The Affordable Care Act and Public Health

The Affordable Care Act and Public Health


After reading president Obama’s JAMA article I was surprised to read that the percentage of uninsured people in the United States dropped significantly from 16.0% in 2010 to 9.1% in 2015. More than likely, this occurred because of the individual mandate laws that came with the Affordable Care Act. Even though, these laws charge people penalties if they don’t purchase health care, I believe that the laws themselves aren’t as intrusive as they may seem. For example, people who belong to Native American tribes or people whose religion may have conflicts with the healthcare process are excluded from having to purchase healthcare. All in all, one can see the large scale change of the ACA through the statistics presented in the JAMA article.

Currently, my knowledge of politics and of the healthcare system are fairly weak, but I believe that even though Donald Trump is seen as a negative public figure, I will not let that cloud my judgment of his health care polices. Health care in general is a very complex subject but one thing that I have learned about Donald Trump’s healthcare plan is that he states that he will repeal and replace the ACA. Now I’m not against innovation but it seems to me that Mr. Trump is underestimating the complexity of the Healthcare system. The process to get to the affordable care act itself took several decades. I think that scraping the ACA would probably not be the right move. Instead, building on the ACA and working towards a more efficient heal care system would, in my opinion, be more practical for it would not simply trash an act that may not be perfect.

One improvement that I believe should be made is the expansion of Medicaid in every state to assure that low-income Americans are receiving the financial assistance to live healthy lives. Different opinions on that specific idea may exist but in general, I would prefer to know that every state gives its residents the opportunity to receive federal assistance with their health care needs. Secondly, I think that it is prudent that the United State create a program or organization to meet the health care needs for both undocumented adults and their children. This hits home for me, for I grew up knowing many people who were undocumented and as a result did not have the funds or assistance needed to get the health services they needed. This, I know, is a very political issue, however we need to think of the needs of our fellow human beings here in the US. The politics surrounding the issue of illegal immigration should not makes us ignore the pain and suffering that some undocumented families may go through as a result of not having access to some form of health care asistance.

11 thoughts on “The Affordable Care Act and Public Health

  1. When reading this article, I also was very surprised by the decrease of the uninsured because of Obama’s Affordable Care Act. It decreased the uninsured from 16% to 9.1%! That is the biggest decrease since Medicaid which was from around 20% to around 14%. I agree that the fact that having insurance is now a law influences the decrease, but still many people are excluded from having to be insured and many take the risk of paying the penalties because they could be cheaper than paying for insurance.

    It is election time, but during the 2016 presidential election, I will still 17, making me too young to vote. Because I cannot vote, I haven’t researched much about the two presidential candidates and their polices. That is why I am less knowledgeable in politics and policies than other people. I did not know what Donald Trump was planning to do with the ACA or our health care system until I read this blog post. I agree that he definitely doesn’t understand how difficult it is to make a change in our health care system considering it took 5 decades for another major change. So as of right now, I am not too worried about a new health care policy, because I believe it will take way longer than the length of one of their terms. From what I learned about the ACA so far, getting rid of it, I believe would not benefit America and/or me, personally.

    The two improvements that was mentioned in this blog post, I completely agree with. Expansion of Medicaid should be required for every state. Low-income families are struggling and not having any form of health insurance makes it harder for them to live healthy lives because they don’t have access to those opportunities . What I believe is a big problem in our health care system is the fact that insurance companies do not have the best in mind for their client, but only care about the money/profit they receive. Obamacare has definitely improved this unethical situation by not allowing health insurance companies to not insure people with pre-existing conditions, but there are still loop-holes which need to be addressed and terminated so everyone gets the best care they deserve.

  2. While reading President Obama’s article, the thing that was actually shocked me the most were the notions that the ACA would be a job killer. It took me a minute to grasp how health insurance related to employment, but then I remembered the pressure on businesses that the ACA has in place. I was kind of shocked that bigger businesses weren’t already required to offer health insurance to their employees. It seems to me like something that a company should be very involved in. After all, who can work if everyone calls in sick? I agree with your point that the amount of people who acquired healthcare over the decades was also something interesting.

    Approaching election season I am a bit worried because I believe the ACA was something that needed to happen. Donald Trump’s claims to repeal the ACA frighten me; because a lot of people are in much better health because of the ACA. I can’t help but wonder what will happen to all of the people who acquired healthcare due to the ACA if it is repealed.

    I am a proponent for free healthcare, but since there was so much uproar over the ACA I don’t see that happening anytime soon. Something I would like to see improved is the overall attitude regarding healthcare coverage in the United States. I want people to understand that health is a right, and not a privilege. I am still unable to understand why so many Americans are without coverage, and it sickens me to think of the people who die because they simply can not afford treatment. I also wish the political parties would work together instead of opposing each other because the health of the American people hangs in the balance and it is not something to be taken lightly.

  3. I too was surprised to see how much of a decrease in uninsured people there has been over the last few years with the Affordable Care Act. I knew there would be a decrease, I just did not expect it to be so large in such a small period of time. The JAMA article had many different points that I had not even thought of, such as when eliminating “fee for service” payment plans it actually helps health care organizations.
    I do not really know that much about either of the candidates’s health care plans. However, I do not think that the ACA should be completely repealed, I think there is defiantly room for improvement, but there are many positive benefits.
    I wish that more people could see the importance of having healthcare. I know many people who would be in financial ruin had they not had insurance, and it worries me that people still are avoiding getting coverage. I think the penalty for not getting health coverage could be increased to help combat this problem. Overall, I think the Affordable Care Act has had many positive outcomes.

  4. After reading the JAMA article, I was also surprised and impressed by the drop in the percentage of American citizens we were not covered by any form of health care. I feel like the Affordable Care Act has been picked apart by so many skeptics that all the good that it has done for the middle to lower class in our nation has been somewhat under appreciated. While I do see how some people may think that the government mandate may seem intrusive to people’s personal affairs, I do think that this mandate is necessary for the success of the ACA and that people should embrace the fact that they’re finally getting what should be considered a basic human right.

    With the presidential election coming up in just over a month, I am very worried for Donald Trump’s plans about how he will reform our healthcare system. I think that his goal of repealing the ACA is an idea that he needs to revisit. The fact that it even took as long as it did to make any change in America’s healthcare system should be a warning sign to him that repealing this act will be extremely difficult if not impossible. Also, the ACA has made a proven difference in the amount of Americans covered by health insurance. I am also worried for the people who could not afford healthcare before the ACA was created because the chances of them being able to afford healthcare without the ACA in place is very low.

    I am also a big proponent of free healthcare. The cost of healthcare is a burden that not all people can afford to carry even though health is a right that everyone deserves to have. While free healthcare does entail an increase in taxes, this would replace the large fees that people pay to insurance companies. The states that have not adjusted to the ACA should adjust to it because by not doing so, the middle and lower class citizens still may not have access to free healthcare. I agree that undocumented immigrants should be given healthcare as they do play a role in our societies and in our economy by making up large section of out working class.

  5. I agree with your view on Trump’s health care plans; although there are several cons that came out of the ACA, it would be very short-minded for Trump to completely remove it. It is clearly evident through the creation and establishment of the ACA that creating the most ideal health care system is not something that is not done in the span of a single weekend; it takes many, many years of hard work, patience, observation, and perseverance. It would be more efficient if Trump kept the ACA, and instead of completely removing it, made gradual, minor alterations. The ACA has improved the U.S’s health care system in many ways: more Americans are now covered by health insurance, people with pre-existing conditions are no longer denied coverage, and more screenings are covered. Yes, there are some cons that come with the ACA, increase in taxes being one of them, but there will always be sacrifices that must be made for the overall betterment of the greater good.

  6. After reading the JAMA article, I was also surprised by the magnitude the amount of uninsured people dropped by after passing the affordable care act. The number dropped from 49 million to 29 million which is astonishing. Even though it succeeded through demographic and economic obstacles, a big portion of the population talks really negatively about it which, considering its great success that is stated in President Obama’s JAMA article, is surprising.
    I am also worried about Donald Trump’s health care plan. His intention in repealing the ACA will cause the ground to shift under America’s feet. You make a great point bringing up the fact that it took decades to make a significant change in America’s health care system and according to research 18 million individuals would lose coverage. Also, Trump has many proposals in which he states what he is going to do but does not state how he is going to it and I find that very concerning.
    I think a good improvement would be the expansion of Medicaid in all states. It is proven that states who expanded their Medicaid experienced a higher reduction in the uninsured population than those who didn’t.

  7. I’ve always heard about the ACA when I was younger but I didn’t even consider researching it since I wasn’t worried about getting it being a child and all. As I quite surprised when I was reading Obama’s JAMA article as he clearly showed the impact the ACA is having on America’s population. It has opened my eyes into understanding the significance healthcare has on us especially when I heard that people with preexisting conditions were rejected. What’s the point of health care if it doesn’t help you with the condition that’s most likely to harm or even kill you? Now, more people can get the treatment they need when they weren’t able to afford before. Another thing I don’t understand is the backlash it received and still receives to this day. The other side sees it as socialization of medicine. My response to this is , if it’s the country’s job to protect us from outside forces, why can’t it protect our health as well?

  8. I can see where you’re coming from when you say that Donald Trump is underestimating the complexity of the healthcare system. I agree that although the Affordable Care Act falls short in many areas, but it would do more harm than good to repeal it, thereby undoing the main product of the past five decades of health care reform. Also, just by looking at the history of health care reform, I think it would be safe to say that if the ACA is repealed it will not be immediately followed by another piece of legislation. The main concerns I found with the ACA is that it grants the federal government too much overreach into state legislation and has not succeeded to lower the cost of health insurance, but it has also produced some good results. It succeeded in decreasing the number of uninsured people by a considerable amount and expanding the coverage of the health insurance agencies. Overall, the ACA has not been perfect by any means but is a step in the right direction for health care reform.

  9. The JAMMA article was very educational and helped me understand the Healthcare system a little better. As much as I think I know about the United States healthcare system, more can always be learned. Neither of the presidential candidates have an ideal healthcare plan but I am opposed to a socialized healthcare system with so much government involvement. While the affordable care act had good intentions, it has not provided the low cost coverage that was intended. Premiums have gone up and there are 1 million still uninsured because they cannot afford the Exchange program and many have lost their primary physicians. More work needs to be done to provide coverage for those who truly need it rather than increasing the cost of insurance across the board for everyone.

  10. I too was very surprised by the big change in people who were uninsured in the United States from 2010 to 2015. The ACA was very effective in helping people get health insurance. I feel like some people look at bad things like the poor functionality of when it first released. But we can all see how beneficial it was.
    In regards to the upcoming presidential election, I am not educated enough on the candidate’s views on health care to form an opinion.
    I agree with your idea for the government to create a program to help undocumented adults and their children. If this would to become a thing, it would also benefit many of my family members.

  11. I was not surprised by the drop in the amount of people covered while reading the article.Since the site to obtain health care had some issues many people might lose hope and give up. I agree that immigrants children who are born in the United States should get health coverage, but I do not feel that every undocumented adult should get coverage. Unless they have been working here and been a thriving part of their community. I still think that the first step should be to give the undocumented immigrants citizenship and then the rest will follow.

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