Let’s Thank Obamacare for Making Our Nation Healthier! (9/13/2012)
By Consumers Union on Thursday, September 13th, 2012
September 23rd marks the two year anniversary of several major benefits of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or “Obamacare.” Now is a good time to pause and take stock of the progress we’ve made in providing all Americans with quality, affordable and secure healthcare.
It is time to say THANK YOU OBAMACARE!
Since President Obama signed the ACA in March 2010, the law has taken significant steps to provide working families with a significant measure of relief from our old, inefficient and costly healthcare system. To be sure, it has been a hard fought battle, but after the Supreme Court’s vote to uphold the law as constitutional, the path to progress is far brighter. The benefits listed below are some of the highlights, for a full list visit our website.
- Parents no longer have to worry that their sick child will reach a lifetime cap or that their having a pre-existing condition will follow them throughout their lives. What’s more, over 3 million young adults are now covered through their parents’ insurance, while health clinics, providing a broad range of vital medical, dental and mental health services to underprivileged communities, are undergoing sweeping expansions.
- Seniors are receiving savings of 50% on their prescription drugs costs when they reach the infamous donut hole under Medicare. The discounts will gradually increase until 2020 when the donut hole will disappear. Moreover, seniors and women are now receiving free preventative screenings for diseases such as cancer. The result: catching and treating illnesses earlier helping to bring down soaring healthcare costs and saving lives!
- Small business owners who wanted to do right by their employees but couldn’t, due to skyrocketing costs, are receiving tax credits to help provide health benefits. Businesses, individuals, and families have received rebates of over $1.2 billion from insurance companies who spent more than 20% of premium dollars on bonuses and advertising rather than on healthcare. Insurers are also subject to stronger rate accountability, which protects hardworking American families and has reduced premiums an estimated $1.1 billion over the past year.
- Starting in 2014, there will be a new, consumer-friendly competitive health insurance marketplace where you can make apples-to-apples comparisons of health plans. This marketplace will force insurers to compete based on cost, quality, and customer satisfaction. Clarity of costs and benefits will replace confusion, hidden costs and disclaimers that lead to coverage denials. Additionally, families using this marketplace and earning less than 400% of the federal level (roughly $85,000 for a family of four) qualify for premium assistance. Families will finally have a better way to shop for health insurance that best fits their needs.
Over the next decade, as Obamacare implementation continues, millions more will benefit in terms of cost and quality. Since March of 2010, our country truly has come a long, long way towards providing Americans with piece of mind when it comes to healthcare.