The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as Obamacare, has been an effort to make better health care more accessible to a greater portion of the US population. Although it isn’t without controversy as there is a personal mandate that requires insurance coverage or the payment of a fine, it isn’t without certain advantages as well. Here is a look at the pros and cons of this change in the American system of health care.
The Pros of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
1. It makes health care more accessible to people.
More than 34 million people have been able to access a better form of health care thanks to the insurance options that this act has offered. This means that people are able to seek out care for health issues that they may normally have waited out at home, ultimately making them more productive.
2. It insures people who weren’t considered to be insurable.
One of the true advantages of this law is that people who would normally be excluded from any type of health insurance can still be insured. There are no longer denials because of previous conditions. Although the prices for these high risk plans may be a little higher than what others may pay for their insurance, any insurance is often welcome insurance.
3. It still provides individual options.
The health care exchanges offer a number of different policies that can be selected to meet consumer needs. States also have the option of providing their own exchanges instead of the national exchange for even further customization. This allows people to still choose a health care insurance plan that works for them.
The Cons of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
1. It mandates health insurance through the threat of taxation.
One way or another, almost all Americans are going to pay more out of their salaries every year. People must have health insurance or pay a fine. Lower income households can qualify for free care or insurance subsidies, but even $100 per month becomes $1,200 per year that a household wouldn’t have paid in the past.
2. It has had an opposite effect on health care.
Many communities have doctor shortages that are making it nearly impossible to get in for a regular appointment. It isn’t uncommon to having a waiting list that is 6 months long to see a primary care provider because of the increases in patient loads.
3. Not every community has choices.
Rural communities in the US have limited selections for health insurance coverage more often than not. Prices are also dictated by region, which means someone who is perfectly healthy and rarely goes to see the doctor may pay over $400 per month in one state, but less than $200 per month in another state for the same health insurance.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has seen some highs and some lows after its passage. By taking an honest look at the pros and cons, the law can be potentially tweaked to make it a more advantageous system of care.