Obamacare the Right Rx for Nation
The Asbury Park Press
By: Ron Pollack
October 20, 2012
The Affordable Care Act — Obamacare, if you like — will help millions of hard-working, uninsured Americans obtain coverage and will make coverage more affordable for the already insured.
The law has two basic elements. The first expands access to coverage for individuals and families; the second features reforms that make the insurance market more consumer-friendly.
The law makes health coverage more accessible by making it more affordable, providing tax credits to help pay for coverage. Access is also improved by the creation of state-based exchanges, where people can shop for quality coverage in a competitive market. Finally, the law provides an essential safety net for low-income Americans by expanding access to Medicaid.
Essential market reforms are another element of the Affordable Care Act. These reforms actually strengthen the private insurance market in the United States — yes, that’s right, the private insurance market. All the bluster about “government takeover of health care,” and “government coming between you and your doctor” is empty and meaningless rhetoric.
The Affordable Care Act touches and improves the lives of millions of Americans, from the smallest infant to senior citizens. Under the Affordable Care Act:
• No one will be denied health coverage or charged a higher premium due to a pre-existing condition, such as children with asthma (in effect today) or adults with cancer (2014).
• People with major health problems will be protected against arbitrary lifetime or annual limits in insurance plans (no more “Surprise! Your insurance ran out!” moments).
• Young adults can stay on their parents’ health plans until they turn 26.
• Seniors will see significant Medicare improvements, including preventive care with no deductibles or copayments, and the big gap in prescription drug coverage will close.
• Women can no longer be charged higher premiums just because they’re female.
• Moderate- and middle-income families will receive robust tax credit subsidies to make insurance premiums more affordable.
• Insurance companies that don’t spend most of the premiums they collect to pay for health care must give consumers a rebate.
The Affordable Care Act will make health care more available and more affordable for millions of Americans. Obamacare provides peace of mind and health security for our families — the peace of mind that comes when our loved ones can receive the health care they need, when they need it.
Ron Pollack is executive director of Families USA.