Affordable Care Act Explained U.S. Healthcare

President Trump and many Congressional Republicans ran on a platform that included repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare). Fulfilling this promise became a top priority for Republicans, and party leaders drafted the American Health Care Act (AHCA) to repeal and replace the ACA in the first months of 2017.

What happened? Love it or hate it, the ACA established a new norm. Millions of Americans, many who previously could not afford healthcare, now have coverage. People with pre-existing conditions now do not have worry about life-time caps, or being denied or dropped by insurance companies. When the AHCA was introduced, lawmakers and interested parties (both Republicans and Democrats) refused to back the bill realizing it did not meet the needs of many of their constituents —American citizens and voters. Without enough support to pass it, the Republicans pulled it from Congress.

How does it affects Americans? On the surface, for now, nothing changes. The same rules and policies put in to place by the ACA will remain for the foreseeable future. But the cost of healthcare plans are rising and, as insurance companies leave the marketplace, the number of plans and companies Americans have to choose from are dwindling.

Where do we go from here? The ACA is not perfect and does need to be revised. Americans deserve, and should demand, legislation that creates affordable, quality healthcare coverage — not legislation that simply repeals the ACA. It will not be an easy task but lawmakers need to consider what people want and need: choice of hospitals and doctor; better mental healthcare coverage; and, maintaining no ‘pre-existing condition’ qualifications are just a few things most Americans agree are important components of a good healthcare plan.