It’s not surprising that so many people like the ACA (Affordable Care Act), and that it’s been difficult for Republicans to repeal.
ACA (Obamacare) versus AHCA
Here are 12 reasons people like the ACA (also known as Obamacare), along with detail in supporting charts that compare it with the Republican’s American Health Care Act (AHCA). Most of this work is attributed to The Century Foundation.
1. The uninsured rate across all ages and income levels has fallen to the lowest level on record, thanks to the ACA’s health insurance exchanges, Medicaid expansion, and other provisions.
2. States that expanded Medicaid have seen much larger gains in health insurance coverage. Texas, which had the lowest uninsured rate, is one of those that chose not to expand Medicaid. Shameful.
3. Millions more workers are now protected against financial ruin because of the ACA banned caps on insurance benefits.
4. National health expenditures are still high, but the ACA has flattened the growth curve below pre-ACA projections. In fact, costs have risen at the slowest rate in over fifty years since the ACA was enacted, and projections of future costs have fallen sharply.
5. By shifting from fee-for-service business models to incentives based on outcomes and value, the ACA has caused a decline in unnecessary testing and a related savings in costs. As a result, 83% of consumers buying health insurance through HealthCare.gov are paying no more for premiums in 2017 than 2016, so clearly the ACA is still working.
6. The quality of care received by hospitals patients has improved since the ACA. There have been much fewer hospital-acquired conditions and a sharp drop in readmission rates.
7. The ACA has also been good for the economy in general. It has substantially improved the long-term budget outlook, according to the CBO, and it even extended the life of the Medicare Trust Fund by 11 years.
8. GOP-fueled rumors of an impending ACA “death spiral” were debunked by analysis of the latest state-level data by The Brookings Institute, showing that premium increases are not having a significant effect on insurance sign-ups.
9. The GOP’s American Health Care Act (AHCA) would have caused 24 million people now insured under the ACA to lose insurance, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The latest rumored changes to that would worsen those projections.
10. Consumers know that the American Health Care Act (TrumpCare) is more about tax reform than health reform, shifting federal funds away from helping low- and middle-income Americans get health care, and instead giving large tax breaks to special interests and high-income Americans. Seniors under the age of Medicare eligibility would be harmed the most, especially those with low-income. The after-tax premium increase for a 64-year-old making $26,500 would be $12,900. Someone that age making $1,000,000 would get a $12,900 tax cut.
11. Repealing major ACA revenue provisions would mostly benefit Millionaires. 800,000 people in 20 states and D.C. would lose billions of dollars in tax credits to give tax cuts to just the top 400 households.
12. People who self-report having better health have higher employment rates and earnings, and that helps drive the economy and GDP.