fence when it comes to the changes the President is making with healthcare. March 23, 2010 Obama signed into law Affordable Care Act, or better known as Obamacare. Together with the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act, it represents the most significant government expansion and regulatory overhaul of the U.S. healthcare system since the passage of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965 (www.obamacarefacts.com).
Obamacare was enacted to provide affordable health insurance to 44 million uninsured Americans and to reduce the growth in health care spending. Obamacare has done some important things already, such as prohibiting insurance companies from dropping your coverage if you get sick and has been working with insurance companies who will not cover a person because of a pre-existing condition.
However, as with all change there are two ways at looking at the new bill. Obamacare will drastically affect the low-income families in a positive way. In America healthcare is so difficult to afford for the average low-income family, Obama has placed the care on a sliding scale. The expansion will cover over 15 million low-income individuals and families below the 133% FLP mark.
However each state has the option to opt-out of providing coverage for the poor. By not providing coverage for the poor, it will leave 2-3 million people without coverage. States that decide to opt-in employers will have to respond by laying people off and making full time employees part time to avoid Obamacare penalties and taxes by not implementing the program. Others will not expand beyond 50 employees to avoid the bill’s mandate’s (Shenk, 2013). The average consumer will see a difference because some businesses are adding surcharges to invoices in to help make up the cost of healthcare coverage for their employees.
On a positive note, there would be no annual or lifetime limits, children can stay on their parent’s plans to age 26; FDA can approve more generic drugs driving prices down and breaking monopolies and protections against discrimination for gender, disabilities and domestic abuse. And there will be significant tax credits to the small businesses with less than 25 employees, to help offset the costs of providing coverage to their employees.
Obamacare will certainly challenge the nation over whether it wants a national system to be dependent on Washington or rely on dual federalism that protects freedom. The bill doesn’t allow the American citizen the option, if they want to offer or accept coverage; they have to have it or they will be penalized. That doesn’t allow much freedom of choice, however at least they are being offered the opportunity to coverage.
Despite the rocky road Obamacare has had to start, it has lived to see another day and each day the kinks are worked out. This bill is here to stay. So, as cchange isn’t always easy, the average American citizen can say that the law will be beneficial to them as individuals, their families, communities, and country.