The Affordable Care Act

"Obamacare" By, Kathryn Gentile

Step One: Recognizing the Problem / Setting the Agenda

This act was introduced as a response to deal with the rising healthcare costs and the large amount of people who were uninsured. Prior to the act their was about 17.87% uninsured nationally, which is approximately 46 million people. Legislators recognized the problem. Congress decided, with the election of Obama, to go about making a bill to provide needed health insurance coverage to all Americans.

Step Two: Formulating the Policy

The Heritage Foundation is who put forth the concept. They wanted to have “Medicare for All” and was proposed by the Clinton Administration. Since then it was proposed and expanded between both political parties and then implemented by governor Romney. In the 2008 presidential election, health care reform become a major topic of discussion for the democratic party. One of the people that helped to write "obamacare" was a man by the name of Robert Creamer. He is a convicted felon and wrote 628 pages while in prison. Another person who helped in the writing/formulating process was Dr. Jonathan Gruber, a professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. There was another professor who had a role in this process named John McDonough. He is a professor of public health at the Harvard School of Public Health, and is a former member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives.

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Step Three: Adopting the Policy

Beginning in 2009, Obama began with the effort to pass the “Affordable Health Care Act for America.” Next, was “The Patient Protection Act” which formulated into the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act 2010” or “the Affordable Care Act.” After the multiple changes President Obama signed the The Affordable Care Act into law on March 23, 2010. There is a lot of debate in Congress over this act. John McDonough wrote in his book regarding the health reform debate, that it "was one of the most important and difficult policy challenges in crafting a health reform law."Congress challenged with how generous the tax credits should be. There was an intense argument over whether they would or would not cover abortions. But, one thing that was never debated was whether they would limit the subsidies to states that built their own exchanges. The subsidies were thought to be needed to make the Affordable Care Act work. Chris Condeluci said "we never argued over this particular provision." The following video below described exactly how this act works.

ObamaCare for Dummies: The Affordable Care Act Explained

Step Four: Implementing the Policy

This law is enforced and violators will have to pay a price. For this year, 2014, failing to buy insurance will cost $95 for an individual or 1 percent of annual income, whichever of the two is more money. In 2015, the fee will raise to $325 (or 2 percent) and by 2016 it will be $695 (or 2.5 percent). The maximum penalty for 2014 is $2,448 for an individual which is a limit reached only by those with high incomes. For a family of five, the max would be $12,240. But what if even the cheapest option is still too much? Then, you can ask for an economic hardship exemption to avoid the penalty. If you qualify, you might consider a catastrophic health insurance plan in the individual market. Beginning in 2014, catastrophic plans (which have much lower premiums in exchange for high deductibles) will only be available to the people with granted hardship exemptions and to people under age 30. It will be mandatory for Americans to buy traditional plans.

The catastrophic health insurance will only provide coverage for major medical expenses. Also, before it will apply you a deductible will have to be paid.

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Step Five: Evaluating the Policy

President Obama repeatedly promised that this plan would guarantee the medical care people need, this may not exactly be the same as the care that people want. One of the challenges for Obamacare is for it to stop being ignored by providers.Obamacare most likely mirrors the current system, with both its strengths, frustrations and imperfections. It will closely resemble the existing employer-linked coverage that most Americans enjoy and not be totally different from Medicare, which was done on purpose. It is a leap forward for those who do not have affordable coverage today. For those with adequate coverage already, the changes will be nearly invisible and the frustrating features to patients and providers will continue. Obamacare backers over promised which led to some disappointment.The main difference is that nearly everyone will be able to get the care they need no matter what situation. The first video below explains why Obamacare is looked at as a good thing while the second video argues the opposing viewpoint.

Obamacare is Working: Uninsured Rate Drops
Obamacare's Impact on Families & Future Generations


"Obamacare (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act)." Obamacare. Web. 18 Nov. 2014. <>.

"ObamaCare Facts: Affordable Care Act, Health Insurance Marketplace." Obamacare Facts. Web. 18 Nov. 2014. <>.

"ObamaCare Facts: Affordable Care Act, Health Insurance Marketplace." Obamacare Facts. Web. 18 Nov. 2014. <>.

"Uninsured Will Pay the Price." Affordable Health California. Web. 18 Nov. 2014. <>.

"What If I Can't Afford Insurance under Health Care Reform? A Guide to Hardship Exemptions." What If I Can't Afford Insurance under Health Care Reform? A Guide to Hardship Exemptions. Web. 5 Dec. 2014. <>.

Jaffe, Jim. "Evaluating Obamacare: A Guide for the Perplexed." The Huffington Post., 18 Dec. 2013. Web. 18 Nov. 2014. <>.

"The Shocking Truth About Who Wrote Obamacare." Dave Hodges – The Common Sense Show. Web. 5 Dec. 2014. <>.

"Who Actually Wrote the Affordable Care Act?" Nox Friends. Web. 5 Dec. 2014. <>.

"Rates of Uninsured by State Before & After Obamacare." Wallet Hub Blog. Web. 5 Dec. 2014. <>.

"Congress Had Lots of Obamacare Fights. Ending Some Subsidies Wasn't One of Them." Vox. Web. 5 Dec. 2014. <>.