The Obama Years are Over, but the Affordable Care Act is Still a Thing
Obama had his 8 years, and “ObamaCare” had its days of being a hot topic. Today healthcare is evolving. However, the Affordable Care Act (ACA or “ObamaCare”) is still mostly in effect and a lot of the evolutions taking place rely on the structure the ACA set forth.
What I mean is this:
- Tax credits, the mandates (until 2019), essential benefits, protections like pre-existing conditions protections, the exchanges (like Healthcare.gov), Medicaid expansion, and much more are still a part of the health care system just as they have been since going into effect between 2010 – 2014.
- Meanwhile however, Trump’s administration has made a few changes healthcare, things are always changing at the state level, and at both the state and national level there is a constant push for improvements (although there is much debate as to what an “improvement” looks like, often a debate had over party lines, but sometimes had within parties).
Thus, on one hand nothing much has changed fundamentally in terms of the structure of our healthcare system. On the other hand, a lot of the focus has changed on both a state and national level.
Since Trump and the GOP’s initial push to “repeal ObamaCare,” the topic of “ObamaCare” simply hasn’t been at the forefront of public conversation. That is the reality. Yet, despite this, the Affordable Care Act, healthcare reform, and the underlying healthcare crisis are just as relevant as they have ever been (if not more so).
Each year coverage gets more expensive, and each year the ACA’s assistance programs grow more important in terms of help to ensure affordability and access for some (although arguably not enough). However, as each year passes, and as costs do rise, and as we continue to have issues of access and affordability for tens of millions, the need for further reform grows.
Today all around the country there are people utilizing the ACA, and today all around the country there are people pushing for the reform. The conversation isn’t as loud, but the that doesn’t change what is happening.
When people use the ACA, they utilize the system laid in place in the Obama years, and when they push for reform, they utilize the waivers created by the ACA. We don’t talk about it as much today, and sometimes we might even get the impression that “ObamaCare” isn’t a thing anymore, but it is still as relevant in-action as it ever was.
Further and to end on this, we have to remember that words like “ObamaCare” and “TrumpCare” can’t solve our healthcare problems. Healthcare is a subject that will demand reform until we get it right, and even after we get it right, it will continue to demand our attention to keep it that way.
The ObamaCare mania might be a thing of the past, but the legislation the Affordable Care Act put forth and the issues it was attempting to address have really not changed. That reality will persist despite the amount of focus and attention we do or don’t put on it.