When the affordable care act, also known as Obamacare, was first implemented, it had the noble goal of providing more Americans with affordable healthcare. However, the implementation of the various policies surrounding the Affordable Care act had deep effects across all sectors of society. These effects were often insidious, but significant nevertheless. In this article, we’re going to explore exactly how Obamacare affected the fabric of America.
The Effect of Obamacare on the Middle Class
While the new reforms have been beneficial to those with lower to moderate income, the benefits haven’t been as great for middle class Americans. As a matter of fact, insurance premiums have increased for those who were already insured.
Nowadays, insurance companies are required to cover a much wider range of conditions. This may seem like a good thing at first glance, but this has an adverse effect on premiums.
In addition, taxes have risen in order to pay for some of the provisions in the Affordable Care Act. These includes taxes on pharmaceutical sales and medical devices. However, these tax increases have been offset by the tax credits middle class families are eligible for, if they enroll.
Increased Demand for Medical Services
Obamacare had a massive effect on the healthcare industry. It has been estimated that the healthcare industry gained one million additional jobs in the first 50 months the ACA was enacted.
These new jobs were across all sectors, be it mental, geriatric or pediatric health. A recent surge in pediatric nurse practitioner programs online has been noted, and as a response to this trend, many new students are considering enrolling in a pediatric nurse college to fill new positions.
This can also be attributed to the fact that parents can now add children up to the age of 26 on their insurance plans. This has reduced the total number of children without healthcare insurance in the country.
Effects of Obamacare on Healthcare Access
The area where Obamacare has been the most significant is in giving more access to healthcare to a larger portion of American households. People with pre-existing conditions now have better access to health insurance. In addition, people who had chronic health issues won’t have to worry about their insurers dropping them, which was often the case before the ACA was enacted.
Things like screenings are also increasingly being covered by insurance plans. Obamacare put pressure on insurance companies to cover basic screenings as a preventative measure. The rationale behind this is that it reduces the pressure of healthcare cost on taxpayers by reducing the number of patients eventually seeking extensive treatments later on.
There is no denying that the Affordable Care act has had a profound effect on America. More people have access to healthcare than ever, but many middle class Americans feel like it’s been taken out of their pocket. It still remains to be seen how the new administration will address these issues, but we can expect some changes to be made to appease the new constituency.
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