Monday marked the five-year anniversary of the controversial Affordable Care Act – aka Obamacare – and depending on who you ask you will get a vastly different answer on its success.
Republicans for years have been trying to repeal the law, while Democrats often trumpet certain statistics that make it appear a success.
On Wednesday morning, President Barack Obama is set to celebrate the five-year anniversary of what he likely considers his proudest accomplishment in his six years in office. The president is expected to highlight how Obamacare has improved health care and lowered costs.
But has it really done that? Here are five facts about the Affordable Care Act to help answer that question:
• Almost all US citizens are required to have health insurance or face a fine from the federal government. The fine for being uninsured in 2016 will increase to $695 per adult or 2.5 per cent of income, whichever is greater. People who have religious objections or severe financial hardships are eligible for an exemption.
• Those who support the Affordable Care Act have said that the law has resulted in 6.2 million more people getting individual health care plans. This isn’t really the case. Some 3.8 million of those people lost health coverage provided by their employer, the Washington Times reported. So, really, about 2.4 million more people have been insured under Obamacare, as of 2014.
• The most basic motivation for Obamacare was to insure people who did not have health insurance. In 2014, 4 per cent of Americans were newly insured, the Huffington Post reported. This indicates the law has been successful in getting insurance for those who previously did not have it.
• The Atlantic reported earlier this year that Republicans in the House of Representatives have made some effort to repeal Obamacare no less than 56 times, to no avail.
• Despite conservative opposition – not to mention personal opposition – Senator Ted Cruz revealed on Tuesday that he would be signing up for health coverage through the Affordable Care Act. Earlier this week Mr Cruz revealed that he would be running for president in 2016.
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