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Obamacare, also known as Affordable Care Act, is a landmark health care overhaul bill, was signed into law on March 23, 2010, with the objective of providing access to affordable, quality health care for all Americans.
What is Obamacare?
Starting on January 1, 2014, Obamacare created Health Insurance Marketplaces, also known as Exchanges, to help uninsured people find health coverage. Consumers meeting defined income requirements may be able to receive Federal subsidies in the form of premium tax credits to make the coverage more affordable. However, under Obamacare, you can only get financial help from the government if you buy coverage through a Marketplace.
Obamacare’s health care reform provides new rights, benefits, and protections, in addition to establishing a Health Insurance Marketplace where Americans can purchase federally regulated and subsidized health insurance
Obamacare Health Insurance
HEALTH CARE BY THE NUMBERS
- 8 million people signed up for private insurance in the Health Insurance Marketplace. For states that have Federally-Facilitated Marketplaces, 35 percent of those who signed up are under 35 years old, and 28 percent are between 18 and 34 years old, virtually the same youth percentage that signed up in Massachusetts in their first year of health reform.
- 3 million young adults gained coverage thanks to Obamacare by being able to stay on their parents’ plan.
- 3 million more people were enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP as of February, compared to before the Marketplaces opened. Medicaid and CHIP enrollment continues year-round.
- 5 million people are enrolled in plans that meet Obamacare standards outside the Marketplace, according to a CBO estimate. When insurers set premiums for next year, they are required to look at everyone who enrolled in plans that meet Obamacare standards, both on and off the Marketplace.
HEALTH CARE COST GROWTH IS LOWEST IN DECADES
- Health care costs are growing at the slowest level on record: Since the law passed, real per capita health care spending is estimated to have grown at the lowest rate on record for any three-year period, and less than one-third the long-term historical average stretching back to 1960. This slower growth in spending is reflected in Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance.
- CBO projects the deficit will shrink more and premiums will be lower than expected: CBO previously estimated that Obamacare will reduce the deficit by $1.7 trillion over two decades, and, just this week, CBO concluded that lower-than-expected Marketplace premiums and other recent developments will cut $104 billion from our deficit over the next ten years. The CBO report also projects that lower-than-expected premiums will help to save $5 billion this year, and that lower premiums will persist in the years ahead, remaining 15 percent below projections by 2016 (the only year in which CBO provides a precise estimate).
- Medicare spending growth is down: Medicare per capita spending is growing at historically low rates. This week, for the fifth straight year, the CBO reduced its projections for Medicare spending over the next 10 years – this time by $106 billion. CBO projects that Medicare and Medicaid costs in 2020 will be $180 billion below its 2010 estimates. Recent economic research suggests that the Obamacare’s reforms to Medicare may have “spillover effects” that reduce costs and improve quality across the health care system, not just in Medicare.
THE SECURITY OF HEALTH INSURANCE FOR MILLIONS OF MIDDLE CLASS FAMILIES
- Up to 129 million Americans with pre-existing conditions – including up to 17 million children – no longer have to worry about being denied health coverage or charged higher premiums because of their health status.
- 71 million Americans with private insurance have gained coverage for at least one free preventive health care service such as mammograms, birth control, or immunizations in 2011 and 2012.
- Approximately 60 million Americans have gained expanded mental health and substance use disorder benefits and/or federal parity protections.
- Since the health care law was enacted, almost 8 million seniors have saved nearly $10 billion on prescription drugs, as the health care law closes Medicare’s “donut hole.”
- 105 million Americans no longer have to worry about having their health benefits cut off after they reach a lifetime limit.