Affordable Care Act or "Obamacare"
The ACA was needed because too many Americans were not insured by health insurance. It is an attempt to reform the health care system.
The information that follows is how the law was created through the domestic policy making process and how it is viewed today.
Step 1: Recognizing the Problem/ Setting the Agenda
Before Barack Obama was elected President, he campaigned to reform health care. He said in a debate that he plans to make health care affordable for everyone in America. He also said he thought the health insurance companies would not mind the mandate he had planned because it would make more people have to purchase their product. All of this would in return have more people have coverage than ever before. Health insurance companies before the ACA had the ability to take advantage of their consumers. They could deny coverage to children who had asthma or were born with a heart defect. They could also put a cap on the amount of care they would actually pay for. Also, they would even find an accidental mistake in your paperwork so they could cancel your coverage when you got sick. At this time 45.7 million Americans were uninsured. That is 15% of the U.S population.
Step 2: Formulating the Policy
Step 3: Adopting the Policy
In Congress the political parties were split when it came to this topic. The Democrats were for it but the Republicans were not. Every Republican voted no for the bill but it was now left in the hands of the president. In March 2012, president Barack Obama signed the bill into law.
The Affordable Care Act is a social distributive domestic policy. This means that it is supposed to work to improve individuals lives.
Step 4: Implementing the Policy
This law has many different aspects to it but one main part of it is that insurance companies can not turn anyone down who had pre-existing conditions. Before the law, insurers could deny coverage to people for something as small as asthma. Another key part is the individual mandate. This says that everyone has to be covered by health insurance.
There are some people that cannot afford health insurance so there is something called tax credit. If you qualify for this it can cover a share of the health premiums. Someone that would qualify for a tax credit would have to have an income lower than $15,282. For example of how tax credit works is, if a family would be paying around $450 a month for their plan, the tax credit would reduce it $202.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is in charge of all the tax provisions in the ACA law. There are tax provisions for individuals and families such as the premium tax credit and there are also provisions for employers and other organizations. Other provisions are individual shared responsibility and health coverage exemptions.
Step 5: Evaluating the Policy
Nather, David. "The Big Change: Covering Pre-existing Conditions." Politico. 1 Oct. 2013. Web. 17 Nov. 2014.
Nather, David. "The Tradeoff: The Individual Mandate." Politico. 1 Oct. 2013. Web. 17 Nov. 2014.Nather, David. "Beware of the Obamacare Talking Points." Politico. 1 Oct. 2013. Web. 17 Nov. 2014.
"Health Care That Works for Americans." The White House. Web. 13 Nov. 2014.
Suderman, Peter. "Yes, Jonathan Gruber Is An Obamacare “Architect”." Reason.com. 18 Nov. 2014. Web. 2 Dec. 2014.