The new rules that are being implemented with the introduction of The Affordable Care Act, often referred to as Obamacare, have been the source of a lot of debate and controversy. Although this act will decrease healthcare costs for a large portion of Americans and will help eliminate the problems that arise when an uninsured person gets sick, it will also increase the financial burden of healthcare on some people and cause a variety of new issues.
Pro: Obamacare Insures the Uninsured
Developing severe health problems when uninsured is one of the biggest causes of financial hardship in modern America. The enormous costs of medical bills have been financially ruinous for countless individuals and families. Furthermore, despite not having a single payer national healthcare system, the US spends more per capita on healthcare than many countries with a national healthcare system. This cost happens partially because people in emergencies are cared for, then charged after. If a person cannot pay for their medical bills, the money has to come from somewhere. Ensuring that everyone is insured helps prevent people and the public from having to deal with these unexpected burdens.
Con: Obamacare Forces You to Pay Money
Although some exclusions make it so that you do not have to pay for an approved insurance plan, most people will not qualify for these exclusions. If you do not qualify for an exclusion and fail to sign up for a plan, you will be responsible for a fine that is determined by your total yearly income. Many people who choose not to purchase health insurance do so because they do not feel that it is a good investment at this point in their lives. They may not be able to afford it or will have to decrease their standard of living to afford it. Not only will this new cost decrease the quality of life for some, but it may also have damaging effects on the economy as people will have less disposable income.
Pro: You Can't Be Denied Coverage or Dropped Due to Being Sick
One of the biggest hurdles for many people to get health insurance has been that people with preexisting conditions would be denied coverage. Obamacare prevents insurance companies from denying people insurance based on preexisting conditions. It also prevents them from dropping people who get sick or denying them payment. This rule means that insurance companies are forced to give people what they've paid for without any hassle or fuss.
Con: Increased Premiums
Although it is good that people who are sick will get the coverage that they need, it also expensive. If a person with a chronic pre-existing condition signs up for an insurance plan under Obamacare, they will only ever cost the company money, meaning that other people in the system will have to pick up the slack to cover their costs. Although these costs are somewhat mitigated by the increased number of people paying into these insurance plans, many insurance plans will go up in price as an effect of the increased amount of money being spent for medical services and supplies.
Healthcare is a complex, contentious issue. It is unlikely that a country as large and with as diverse opinions as the US will ever reach a conclusion that is satisfactory for everyone. Although Obamacare helps a lot of people's situations, it also hurts others. However, it has become the law, so you absolutely must sign up for an insurance plan before the Affordable Care Act goes into effect.
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