The Affordable Care Act Or Obamacare: Pros And Cons

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In 2010 President Barack Obama unveiled a new healthcare package The Affordable Care Act, nicknamed “Obamacare”. This new healthcare module was to help the currently uninsured find and afford the healthcare they were lacking. “ObamaCare expands health coverage. It does this by expanding Medicaid to single adults, expanding employer coverage, requiring insurers to cover preexisting conditions, offering cost assistance on plans sold on state and federal Health Insurance Marketplaces, letting young adults stay on their parents plan until 26” (obamacarefacts,2019). This Affordable Care Act also penalizes those who choose not to get healthcare by imposing a fine on income taxes if proof is not shown that all family members have health insurance for the entire year.

The question now is should this be regulated at a federal or state level? In an article by NBCNEWS “The House, which would establish a national exchange run by the federal government, argues that setting a uniform program would help protect consumers. The Senate, which wants each state to create and run its own exchange, says states have more experience overseeing insurance plans and know their residents’ needs better” (NBCNEWS,2019). The article goes on to state that leading healthcare experts think that the state should regulate healthcare as it is able to better predict what its residents need. Many federal level backers have said that the states don’t have the funds to support this arrangement and fear “that state legislatures could be overwhelmed by powerful lobbying efforts of insurers and drug interests seeking to weaken consumer protections” (NBCNEWS,2019).

Since the Affordable Care Act has went into effect a typical American family of 4 will be expected to pay $28,000 per year or more for healthcare benefits. That is a staggering number. Average Americans with average jobs are unable to afford such high prices. Yet if they do not show proof at the end of the year while filing income tax they are penalized even more.

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A few years ago, Bernie Sanders, a presidential nominee, often spoke of free healthcare like in Canada. Research shows this “a typical Canadian family of four will pay a staggering $12,935 for health care in 2018” (torontosun, 2019). While this is nearly half what Americans pay it is not truly free. “Health care in Canada isn’t free — Canadians actually pay a substantial amount for public health care through their taxes, even if they don’t pay directly for their medical services.” — The Price of Public Health Care Insurance 2018, co-author Bacchus Barua (torontosun, 2019).

Most healthcare regulations come from fundamental concerns. Most people agree that oversight is needed when it concerns such a large faction of men, women, and children. Even people with a tendency to balk at all government relationships realize this is needed to ensure continuity and functionality. While healthcare reforms are constantly in the press it is never said that it should not be regulated just that the policies themselves need an overhaul.

The origins of healthcare regulations are a turf war that has been fought for nearly 150 years by federal and state regulators. Division of control has caused tension in oversight committees from the beginning. Basic oversight of key players, such as, doctors, hospitals, and insurance companies are completed at a state level. Sanitation, epidemic investigations, public health programs, and restaurant inspections are regulated on a local and state level but the CDC is an essential tool for collaboration on a national level. The CDC is regulated by a federal oversight committee. The private sector entered the healthcare debates in the early 20th century. The American Medical Association (AMA) was a key player in developing the private sector. They sponsored and created many organizations that are still in effect regarding regulations. The AMA is responsible for many of the committees that oversee medical college accreditations, medical licensure and certifying specialists. Hospitals also have committees that serve as overseers called Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations JHACO). The oversee the accreditation of hospitals and nursing home facilities.

The pros and cons of healthcare are ultimately decided individually. A penalty for not having healthcare could be considered a con. Having healthcare could be considered a pro. Not having healthcare could be a pro because of the out of pocket expenses. A pro could be just paying the penalty instead of the out of pocket expenses. It is simply a personal decision. Should it be regulated at federal or state level? Again, there are many people in both camps over this issue. When the votes are tallied the majority wins either way. The nation must take into consideration what each oversight committee is regulating and who is better for the job before they can cast an informed ballot.

Works Cited:

  1. Carey, Mary Agnes. “Feds vs. States: Who Should Run Health Market?”, NBCUniversal News Group, 15 Jan. 2010,
  2. “Facts on the Affordable Care Act.” Obamacare Field, Robert I. “Why Is Health Care Regulation so Complex?” P & T : a Peer-Reviewed Journal for Formulary Management, MediMedia USA, Inc., Oct. 2008,
  3. Facts,
  4. “How Has the American Healthcare System Changed?” HealthMarkets,
  5. HunterMore, Brad, and Brad Hunter. “Nothing Free about Canada's 'Free' Health-Care System: Fraser Report.” Toronto Sun, 31 July 2018,
  6. Paavola, Alia. “$28k: The Average Price a Family of 4 Will Spend on Healthcare in 2018. A Typical American Family of Four Insured by the Most Common Employer-Sponsored Health Plan Can Expect to Spend More than $28,000 on Healthcare in 2018, According to the Annual Milliman Medical Index Report. .” Becker's Hospital Review,
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