Overview of the Affordable Care Act
The Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare, is a healthcare law introduced in the United States in 2010. Its main aim is to provide healthcare coverage to all Americans at an affordable cost. The ACA makes it mandatory for individuals to have health insurance or pay a penalty. The law also introduced the Health Insurance Marketplace, where individuals, families and small businesses can purchase insurance plans and receive financial assistance. The law also prohibits insurers from denying coverage due to pre-existing conditions and allows young adults to stay on their parents’ plan until they turn 26.
The ACA was passed during Barack Obama’s presidency and has faced considerable scrutiny and opposition from Republicans since its inception. The law has gone through several changes under the current administration’s Administrative Law. These changes have affected the affordability and accessibility of healthcare for many Americans.
Changes in Administrative Law under the Affordable Care Act
Administrative Law refers to the laws and regulations created by government agencies to implement statutes passed by the legislative branch. Under President Donald Trump, several Administrative Law changes have been made to the ACA that have affected the healthcare of millions of Americans. These changes include:
Removal of the Individual Mandate
The Individual Mandate required all Americans to have health insurance or pay a penalty. In 2017, President Trump signed a bill that removed this requirement, effectively eliminating the penalty. This change has made it easier for Americans to opt-out of purchasing health insurance, which has led to a decrease in the number of people enrolled in healthcare plans. This, in turn, has caused an increase in premiums since those who still purchase health insurance are disproportionately sick or have pre-existing conditions.
Expansion of Short-term Health Plans
Under the ACA, short-term health plans were only allowed for a maximum of three months. In 2018, the Trump administration expanded this time frame to 12 months, with an option for renewal for up to three years. This change has made it easier for insurers to offer cheaper plans with limited coverage, which has attracted healthy individuals away from the Health Insurance Marketplace. These plans do not have to cover essential health benefits, such as prescription drugs, maternity care, and mental health services. Those who purchase short-term health plans are more likely to face financial ruin in the event of a serious health condition.
Cut to Advertising and Enrollment Periods
The Trump administration also cut the advertising and enrollment period for the Health Insurance Marketplace. Advertising was decreased by 90%, and the enrollment period was shortened by six weeks. This has made it harder for Americans to find affordable healthcare coverage and enroll in it. This change disproportionately affects low-income individuals and those living in rural areas.
Medicaid Work Requirements
Medicaid is a federal program that provides healthcare coverage to low-income Americans. Under the ACA, states were given the option to expand Medicaid coverage to individuals who earn up to 138% of the federal poverty level. In 2018, the Trump administration introduced a policy that would allow states to impose work requirements for Medicaid eligibility. This change has made it harder for those in poverty to access healthcare coverage since many individuals cannot work due to health conditions.
In conclusion, the Affordable Care Act has faced several challenges under the current administration’s Administrative Law. These changes have affected the affordability and accessibility of healthcare for many Americans, particularly those with pre-existing conditions, low income, or living in rural areas. The removal of the individual mandate, expansion of short-term health plans, cut to advertising and enrollment periods, and introduction of Medicaid work requirements have all contributed to making it harder for Americans to access affordable healthcare coverage. It is important to understand these changes and their implications when making decisions about healthcare.