The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been a topic of dispute since its introduction and continues to be discussed by politicians in the U.S. and throughout the world even after its passage. The Act has many opponents and is the cause of much controversy nationwide, primarily because it introduces higher healthcare costs for the richest citizens. Nevertheless, the ACA is an important stage in the American healthcare development process as it not only allows more people to receive healthcare services, but will also reduce the deficit. However, not everyone agrees. The policy is controversial in terms of cost vs. benefits, but the benefits ultimately outweigh the costs.
One section of the ACA requires every U.S. citizen to purchase a health insurance plan. During the 2008 presidential election, Barack Obama promised that health insurance would become available for all people. The ACA is the legislative manifestation of this promise and was signed into law in 2010, largely becoming effective in the fall of 2013.The law was designed to change the system of healthcare provisions that has been in place in America for decades (Lieberman 45).
Each of the various changes introduced by the ACA aims to achieve part of the main goal of providing 30 million middle-class Americans with health insurance (Dunn 47). The ACA also gives more poor people an opportunity to be treated at hospitals. Under prior Medicaid guidelines, many people with low incomes did not have incomes low enough to receive any health care coverage even though they could not afford healthcare on their own. The new law targets all segments of the population, bringing greater benefits to the poor and middle classes. For the middle class, the law is expected to provide people who already have insurance with more of services for smaller premiums, and the ACA provides many of the poor with healthcare services previously unavailable to them. The plans offered to people with a low income covers a more limited range of services, but those programs allow them to receive some free consultation and medication (Dunn 68).
The ACA also targets populations with a higher annual income rate. Unlike the middle and poor classes, higher income earners are expected to pay greater sums of money as taxpayers to cover the expenses of treating poorer people. The number of services provided based on this increased payment is greater than what those covered previously received, though the services do not always meet the needs of the persons insured and rarely corresponds directly to the payment made by wealthier taxpayers. For example, the premium for people who are considered living beyond the poverty line is no more than 9.5% of their monthly income (Dunn 70).
An increase in health care service prices for the richest Americans and provision of cheaper healthcare insurance for those millions of people who could not previously afford it are not the only targets of the ACA. According to Lepore, the law also closely...