How Many Americans Benefit from Obamacare?

Many of us seem to misunderstand “Obamacare.” Its nickname, given to it by the Republican Party, is misleading, for it suggests that it is an insurance policy or health care company. It shifts our attention to how many people signed up for their insurance through state and federal exchanges (about 20 million did).

We tend to forget that all Americans who have health insurance, benefit from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 or simply Affordable Care Act (ACA). “Obamacare” applies to all Americans, whether without health care coverage prior to the passage of this law or not.

It provides improvements in health care for all Americans, to wit:

It does require most Americans to carry qualifying health insurance coverage or face a surtax. Many healthy people don’t want health insurance and, when sick, overburden our more expensive emergency rooms. This surtax assures these citizens will pay their fair share of their own health care costs. (Fewer people using emergency rooms also means lower losses for hospitals.)

Reactionary conservatives have such support from the commercial media, they have been allowed to demonize this common sense law that protects us all from bad practices of the health insurance companies. Remember, the American people voted overwhelmingly to keep the ACA in voting for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump by a margin of 3 million votes. Ms. Clinton was a strong advocate of the ACA, even of adding a public option to it, an option to have your health care managed by the government like it does for Medicare. So, Mr. Trump has no mandate to repeal what he still calls “Obamacare.”

Williamsport Sun-Gazette - February 3, 2013

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