News Update

Here's what the Obamacare ruling means for you

The Supreme Court’s dismissal Thursday of the latest Republican-led challenge to the landmark health reform law, widely known as Obamacare, leaves in place the existing system.
The act, which has survived multiple Republican attempts to tear it down in the 11 years since it was signed, has had a sweeping impact on the nation’s health care system and on the lives of tens of millions of Americans.
Roughly 31 million people have coverage thanks to the Affordable Care Act, including through the Obamacare exchanges and the expansion of Medicaid to low-income adults. The law also allows parents to keep their children on their health insurance plans until age 26 and enables patients to obtain free mammograms, cholesterol checks and birth control.
One of the law’s most popular provisions is its strong protections for those with pre-existing conditions, including barring insurers from denying coverage or charging higher premiums based on people’s health histories.
Nearly 54 million Americans — or 27% of non-elderly adults — have pre-existing conditions that would make them uninsurable in the individual market prior to the law, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. As many as 133 million Americans could have been denied coverage, had their benefits delayed or curtailed or had to pay more for individual market policies because of their medical backgrounds, according to an Obama administration report.
Over the past year, as the coronavirus pandemic and resulting economic downturn have gripped the nation, the Affordable Care Act has served as a safety net for Americans who’ve lost their jobs — and their health insurance along with it — and for the uninsured seeking coverage. Enrollment in both the Affordable Care Act exchanges and Medicaid have risen since the outbreak began in March 2020.
Since taking office. President Joe Biden has moved to strengthen the Affordable Care Act and embed it even more deeply in the nation’s health insurance system, including swiftly moving to overturn many of former President Donald Trump’s efforts to chip away at the law.
Biden has already reopened enrollment in the federal Obamacare exchange and beefed up marketing, outreach and assistance in signing up for policies. About 1.2 million people so far have signed up on the federal exchange for 2021 coverage during the special enrollment period, which runs from mid-February through mid-August.
And his administration is reversing Trump administration approvals of work requirements in Medicaid, which threatened to strip coverage from many people who gained it through Obamacare’s expansion of the program.
Though several of the Affordable Care Act’s provisions are popular with most Americans, the public remains deeply divided over the law itself. Overall, some 54% of people had a favorable opinion and 39% had an unfavorable opinion of Obamacare in February, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
But breaking it down by party, 82% of Democrats favored the law, while only 17% of Republicans did. And 75% of Republicans had an unfavorable view, compared to 10% of Democrats, the Kaiser poll found.
The case was brought by a coalition of Republican state attorneys general after Republican efforts to repeal it failed in Congress.
The states argued the act’s individual mandate was rendered unconstitutional when Congress reduced the penalty for not having coverage to $0, and therefore, the entire law must fall. The Trump administration sided with the Republican states and urged the justices to strike down the law — a position the Biden administration reversed in February.
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Most Popular

To Top