Affordable Healthcare Act for all to benefit
Affordable Healthcare Act was first introduced as a reform bill in November 2009. At the insistence of President Obama senate spent a lot of time debating the clauses of this Act. It took some time for this to become the lay- the act was finally passed in March 2010. However, while some of its recommendations are already in the process of getting implemented, some will be rolled out in a phased manner till the year 2014.
It is an obvious curiosity to understand what the Affordable Healthcare Act is all about. This is a comprehensive Act on healthcare which focuses on making healthcare affordable for everybody- general public, small and medium business owners as well as the Federal government.
Some of the key features of the act are inclusion of every disease in the health insurance whether it is pre existing or not, no differences in the insurance rates on the basis of age or gender, special privileges for young adults under the age of 19 on the other side the Act also makes it mandatory for every US citizen to own a health insurance policy by 2014. Supreme court judgment has found this to be within the rights of the government. This has been looked upon as a kind of tax and government can make it mandatory for the citizens.
Another interesting feature of the Affordable Healthcare Act is the kind of transparency it imposes on the health insurance companies. The companies now need to declare how much of the premium money was actually spent on healthcare and how much was spent on sundry activities like marketing, administration etc. the rule that is being applied is 80/ 20 rule. Each company needs to target 80% of the premium spend on the healthcare charges. In case they spend less than that they need to return that money to the payers. This is a truly unique way of making the health insurance companies accountable.
Reactions to the Act
The reactions of the public to the affordable healthcare act have been quite mixed. There is a section of the people who have found this to be highly beneficiary and path breaking. There is another section, more or less made up of republicans, backed by insurance companies, who strongly oppose the act. In fact republicans see no merit in going forward with this act and intend to repeal it in case they come to power in the general reaction. However, there is no doubt that this issue has initiated a national debate of no small scale. The whole country seems to be involved in it- whether for or against. There are very few fence sitters.
The affordable healthcare act has strong backing of the Obama administration. In fact the success of this act is seen as the test for Obama’s fate in the upcoming general election. This act is going to play a major role in deciding who comes to power post the next general elections- Democrats or republicans.