Four Reasons Obamacare Continues to Be Unpopular in Congress
The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, went into effect more than six years ago. It was controversial at the time it was passed and remains controversial today. The following are four significant reasons for this.
Rising insurance costs
The Affordable Care Act was meant to insure a greater number of people, but it was also designed to bring down the cost of health care. Unfortunately, this has not happened for many people. Six years after its enactment, many families are paying higher premiums than ever. The ACA was dependent upon younger, healthier people paying premiums to subsidize older, less healthy people in the health insurance pool. The numbers of young people have fallen short of projections, and this has led to higher premiums. Some insurance companies have decided to drop out of the exchanges because they are not making enough money, so this may lead to even higher premiums in the future.
Some people lost their health insurance
Certain private health care plans were no longer allowed under the ACA. In general, these were the catastrophic plans that required large deductibles be paid before the insurance coverage kicked in. However, for those who were healthy, this type of policy was attractive. Once they lost these policies, many of these people were forced to go to the private exchanges created by the ACA to get an insurance policy. Some of the coverage in these policies was more than people had in the past, so the premiums were higher. Advocates of the ACA claimed that these policies were much better, but for many people, the additional coverage was not worth the higher premiums.
Fines for not having health insurance
This has been a part of the ACA from the beginning, but it has only recently gone into effect, and people are starting to feel the cost of not having insurance. Those in the lower middle income brackets are the people who are feeling this penalty the most. Because the money is collected by the Internal Revenue Service, those paying this fine experience it as a tax hike.
Many people have been left without insurance
Part of the ACA was the expansion of Medicaid by increasing the income limits for eligibility. This was mandated by the federal government for all 50 states. The Supreme Court, however, ruled that it was optional for each state. Many states decided not to expand Medicaid, so in these states, there are people who do not qualify for Medicaid and also do not make enough to participate in the public exchanges. This gap has created a group of people who are living slightly above the poverty level without access to health insurance. This was not intended by lawmakers, and many are understandably upset about this.
Although there are some people who want to fix Obamacare, there are many in Congress want to repeal the ACA and replace it with better health care laws. Senator Mike Crapo, of Idaho, is one such politician. Senator Crapo believes that the ACA has been costly and has also taken away personal health care choices for Americans.