I generally agree with the idea that the government should engage more actively with its constituents regarding federal policies to challenge the submerged state, but I believe the effects of the Affordable Care Act did not go unnoticed. Many initiatives in the ACA took years to implement, and they took effect gradually over the course of several years. A few of the milestones, such as long-term care insurance (2011), 3.8 percent surcharge on individuals who make over $200,000 (2013) and prohibition of insurance companies from denying individuals with preexisting conditions (2014) were all implemented after the 2010 midterm elections. Indeed, one of the most important pieces of the ACA — the Medicaid expansion — became effective in January 2014 and the Congressional Budget Office is continually updating the increase in health insurance coverage rate today. While there are provisions in the ACA that may go unnoticed, milestones like Medicaid expansion probably did not escape the public eye.
The staple of Barack Obama’s 2008 election platform was healthcare reform. However, soon after the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was signed into law, a majority of the American public supported its repeal. What happened? A landmark piece of legislation, many argue that the ACA brought the U.S. substantially closer to having a comprehensive healthcare system, an objective already accomplished by most high-income countries and one placed on many agendas since the Truman administration. Yet, as Prof. Suzanne Mettler, government, notes in her book, The Submerged State: How Invisible Government Policies Undermine American Democracy, the ACA’s accomplishments went largely unnoticed by the American public, and despite the successful expansion of health insurance coverage to millions of Americans, Democrats in Congress suffered great losses in the 2010 midterm elections following the ACA’s enactment.
The American Health Care Act is a misguided piece of legislation that, if enacted, could result in the loss of health care for tens of millions, increased premiums for the elderly, reduced protections for those with pre-existing conditions (encompassing everything from asthma to pregnancy to cancer to prior sexual assault), and signal the return of lifetime limits and reductions in employer coverage. This is a bad bill for America, and a bad bill for New York’s 23rd Congressional District.
As the Democrat and Republican candidates are getting closer to their race for the White House, one of the main curiosities of the general public is about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). Thanks to the ACA (popularly know as the Obamacare), for the first time in the history of the US, the uninsured rate among U.S. adults aged 18 and older has dropped to 11.6 percent in the third quarter of 2015. The uninsured rate has declined 5.5 percentage points since the fourth quarter of 2013. Under the ACA, the income limit for Medicaid eligibility has increased to 138 percent of the federal poverty level in 2014 for all people. Many poor adults who were ineligible before can now qualify for Medicaid.