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Obamacare Failure: Why The Controversial Health Care Act Needs To Be Changed Now

By Emil Sarmiento , Oct 15, 2016 03:00 AM EDT
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When the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act launched in 2010, it faced a myriad of opposition, for acceptable reasons. Insurers previously screened applicants, and the new bill proposed to accept all of them. Medical rates were to be lowered and standardized for the covered list of conditions and treatments, when at the time, prices were dependent on those administering the treatment.

Fast forward six years later, and the promise for insuring 34 million Americans is yet to be met. Obamacare has tried to lower cost, but it has prompted Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton, a Democrat and a staunch Obama supporter, to state that, "The reality is the Affordable Care Act is no longer affordable for increasing numbers of people."

However, higher health care cost may be misleading. Even though expenditure for health-related transactions are increasing and growing more expensive, the Bureau of Economic Analysis's index of health-related personal consumption expenditures show that the rise of health prices have considerably slowed down. It is currently at its slowest rate in over fifty years.

A New York Times article by Abby Goodnough and Reed Abelson gave perspective about Obamacare as a functioning government entity, yet also provided digression for a law that is facing its greatest challenge. More importantly, however, the Times showed faces of Americans who tried utilizing Obamacare for their pressing medical needs, but are expecting the crisis to limit their options.

By 2017, an estimated 600,000 Americans will have the possibility of opting out of buying health insurance, because rising premiums are increasing much faster than salaries and household income. This comes from a Forbes article by Jeff Smedsrud, and it comes with a warning. With fewer people signing up for Obamacare, insurers will have less reason to renew with the policies, and Obamacare might begin its decline into a "death spiral," wherein the individual health insurance market will have to give way to what the private sector has to say.

With the upcoming presidential elections, Obamacare is a hot topic wherein both candidates are taking opposing views in order to curb the impending crisis. Hillary Clinton is calling for more government assistance, endorsing a government-sponsored health plan that would allow Americans a cheaper option: the public option. Donald Trump, on the other hand, calls for less government, as he aims to reduce federal regulation and requirements, as well as encouraging the use of health savings accounts, in order to get medical costs to go down.

Whoever wins, the premise of the US Healthcare overhaul in 2010 still stands, and whether Obama's administration succeeded in lower costs or was simply at the forefront of a worldwide trend, the fact that Americans still need universal healthcare, for better or worse, won't go away. It's an ongoing debacle, and for Obamacare to continue with its aim, it has to change now.

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