The Affordable Health Care Act And The U.S. Economy

1488 words - 6 pages

President Obama signed the Affordable Health Care Act (ACA) into law in March 2010. This law requires U.S. residence to have health insurance. If a person chooses not to obtain health insurance the law allows financial penalties to be imposed. Much of the law includes reforms such as guaranteed insurance access at prices that have nothing to do with the individual's actual health status. This causes people to remain uninsured until they are in need of the insurance. They are then able to purchase the insurance at average prices instead of at an increased cost due to the illness. This causes the insurance companies to increase premiums across the board. In the 1990's five states tried to change how non-group insurance operated by adding the requirement that all people can purchase insurance at an "average" price. By 2006 these five states were the most expensive states in the nation for purchasing non-group insurance. This proves there are financial consequences for mandating how an insurance company can accept or deny coverage.
This new law had trouble written on it from the beginning, starting with an all-out war in Congress all the way to the law suit and final ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court. The ACA could do more to change income distribution in the United States than any other law. This law affects our current health coverage, taxes and changes in Medicare and subsidies to offset the costs of the ACA. This new law will provide penalties to adults that are not considered poor. If an individual is offered affordable coverage and does not buy it they will be penalized. The ACA reduces subsidies for some Medicare plans and adds taxes to some of the individuals that are considered high-income. All Americans, at all levels will have their income directly affected by the ACA. This in turn will directly affect the American economy. This is a simple concept. The less money people have, the less they will spend.
The individual is not the only one affected. Any large or mid-sized employers who do not offer insurance coverage for their employees are fined. Recently, Hobby Lobby, a large employer has been in the news because they are fighting the requirement that they provide birth control coverage in their health insurance. There are those that have suggested that Hobby Lobby drop their health care insurance and pay the fine instead as the net cost will probably be cheaper for Hobby Lobby. This will however have other consequences. People who once had health insurance will be forced to use private insurance. Private insurance is usually much more expensive and the coverage is usually much less than employer offered health insurance. This will also have an effect on the employees willing to work at Hobby Lobby as part of the incentive for working at a corporation is the benefits package.
The ACA has created state insurance Exchanges where people can buy insurance. If they have a low enough income they can receive a subsidy from the...

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