President Barack Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law on March 20, 2010. Prior to this mandate, individuals with pre-existing conditions were often unable to attain health care coverage. Controversy surrounded health care reform long before the enactment of the Affordable Care Act. While President Clinton’s administration failed to overhaul our nation’s health care system in 1993 with the Health Security Act, the Affordable Care Act was the most sweeping national reform since President Lyndon Johnson’s Social Security Amendments Act created Medicare and Medicaid. Although this law has faced fierce opposition, the Affordable Care Act will help Americans lead healthier lifestyles, while increasing their financial stability.
Under the Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare, insurance companies are no longer allowed to discriminate against individuals with pre-existing health conditions. Uninsured children with pre-existing conditions, such as cancer or diabetes, are now able to access health insurance plans. Not only are insurance companies now unable to reject health insurance plans for children hampered with pre-existing conditions, it is no longer legal for insurers to deny coverage to adults based on their medical history. Before Congress had passed this law, insurance companies were able to charge different prices for health insurance based on the gender or health status of an individual. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as of 2014, made it possible for every citizen to achieve health coverage, regardless of any previous medical condition (WebMD).
ObamaCare has also outlawed annual and lifetime limits that were often used by insurance companies as justification for the cancellation of policies. Before this law was passed, insurance companies could drop a customer if their medical bills exceeded a predetermined cap. Americans are now assured that pre-existing conditions and dollar-limits will no longer be a factor in their health insurance experience (ObamaCare: Pros and Cons of ObamaCare). Previous to ObamaCare, it was common practice for insurers to set a yearly limit for an individual’s covered benefits while many health insurers would set a lifetime balance, an amount of money a person could spend while enrolled in a specific health care plan. Although yearly limits and lifetime balances have been banned, dollar limits may be added under the new law if an individual is using their health care plan to pay for elective procedures that are not considered essential (United States Department of Health and Human Services).
Avik Roy of the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research wrote an editorial last September in USA Today titled “Not Affordable Care Act: Opposing View” (Roy). In his editorial, he argued, “it (the Affordable Care Act) mandates that insurers cover services that the government deems ‘essential’, such as drug-addiction therapy, that most people don't need.” ...