Proposals to reform health care and enact a system of national health insurance in the United States are not new. In 1921, Theodore Roosevelt included national health insurance in his presidential campaign. Since that time, numerous proposals by the Democrats in Congress to enact national health insurance have failed. In 2009, President Barack Obama introduced legislation that would overhaul and reform the health-care delivery system. Republican members of Congress strongly opposed the legislation because of deeply held ideological and political beliefs.
However, despite heated and bitter congressional debate, the legislation was enacted by Congress. On March 23, 2010 President Obama signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.
The attorneys general of 26 states immediately sued the federal government on the grounds that the new law was unconstitutional primarily because of the individual mandate provision that required most people in the United States to have coverage for health insurance or pay a financial penalty. However, on June 28, 2012 in a split and controversial decision the Supreme Court ruled that the Affordable Care Act is constitutional and that the individual mandate, is constitutional under the taxing power of Congress.
Basic Provisions of The Affordable Care Act; The Affordable Care Act extends health coverage to 30 million uninsured Americans, provides substantial subsides to uninsured individuals and small business firms to make health insurance more affordable, contains provisions to lower health care costs in the long run and prohibits insurers from engaging in certain abusive practices.
These provisions include the following;
- Individual Mandate.
- Health Insurance Reforms
- Essential Health Benefits.
- Affordable Insurance Exchanges.
- Premium Credits to Eligible Individuals and Families.
- Employer Requirements.
- Premium Subsides to Small Employers.
- Early Retirement Reinsurance Program.
- Expansion of Medicaid.
- Preexisting Condition Insurance Plan.
- Improving Quality and Lowering Costs.
- Cost and Financing.
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