On Monday, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced that the Affordable Care Act resulted in 16.4 million Americans getting health coverage since its implementation in October 2013. According to official statistics, the current situation is the most notable improvement in four decades.
But, Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the secretary of the HHS, also said that more had to be done in terms of affordability and distribution since people needed “better quality at a better price.”
Mrs. Burwell disclosed that the Affordable Care Act managed to gain the trust of minorities and young adults. As a result, many of the members of these groups decided to go for health insurance.
Additionally, the HHS explained that many young people received health insurance when Obamacare expanded health coverage to people under 26, while more than 14 million adults entered the program through Medicaid expansion, work insurance, and individual purchase.
When asked whether the pending King vs. Burwell case had any odds of success, Obama administration officials expressed their confidence that the government would win the case.
On the other hand, if the U.S. Supreme Court Justices rule against the federal government, 36 states with federally-run insurance exchanges would see their subsidies and tax credits cut. As a result, more than 87 percent of the 8.5 million people who purchased insurance through a federal insurance marketplace would be deprived of their subsidies, which are worth at an average $263 per month.
Additionally, many low- and medium-income people announced that if they lose subsidies they would drop health insurance on account of it being too costly. As a result, lack of subsidies will lead to higher prices for health insurance since only sick people will remain enrolled in the system. But higher prices will force a new wave of healthy people to leave the system and even higher prices, creating a so-called “insurance death spiral,” the feds explained.
However, Americans seem less convinced by official arguments of the Obama health law’s efficacy. In September, only 37 percent of U.S. citizens perceived Obamacare as being necessary, while Republicans in the House have already tried repealing or change it more than 50 times.
The law is unpopular mainly because many people see it as a burdening measure taken by the government without the majority consent. But some federal officials argued that the law was benefiting the private sector as a successful enrollment often results in a strong market.
However, both President Obama and HHS secretary Burwell tried to win the heart of the public by telling compelling stories of the people “saved” by Obamacare. For instance, at an October press conference, Anne Ha of Philadelphia made a strong impression on the crowd when she told her story about how signing up for health insurance had helped her save half a million dollars in medical expenses as she was diagnosed shortly after with stomach cancer.In the end, she paid only $5,000 for the medical procedure to have half of her stomach removed and the related costs.
On Monday, Mrs. Burwell also told the story of a woman who had a family business and realized the importance of a health insurance when she was handling a 2,000-pound meat grinder and almost cut her hand. Impressive or not, Mrs. Burwell expressed her opinion that Americans are able to make good choices when all the right information is available to them.