Over the past few decades, America’s health care system has been hurtling toward a crisis.
A large percentage of Americans either have health care coverage that is inadequate or have none at all. The primary reason is skyrocketing costs, which have priced out businesses and individuals alike. While wages have been more or less frozen the last few years, health insurance premiums have increased up to 20 percent.
The Affordable Care Act, dubbed Obamacare, is putting all of us back in the driver’s seat when it comes to our own health care. While full implementation of reform is being phased in over several years, health care reform has already helped hundreds of thousands of Americans access the health care they need.
Among the many delusions guiding the Republican campaign against the Affordable Care Act, surely the most consistent is the idea that the public detests the law and is clamoring for repeal.
The American public loves Obamacare, with as many as 88% in favor.
Tax credits for small businesses to buy insurance: 88% in favor.
Closing the Medicare drug benefit doughnut hole: 81% in favor.
Extension of dependent coverage to offspring up to age 26: 76% in favor.
Expanding Medicaid: 71% in favor.
Ban on exclusions for preexisting conditions: 66% in favor.
Employer mandate: 57% in favor.
Obamacare is starting to hold insurance companies accountable, controlling the runaway costs that prevent Americans from access to health care. For example, insurers must now justify premium rate hikes. Just last month, the Department of Health and Human Services found that a Pennsylvania insurance company’s proposed rate increase of 12 percent was unjustified in relation to the benefits provided, and urged the insurer to rescind the rate, issue refunds or publicly explain their refusal to do so. While some states were already regulating rate increases, before Obamacare there were no national limits on what insurers could charge as administrative costs. Now at least 80 cents of every dollar must be spent on actual medical care.
The heartbreaking practice of excluding children from coverage based on even the most minor pre-existing condition is already over because of Obamacare. In 2014, adults will enjoy this protection as well