The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is an important, yet controversial, piece of healthcare legislation in the history of the U.S. Around 10 years have gone by since the ACA was passed. Let’s take a look at what changes it has brought about, and where it stands now.
As per the data of 2016, the number of people without health insurance has decreased. Around 28.6 million people were uninsured in 2016. However, the number has gone up since then. The expansion in Medicaid eligibility resulted in more than 50 percent of coverage gains for new enrollment. The provision of dependent-coverage in ACA helped uninsured young adults opt for insurance.
Cost to the Government
Medicaid expansion, accompanied by all the subsidies and reforms, cost the federal government around $128 billion in 2019. The amount was considerably less than the original projected amount. Some of the reasons behind this were lower premiums in the marketplace, lower enrollment in the marketplace, and lower growth in healthcare costs.
Access to Care
Greater use of health services with improved access to care came with the rise in the number of people with healthcare insurance. The states that expanded Medicaid have witnessed higher usage of primary and specialty care services along with more access to prescription drugs within adults with low income.
Researches show that people, who have enrolled for ACA, have shelled out less amount of money as out-of-pocket health cost. Marketplace subsidies, Medicaid expansion, and the dependent-coverage provision of ACA are some of the reasons behind the reduced cost.
The effect of ACA on health has implemented mixed results. However, there has been a decrease in the number of deaths among middle-aged adults from cardiovascular diseases and end-stage renal diseases.
The Affordable Care Act has brought down the number of uninsured people to a record low while helping more people, especially with low-income, gain access to affordable healthcare services. However, the complexity of the healthcare system makes it hard to define the effect of ACA on the cost and quality of healthcare services.