¶ … Affordable Care Act
Health policy issue in the United States
The Affordable Care Act (ACA)
The United States ACA is a vital healthcare law for the benefit of the multitude of American citizens unable to pay for quality healthcare for themselves and their families. President of the U.S., Barack Obama put the Act into effect on 23rd March, 2013. It was created for the purpose of according every citizen the opportunity of receiving quality healthcare services for prevention and cure (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2013).
Timeline of evolution and events that led to the policy's creation
Autumn 2008: U.S. Democratic party presidential candidate Obama mentions a new healthcare policy
July 2009: Democratic legislators reveal their plans, in the form of a 1,000-page document, for revolutionizing the present U.S. healthcare system.
August 2009: Policymakers discover concerns among citizens with respect to "Obamacare," with one policymaker stating that citizens are stunned by the numerous changes that have taken place in only eight months since President Obama was sworn into office.
November 7, 2009: The healthcare reform plan of the House is approved by a 220-215 vote by the House.
December 24, 2009: The Senate version of the plan is also approved by the Senate in a 60-39 party-line vote.
March 2010: The President, as well as Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, press Democrat policymakers to ensure the ACA's passage.
March 21, 2010: The House approves the Senate plan in a 219-212 vote.
March 23, 2010: The ACA is signed by President...
On this occasion, the President states that "We did not fear our future, we shaped it."
June 2010: The ACA's first key provision is implemented, permitting adults having existing health conditions to enter provisional high-risk pools, slated to be terminated after the ACA comes into force.
September 2010: More of the ACA's components take effect
September 2011: It becomes mandatory for health insurers to go public; rates should be increased 10% or higher.
November 6, 2012: Barack Obama wins a second term as President, ensuring that the ACA will continue.
January 2013: Pre-tax contribution limit to flexible spending accounts gets capped at 2,500 dollars per annum.
January 1, 2014: The majority of ACA changes take effect (Affordable Health California, 2015).
Why the policy is considered effective
A study conducted by a group of data researchers and reporters has proven that, following a full year of the ACA's complete implementation, the Act has, for the most part, been successful in its key aims. However, it also has some shortcomings, inducing strong conservative criticism.
1. Has the act helped reduce the share of uninsured individuals in the nation?
Yes, a significant decrease in uninsured persons can be seen.
1. After the ACA's enactment, has insurance become affordable?
It has for numerous individuals; but there are still some, who cannot afford insurance.
1. Are there any improvements in health outcomes that may be attributed to the ACA?
There is scant data available, with the exception of the young population group.
1. Is there any hope of online exchanges working more effectively this year, compared to the last?
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