Is The Affordable Care Act Bad For America?
It has been two years since president Obama put a new health care reform into law, also named the affordable health care act plan (ACA).The reform obligates every individual to obtain health care insurance, or else penalized. The United States spends more on healthcare than any other industrialized nation. Even with Medicare and Medicaid; there are still almost 50 million people without healthcare coverage. By offering universal health care, the reform is a way to provide nearly 30 million new people with health insurance. The reform is needed now for its advantageous effects on some important aspects in health care and economy. Democrats, who are the leading voice when it comes to ACA, argue that the reform does not violate any constitutional law, and that the reform comes to improve Medicare laws, quality of health care, and lower premiums down as well. It’s also going to boost the economy by reducing national deficits. To begin with, the “individual mandate “ portion of the ACA plan, which states that every person is required to have health insurance or else penalized, is purely constitutional, and those who disagree with that did not take a deep look at the constitutional provisions. Under the constitutional provisions, Congress has the power to regulate interstate commerce (health insurance industry), “for the general welfare” among the several states (Wydra 2), to tax, and to enact “Necessary and Proper” clauses that are used to implement the previous powers. Due to the powers of Congress, the new health care law was enacted to regulate health insurance policies across the states, and under constitutional laws, Congress has the power to pose necessary and proper policies as well as regulate interstate commerce. So, the part of law that forces people to buy health insurance is constitutional. According to Wydra, “health care reform falls squarely within Congress’s power to enact necessary and proper legislation to carry out its power to regulate commerce and tax and spend for the general welfare” (3). Overall, the ACA did not violate any of three constitutional provisions. Moreover, the part of law that penalizes people who chose to stay uninsured is constitutional. The penalty here basically works as a tax, and if one looks deeply, it will be found that it is equal to the amount of money that would cost the uninsured to buy health insurance. This amount of money is used to cover the ACA plan expenses and subsidizes families who wish to purchase health insurance. So, “the provision really operates as a tax”, and under the constitutional laws, Congress has the power to tax (Metzger 633). Thus, the ACA plan is constitutional. Congress felt that changes in Medicare laws for seniors fell into their authority to pose necessary and proper policies. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) plan reforms Medicare Part C (which offers Medicare Advantage) and Part D plans (which covers prescription drugs through private insurance companies). It cuts Medicare advantage of Part C that provides benefits to seniors through private health insurance companies. These changes also close the coverage gap under Part D, also known as the” doughnut hole”, which states that beneficiaries who reach a limit of $2,700 of drug cost would fall in the doughnut hole where they must pay the entire cost of their prescription drugs until they reach a limit of $6,145 of drug cost. In fact, cutting Medicare Advantage does not mean cutting Medicare benefits. It would just direct the money towards increasing the quality of health care through more affordable preventive services. Besides, it would be pointless to waste a lot of money to cover benefits that are originally covered under the traditional Medicare plans (Parts A and Part B). As the article “Health Care Reform Does Not Cut Medicare Benefits” states, “starting in 2014, 85% of MA plans’ revenues must go towards benefits, not profits, or plans may be subject to...
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