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The Affordable Care Act: Hits, Misses, and Solutions

The Affordable Care Act (ACA and often referred to as “Obamacare”), has been unshakably scrutinized by the media.   Whether reports are left-wing or the right-wing, mainstream media coverage primarily concentrates on the tedious legislative process, the propaganda, and (of course) the Government Shutdown.  Amidst all of the media hoopla, the Affordable Care Act was enacted on October 1st, 2013.

Here are statements directly from Medicaid.gov:

“The Affordable Care Act provides Americans with better health security by putting in place comprehensive health insurance reforms that will:

  • Expand coverage,

  • Hold insurance companies accountable,

  • Lower health care costs,

  • Guarantee more choice, and

  • Enhance quality care for all Americans.

The Affordable Care Act actually refers to two pieces of legislation – the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (P.L. 111-148) and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-152) – that, together expand Medicaid coverage to millions of low-income Americans and makes numerous improvements to both Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

Further information concerning Medicaid eligibility, financing, and legislation files at www.medicaid.gov/affordablecareact/affordable-care-act.html.

The day the Affordable Care Act was implemented, October 1, 2013, record numbers of the US population visited the website exploring the new health care options. There were many initial positives. During the first 24 hours of open enrollment, 4.7 million people visited HealthCare.gov.  This posed well for supporters of the law, as this development represented its potential success. However, many Americans have already questioned the law’s effectiveness.

Individuals who attempted to sign up were met with obstacles.  Specifically, there  were cases of the website becoming frozen when attempting to navigate it.  In addition, insurance companies report that they have not received all of the necessary personal information from their customers.  Meanwhile, the statistics of those who have actually signed up for a plan were initially withheld from the American public, causing many to question the law’s success.

On October 21st, 2013, President Obama spoke at the White House, updating the American public on The Affordable Care Act and its progress.   He began by discussing the new health care system and its benefits, including: Affordable Care for lower income citizens, free preventative care treatments (such as mammograms and birth control), and the reduction of prices due to the new health insurance marketplace.  Additionally, those with Medicaid and Medicare insurance now do not have to change their health care plan. Through these services, The President re-emphasized that the Affordable Care Act has already been effective in its primary goals.  Here are the updates concerning ACA statistics.

  • In the last three weeks, Oregon has cut its number of uninsured residents by 10 percent, giving 56,000 people healthcare.

  • Nearly 6 in 10 Americans can acquire health care for under 100 dollars a month.

  • Healthcare.gov has now been visited nearly 20 million times

  • Call centers have averaged a 1 minute wait time to speak with personnel

In addition, President Obama addressed the propaganda surrounding ACA’s main problems.  Healthcare.gov was indeed faulty due to web traffic during the first week of enrollment.  However, it remains operable despite the glitches. Thousands of citizens have still been able to sign up for health care insurance.   POTUS added that the enrollment period is open for an additional five months, and the regulations of the new plans won’t take effect until January 1st.  Concerning the website, President Obama acknowledged its flaws and vowed to have it fixed by November 30, 2013.  He also reported that a tech action team is employed to fix and improve upon the website.  POTUS added that the website is not the only way to sign up for a new plan; people can do so over the phone (with lines open 24 Hours)  or in person.

In spite of the obstacles, the Obama Administration and government officials are determined to ensure that the new health care system runs smoothly.  Statistics show, for those who enrolled, that the the health care marketplace is an effective and beneficial system for the American population. As POTUS stated before, there are five remaining months of open enrollment.  Given the positive statistics and signs of improvement, the prospects of the Affordable Care Act reaping success are encouraging.

Written by Elise Phillips

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