Healthcare? What’s All the Hype?

By Lulu Sun

Quick, what is this “Obamacare” and what are some of its benefits?

  • Formally known as “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” (PPCA)

  • Signed into law 2010

  • Upheld by Supreme Court 2012

  • Helps Americans gain access to affordable, quality health insurance

  • Meant to reduce American health care spending

  • Does not replace private insurance and only regulates the practices of the health care industry

  • Offers new benefits, rights, and protections for Americans

  • Rolls out until 2022

  • Emergency care, hospitalization, prescription drug, maternity, newborn care guaranteed with no annual or lifetime dollar limits

  • Yearly checkups, immunizations, counseling, screenings guaranteed with no out-of-pocket costs

  • Covers up to 9 million children

  • Over 50% of uninsured Americans can get free or low-cost insurance

  • Can’t be dropped or charged more when you’re sick

  • Mistakes on applications are now without penalty

  • Mandatory fee for those who do not sign up

Sounds great, right? Not everyone thinks so. First of all, the glitch-ridden website caused Obama’s approval rating to hit an all-time low of 42%. Although the website is currently “fixed” and Obama’s approval rating seems to be improving, this is just one of the many large bumps on the road to Affordable Care. What kinds of problems does this Act pose? Here are some possible risks:

  • Risk of destabilized market and higher premiums as a result of rules changed

  • Increased costs for insurance companies

  • Cut in employee’s hours to avoid costs of providing health care benefits

  • Cut in school  programs to avoid added expenses

  • Additional Medicare taxes for income above $250k/couple or $200k/single

  • More taxes for high-income citizens

  • Young people don’t usually need it, but it’s still mandatory

  • Medicare payments to doctors and hospitals are limited and complications may drive up costs

“Fun” facts about Obamacare

  • The Act is 1000+ pages long

  • First step toward true health care reform in US!

  • 60% of all personal bankruptcies result from high medical bills (Obamacare aims to solve that)

  • Guarantees free preventative women’s services; you are not charged more for being a woman!!


References and further reading