Affordable Care Act works even if the website doesn’t

Added October 31st, 2013 by Jan Hudson | Email This Entry Email This Entry
Jan Hudson

Amid all the reports of problems with the launch of healthcare.gov, the new federal health insurance Marketplace website – and there have been big problems – it is important to be reminded of the opportunity and security that the Affordable Care Act is providing.

A recently released report concludes: “In short, the Affordable Care Act is working even better than expected, producing more coverage for much less money.”

Premiums for plans sold in the Marketplace are lower than initially projected due to competition, according to the report. In addition, millions of people who did not have access to healthcare coverage due to a pre-existing condition, a lifetime limit or unaffordable insurance  will now have access to affordable, quality coverage.  As an added bonus, the lower premiums are expected to allow an additional 700,000 people to obtain coverage, further reducing the number of uninsured.

While the premiums are lower than initially projected, that does not mean they are not expensive. Insurance is expensive, and health insurance is no exception.  Fortunately, the Marketplace offers many options, and more importantly to make coverage affordable, premium tax credits. These premium tax credits are available immediately — no need to wait until tax time — to reduce the out-of-pocket premium costs for low- and middle-income Americans. Premium tax credits will allow uninsured Americans to purchase comprehensive coverage. They will no longer have to fear being one accident or diagnosis away from economic disaster.

The fact that Marketplace premiums are lower than initial projections is also good news for the federal budget. That means less federal spending for subsidies, resulting in a reduction in the federal deficit.

Medicare Part D experienced a similarly troubled launch – many declared it a disaster. However, policymakers worked together to resolve the issues and find solutions. It has evolved into an extremely popular program. It is time for policymakers to do the same with the Affordable Care Act – set aside politics and focus on solutions to allow this historic act to work as it is intended for the benefit of all Americans.

— Jan Hudson

One Response to “Affordable Care Act works even if the website doesn’t”

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