From Issuepedia


Obamacare is the colloquial name for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka ACA, PPACA) enacted in 2010 in response to reform initiatives in 2009. It requires all health insurance plans to cover ten essential benefits:

  1. Outpatient care
  2. Emergency services
  3. Hospitalization
  4. Maternity and newborn care
  5. Mental health and addiction treatment
  6. Prescription drugs
  7. Rehabilitative services and devices
  8. Laboratory services
  9. Preventative services, wellness services, and treatment for chronic diseases such as emphysema, MS, or cancer.
  10. Pediatric services

It also prevents insurers from refusing coverage on the basis of "pre-existing conditions", which insurers were free to define however they liked (and could equate to basically anything ever recorded on your medical chart, such as a hangnail).

It has been attacked by the political Right, especially free market libertarians, since it was first proposed – despite being heavily based on a plan created by the right-libertarian Heritage Foundation think-tank and supported by the political right as an alternative to the Clintons' universal healthcare proposal in the 1990s. Attacks included:

  • distortions and misrepresentations (many people now believe popular myths about it)
  • fighting various provisions of the law so as to make it less effective:
    • the Medicaid expansion mandate (successful, see NFIB v. Sebelius); result:
      • states no longer have to accept it
        • leaving millions (who would otherwise have been covered) without healthcare...
          • ...because they fall into the gap between those who can benefit from tax subsidies and those poor enough to receive Medicaid
    • the individual mandate (unsuccessful, see NFIB v. Sebelius); results would have been:
      • eliminating a major revenue source for insurers
        • ...forcing them to raise insurance prices even more
    • tax credits to insured individuals outside of states which accepted the Medicaid expansion (unsuccessful, see King v. Burwell); results would have been:
      • many more individuals in Republican-controlled states who could not afford health insurance, thus:
        • deepening criticism against it (the law itself is blamed for the problems caused by damage to it)
        • removing a source of funding for it, increasing insurance costs
        • creating many more uninsured emergency room visits, increasing healthcare costs overall
    • screwed around with the "risk corridors" mechanism
      • causing difficulties which resulted in further rises in the price of insurance[1][2]
    • see also Constitutional challenges to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
    • further attempts to screw around with how insurers are reimbursed for high-risk loads (House v. Burwell, currently unresolved)[3]
      • ...which would similarly increase insurance prices





version 3

version 2

  • 2009-11-04 [Talk|Index] The Public Option Fight Continues – But How Exactly Does Reform Work? § “The basic theme of health care reform is that insurance would be mandatory, subsidized and regulated.” - an overview of the bills currently being reconciled
  • 2009-08-15 [Talk|Index] Why We Need Health Care Reform § “Our nation is now engaged in a great debate about the future of health care in America. And over the past few weeks, much of the media attention has been focused on the loudest voices. What we haven’t heard are the voices of the millions upon millions of Americans who quietly struggle every day with a system that often works better for the health-insurance companies than it does for them.”
  • 2009-08-11 [Talk|Index] The Whole Foods Alternative to ObamaCare § “While we clearly need health-care reform, the last thing our country needs is a massive new health-care entitlement that will create hundreds of billions of dollars of new unfunded deficits and move us much closer to a government takeover of our health-care system.”
  • 2009-07-15 [Talk|Index] A face of the uninsured, a state of denial § “A proponent himself of single-payer when he was but an Illinois legislator, Obama now counsels that the way to achieve universal coverage is by reforming – or "building on" – the private insurance system while bolstering the public insurance sector.”



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