By: Nashe Harley
The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, has faced criticism by both government officials and U.S. citizens alike.
Passed into law in 2010, the new healthcare law promised to cut the average cost of health insurance, allowing millions of uninsured and underinsured Americans to have access to quality medical care at affordable rates. Under the act, insurance companies must cover services such as outpatient and emergency care, surgeries and rehabilitation care. All plans must cover doctor visits, maternity care and prescriptions, among other services.
Like most new programs it is not yet perfect and still has room for improvement. But, the benefits certainly outweigh the concerns that have been raised. A lack of access to adequate healthcare has been a major concern for millions of U.S. families, many of whom have lost loved ones to illness while others still suffer because they are unable to afford basic care.
Under the law, young people are allowed to stay under their parents’ insurance until the age of 26. As a result, the rate of uninsured youth between 19 and 25 has fallen from 48 percent in 2010 to only 41 percent in 2012, according to a survey done by the Commonwealth Fund.
The law will allow the average person to purchase healthcare more easily. Websites enable people to compare the cost of coverage for various healthcare plans. Small businesses are now allowed to apply for a tax credit for their employees. For some, this will provide access to health coverage that would otherwise not be available.
Those with pre-existing medical conditions may no longer be denied services or have coverage canceled if they get sick.
Healthcare should not be considered a privilege available only to the fortunate, but a basic human right that everyone deserves.