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Obamacare's Hollow Celebration


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It has been 12 years since Obamacare's passage. The landmark law expanded health coverage only modestly- while raising costs, reducing choice and doing little to improve health outcomes. 

Last week, Barack Obama joined President Biden at the White House to mark the 12th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Yet it was unclear what there was to celebrate. The ACA failed to increase insurance coverage as much as expected, imposed mandates that raised costs, reduced choice, and forced people to buy insurance that many neither wanted nor needed—all while doing little to improve health.

Despite all the cost and controversy surrounding it, the ACA never covered more than 6 percent of Americans and suppressed the competition, choice, and innovation that would have more effectively expanded coverage, lowered costs, and improved outcomes. Barack Obama may want to celebrate his namesake program, but the rest of us have little reason to do so.



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Obamacare did a few things well but is and was still flawed.

Still mad at Lieberman for tanking the public option.

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I see people comment a lot on what they believe Obamacare did wrong or what Obamacare didn't fix, but i've never really seen a proposal for what a better option would have been or can be.  

Republicans have promised us for years that they have their own amazing healthcare plan to replace Obamacare, but that has never materialized. 

This article says ACA decreased "innovation that would have expanded coverage, lowered costs, and increased outcomes" but that is completely unsubstantiated opinion. There's no facts or data to back that up. The entire reason the ACA came into existence in the first place is because insurance companies were decreasing coverage, raising costs continually, and health outcomes were not getting better. Before ACA took affect Insurance companies were denying preexisting conditions, raising deductibles to astronomical levels, refusing to cover many medical procedures and needs like mental health care. 

Before the ACA, American healthcare wasn't in a good place and it was not getting better....to imply that having no ACA would have led the insurance companies magically reversing course on everything and suddenly become more focused on patients and  health outcomes than on pure profit is a Conservative fantasy in the same vein of "trick down" economics. 

The fact that insurance companies are still focused only on profits, that Americans still pay more towards healthcare than anyone else in the world, and that millions of people still bankrupt themselves and have their families financial future ruined by unavoidable medical debt isn't the fault of the ACA...it was all a reality before the ACA and it's still an issue now. 

The real tragedy of ACA is that it didn't go near far enough in it's changes and reforms. 

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I was completely against the ACA when it came out, because I simply saw it as a power grab. I hadn't really felt the affects of healthcare costs spiraling, didn't know anyone that had, and chalked up such talk to mostly fear-mongering. Since then it's become quite obvious to me that something has got to change. I agree the ACA is a very flawed piece of legislation, but I give them credit for at least trying.

I'm not naive enough to believe that the motivation was completely altruistic, but I'm also no longer cynical enough to think that they weren't trying to at least do something right.

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I am completely at a loss for how anyone can argue that something didn't need to be done about health care when the ACA was passed.  It is far from perfect, primarily due to the bloody fight it took to get it passed.  Why was it so hard to pass? Powerful groups that make billions every year refused to give an inch.  Even after its passage, Southern states like Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee do everything in their power to make it difficult for their citizens to participate. 

There will be universal health care in this country at some point.  Unfortunately, millions will die and millions will spend their life savings trying to stay alive before we come to the realization that it is the only sensible way to make certain Americans get the care they are entitled to as human beings.  As a country, we spend more than any other per citizen on health care, while in return getting far less services.

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Because of things, we are now on The ACA. Our coverage costs $570 a month for medical and dental. Trying to add vision as we speak. The total cost is enormous. Our plan is roughly $2900/month. The govt kicks in over $2300/month. 

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Obamacare’s Five Broken Promises That Made Health Care Even Worse

Broken Promise #1  You Can Keep Your Plan

  • Up to 9.3 million people lost their coverage during the first open enrollment period.
  • President Obama personally apologized for Americans losing health coverage.
  • Politifact named “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it,” the Lie of the Year for 2013.

Broken Promise #2  You Can Keep Your Doctor

  • As many as 214,000 doctors opted out of participating in Obamacare exchange plans.
  • CNN declared President Obama’s claim that “You can keep your own doctor” false.
  • Obamacare’s website revised and then dropped the section entitled, “Can I keep my own doctor?”

Broken Promise #3  Your Premiums Will Go Down by $2,500

  • Premiums increased by about 60% in the first four years.
  • Insurance premium amounts varied in increase from $2,524 for an individual between the ages of 31 and 40 to $12,040 for a family headed by someone over age 60.

Broken Promise #4  You’ll Have More Access to Care

  • Hundreds of thousands of health care providers opted-out of Obamacare exchange plans.
  • Studies show that instead of going to a doctor’s office for care, people continued to use emergency rooms for non-emergencies.
  • Over half of the of the uninsured in 2018 were eligible for financial assistance through Medicaid or marketplace subsidies but chose not to be covered.
  • Access to insurance does not equate to having access to care.

Broken Promise #5  Those With Pre-Existing Conditions Will Be Protected

  • Obamacare did not protect patients from bankruptcy. Research from a left-leaning organization found no evidence Obamacare reduced the proportion of bankruptcies driven by medical debt.
  • Obamacare did not protect patients from dying. A 2019 study found there was no reduction in mortality for those that participated in Obamacare, meaning that enrollment in Obamacare had the same impact as having other forms of coverage or no coverage at all.
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