On 23rd March 2010 a new kind of health reform was implemented in the USA. Patient Protection Affordable Care Act (PPACA), or Affordable Care Act (ACA), colloquially coined Obamacare was introduced in the health care space.
The last time the Federal Government took a similar initiative was way back in 1965, by introducing Medicaid and Medicare. Health insurance is an extremely vital investment for every American, especially because the medical care costs are extremely high and mostly unaffordable.
Any new program introduced for masses will inevitably face a lot of opposition and debates. Obamacare too had some strong opposition and retaliation from the Republicans. Many bureaucrats were strongly opposed to the ACA, which they said was a burden on the U.S. people. However, battling innumerable questions and objections, Obamacare has been able to complete 5 years in the healthcare industry.
Data shows a huge difference in the number of health insurance enrollees in the USA over the last 5 years. Overall, there has been 22% reduction in the rate of uninsured ever since ACA has been introduced. Different states are also reporting a reduction in the uninsured numbers. With the Open Enrollment 2017 beginning from November 1st, 2016, it is better you are prepared to enroll into a health plan that suits your budget and needs.
Here is a comprehensive list of changes Obamacare has brought about in the last 5 years:
Lowered spending and brought huge reduction in uninsured rates
USA spends- $2.6 trillions less
Uninsured rate falls- 9.1% in 2015
Projected spending- 13% less by 2020
According to the June 2016 Urban Institute report on total coverage and costs, the long-term projections of spending is found to be $2.6 trillion less. Spending projected by 2020 should ideally be 13% less, while the rate of uninsured has fallen to 9.1% in 2015.
Increase in enrollment – auto-renewals, renewals, and new enrollments
ObamaCare enrollees- 6.5 million by 2014
Auto-renewals and renewals- 4.5 million
New enrollment- 2 million
By 2014 end, around 6.5 million people were enrolled in the Obamacare Health Exchange plans. The figure included around 4.5 million auto renewals and renewals, also 2 million new enrollees.
Enrollment- Federal and State Health Insurance Marketplace
Open enrollment through Federal and State Health Exchange- 11.7 million
in 2015 end
Medicaid and CHIP covered- 10.8%
Children till 26 years able to live under parents’ plan- 5.7 million
Again, by open enrollment 2015 end, around 11.7 million Americans were enrolled in the Federal and State Health Insurance Marketplaces. Only Medicaid and CHIP had covered 10.8% and 5.7 million youths under 26 years were able to stay on their parents’ health insurance coverage. Millions of others were covered under the expanded coverage provided by employers under Obamacare and with private players who worked out of the marketplace.
PPACA provides access and increases affordability
Huge reduction in people uninsured
The uninsured numbers are lowest since 2001
Commonwealth Fund reported in its January 2015 edition that there has been a marked reduction in the uninsured population. They have been able to increase affordability and provide access to healthcare under PPACA. In certain cases, the total number of uninsured is found to be the lowest since 2001. The trends have been especially observed for those with low earnings and are young. This clearly indicates that more and more Americans are now able to think of purchasing health care, without bothering too much about medical debts.
Slowest growth rate in healthcare expenditure after 1960
Through ACA- costs can be minimized
Slowest health cost growth- in 2014 (after 1960)
Lowest rate of inflation in health care costs in 50 years
As ACA provides means to curb costs, the growth rate in health care expenses was the slowest in 2014, after 1960. Also, inflation in health care costs was the lowest in the last 50 years.
Around 8.2 million senior Americans saved $11.5 billion
Savings for 8.2 million senior citizens- $11.5 billion
Each beneficiary saves- $1047
Around $11.5 billion was saved by 8.2 million senior citizens since 2010 in their prescription drugs. That means about $1047 for each beneficiary.
ACA enabled savings from fraud in America
Total savings in fraud- $19.2 billion
$10 million more than 2010
ACA has helped in saving more than $19.2 billion that America incurred through fraud activities. This amount is around $10 million more than what was found five years back in 2010.
1.3 million less spending in hospitalization conditions due to ACA provisions
ACA provisions between 2010 and 2013- 1.3 million less in
Less lives lost- 50,000
$12 billion savings in health care costs
Initial updates in the database showed ACA provisions brought around 1.3 million lesser events between 2010 and 2013. Here events signify those health conditions like ulcers, pressure, trauma, fall, etc. that could lead to hospitalization. Hence, around 50,000 fewer people had lost lives, leading to $12 billion savings in health care costs.
In a recent article by the US President, he has mentioned that more corrections will be done on the existing health insurance plans designed under Affordable Care Act. Whether ACA has made the US citizens pay more towards their health care coverage is a debate that will go on for long. The 8 above mentioned changes are indicating positive traits as of now.