On March 23, 2010 the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was passed into law. The ACA mandates that every taxpayer buy health insurance or pay a tax penalty if not purchased. Prior to the passing of the ACA, promises were made that were essential in passing the law and some of those promises have not been preserved. Not only were American’s rights trampled on by forcing them to purchase insurance coverage, but higher costs and penalties surround the Affordable Care Act. If the purpose of the mandate was to insure the uninsured, then why will the U.S. have those that were insured become the uninsured as well as a portion of the uninsured will remain uninsured?
Ilya Somin writes in her article “The federal government argues that the mandate is authorized by the Commerce Clause, the Tax Clause, and the Necessary and Proper Clause. All three arguments logically imply unlimited federal authority to impose virtually any other mandate, especially one that has economic effects of some kind. The only exceptions are those barred by individual rights provisions of the Constitution. In addition, it seems likely that Congress and various interest groups will try to take advantage of this slippery slope in practice” (Somin, 2012). In other words, the ACA is a “Trojan Horse” designed to move towards a single pay socialized medicine controlled by the federal government.
Based on the shattered promises, health care in the United States is no more affordable now than it was before the passing of the Affordable Care Act. For the individuals that exceed the 138% of the Federal Poverty Level they are the most in jeopardy of not having affordable health care. The negative effects of the ACA on those who had insurance and the changes that are taking place in the workforce are devastating. Those who meet the poverty levels already had Medicaid available to them, those who had employer plans have lost them and now have higher premiums and some employees have had their jobs eliminated or hours reduced so they can no longer afford coverage. The new premiums and deductibles exceed their already tight budgets.
One of the state’s options was to Opt In or Opt Out of the ACA Medicaid expansion. The Medicaid expansion would provide coverage for adults living below the poverty level. These adults have limited income potential and do not have access to an employer plan nor can they afford to purchase a health insurance plan. In states that do not Opt In of the Medicaid expansion, those below poverty may remain uninsured, but those with incomes between 100%-138% of the Federal Poverty Level may gain subsidized coverage in the Marketplace. The subsidies provided may not be sufficient to cover the full monthly cost of the insurance premium. If the subsidies do not cover the entire cost there is no incentive to purchase the insurance.
The promise of reduced premiums has not played out nor has the promise of keeping your current plan if you liked it. The once affordable employer plans...