The Affordable Care Act


Sahiba Kaur

By merely being at AES, we are given a type of privilege most of society does not receive. The affordable care act has received plenty of recent attention in the press and has risen in the public interest, not only because of prominent public figures but also because of the global pandemic. More and more people are falling ill, but they are left with a much longer and brutal sickness after getting treatment: crushing hospital bills and debt. Having healthcare is a human necessity that, at the moment, only the elite can receive. This article will mainly focus on how effective the Affordable Care Act has been during the pandemic. But firstly, to give you an overview of what the Affordable Care Act actually is, and its purpose:

(1) to reform the private insurance market—especially for individuals and small-group purchasers, (2) to expand Medicaid to the working poor with income up to 133% of the federal poverty level, and (3) to change the way medical decisions are made.

The act is meant to give affordable health insurance to every American, although the issue of healthcare can be considered international. Although a human necessity, health care is not widespread, and in most countries such as the U.S., only the very rich can afford health insurance; only around 2.1-6.8% depending on the region in the states can afford healthcare. In the U.S., to make healthcare more affordable, policymakers could offer tax credits to people with incomes above the current eligibility threshold and increase tax credits’ generosity for those already eligible.

Furthermore, they also could make reinsurance, which protects individual market plans against high medical costs, permanent, which would provide a sense of security to individuals.

The U.S. could also implement policies from countries such as Australia, which have a very insured health care system. Even though the U.S. has one of the most expensive health care systems, it is, as mentioned, not available to everyone. Hence, the U.S. should have a system that uses universal coverage to ensure everyone has access to care.

Moreover, strengthening primary care is key to high performance, and streamlined payment and electronic record systems help patients and doctors. The Affordable Care Act is a building block, now it is time to add and improve it so that it is more effective and reaches a wider range of people especially in this time of crisis. The ACA is something that has been giving a ton of attention due to “socialists,” or self-described “democratic socialists,” such as Senator Bernie Sanders and Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez, faces of the progressive movement in today’s society. The pandemic has exposed the best and worst aspects of our community, especially our healthcare system. People should have a security net when their health is at risk; getting better health care seems so mundane, but it has been a heavy subject of debate in politics today. Fixing our healthcare system won’t only help our economy, but it will make sure that each individual can have a sense of security on the brink of uncertainty.