The Affordable Care Act

The Affordable Care Act was introduced to provide Americans with better health security by having health reforms that intend to expand healthcare coverage, lower healthcare costs, hold insurance companies accountable, provide more choice, and enhance the quality of care for all Americans (HHS.gov/HealthCare, 2014). 

The Affordable Care Act has largely succeeded in delivering various promises by president Obama. Various surveys and reports by the private sector and the government have come to a similar conclusion that the number of uninsured Americans reduced by 25% in 2014. Most of these Americans are the newly insured through Medicaid. On signing in the new law in 2010, president Obama pledged that it would protect American from the high cost of care guaranteeing access to comprehensive and affordable care. Through the law, about 7.5 million Americans particularly those who could not get medical insurance because of costly medical conditions have been able to access private coverage (Sanger-Katz, 2014).

However, the law required insurance providers to broaden their benefits and cover even those Americans with pre-existing conditions. This in turn has led to an increase in premiums for those who already had insurance. It is therefore true that the health insurance issues are driving up healthcare costs for Americans who already had insurance. There are indeed gaps in how populations receive healthcare and this is worsened by the options that states have of not expanding their programs. Whilst the ACA intended to provide medical coverage to low-income people through Medicaid, it does not offer financial assistance to poor people for other coverage options (Garfield, Damico, Stephens, & Rouhani, 2014). As a result, there is a growing population of Americans who cannot enjoy the full benefits of the ACA. 

As much as there are observable benefits of the law, there is also evidence of rising health care costs as well as widening gaps in how populations receive healthcare. 

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