The most controversial piece of legislation passed since President Obama came into office in January of 2009 has been the Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare.” Some support it, some are against and many find themselves in the middle as a shade of gray.
No matter where you stand, it has become common place to hear two people argue over the positives and negatives of “Obamacare.” Many on the “political left” find themselves in a constant battle with those on the “political right” who demonize the health care law simply because President Obama’s name is attached to it. For those who want to defend the positives, here are five facts that can be thrown out to counter a conservative argument.
1. Obamacare’s ’80/20′ rule has led to nearly $4 billion in savings:
One of the least talked about provisions in the Affordable Care Act is the “80/20” rule. The rule mandates that 80 percent of an insurance companies earning must be put back into medical services and not the paid back to the company or share holders.
“According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the new “80/20” rule, which requires insurers to spend 80 percent of every dollar earned on medical services, helped saved American consumers $3.9 billion in 2012.
The savings were divided into two areas. About $3.4 billion was saved by insurers keeping their premiums lower in order to comply with the new law and $500 million came in the form of rebates being sent back to consumers who overpaid for their premiums.”
2. ‘Obamacare’ has extended the life of Medicare by 10 years:
Medicare was created nearly 50 years ago and was considered a lifeline and safety net for seniors who needed health care after they retired. Once considered to be broke in the year 2016, a new report released earlier this shows that due to “Obamacare,” Medicare will be fully solvent for an additional decade.
“According to the “2013 Annual Report of the Board of Trustees of the Federal Hospital Insurance and Federal Supplementary Insurance and Federal Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust Funds,” Medicare will be solvent for two years longer than reported in the previous years report, and 10 years longer than reported back in 2009.
The Affordable Care Act saves $716 billion over the next decade from Medicare spending by reducing payments made to private insurers, hospitals and other providers.”
3. Number of uninsured Americans down to 4 year low due to ‘Obamacare’:
When President Obama originally spoke of his new health care reform, one of the main talking points he used was that there were nearly 50 million Americans currently uninsured. A report was released in 2012 that showed that because of “Obamacare,” the number of uninsured had dropped by over two million.
“A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that the number of uninsured Americans dropped in 2011 for the first time in four years. The largest increase in coverage comes from one of the highlighted provisions of “Obamacare,” college-age adults under the age of 26 being able to stay on their parent’s insurance.”
During the summer of 2012, a survey done by the Center for Disease Control which showed exactly how many more Americans were covered.
“NHIS data indicate that the number of Americans without health insurance coverage declined in 2011 by 2.3 million people to 46.3 million uninsured Americans. The share of all people without health insurance coverage also dropped — by nearly 1 percentage point, from 16.0 percent in 2010 to 15.1 percent in 2011. This is the largest decline in a single year in the percentage of people without insurance since CDC began collecting these data in 1997.”
4. The Affordable Care Act, ‘Obamacare,’ has saved seniors $4.5 billion:
After the financial crisis of 2008, senior citizens were hit harder than most. Struggling not just with their finances, but also with their health. Wondering if their Medicare would still hold up through the economic roller caster, older Americans questioned their future more than anyone else. A report was released in 2012 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services which stated that over five million seniors have saved, and will save millions of dollars because of the Affordable Care Act.
“Because of the health care law – the Affordable Care Act – the average person with traditional Medicare will save $5,000 from 2010 to 2022, according to a report today from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. People with Medicare who have high prescription drug costs will save much more – more than $18,000 – over the same period.
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius also announced that, because of the health care law, more than 5.5 million seniors and people with disabilities saved nearly $4.5 billion on prescription drugs since the law was enacted. Seniors in the Medicare prescription drug coverage gap known as the donut hole have saved an average of $641 in the first eight months of 2012 alone. This includes $195 million in savings on prescriptions for diabetes, over $140 million on drugs to lower cholesterol and blood pressure, and $75 million on cancer drugs so far this year. Also in the first eight months of 2012, more than 19 million people with original Medicare received at least one preventive service at no cost to them.”
5. States that refuse to expand Medicaid will lose over $8 billion:
When the conservative dominated Supreme Court upheld “Obamacare” by a 5-4 vote, supporters released a sigh of relief. While the landmark health care reform was still standing, not everything was staying in place. One of the mandates of the health care law was that all states would have to expand their Medicaid problem, letting more low-income families into the enrollment. Though the federal government is set to cover 100 percent of the costs for the first few years, as time goes on states will have to chip in, but no more than 10 percent coming out of their own pocket.
Many conservative “red states” have balked at the idea, standing by their opposition to “Obamacare”. Despite their stubborn stance, a new report from the Rand Corporation has shown that the states who refuse to expand Medicaid will lose billions of dollars.
“If 14 states decide not to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act as intended by their governors, those state governments collectively will spend $1 billion more on uncompensated care in 2016 than they would if Medicaid is expanded.
In addition, those 14 state governments would forego $8.4 billion annually in federal payments and an additional 3.6 million people will be left uninsured, according to findings published in the June edition of the journal Health Affairs.”