The domestic policy that has been the center of Barack Obama’s eight years in office is the Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare. The purpose of the ACA was to afford young people, especially those between the ages of 18 to 29, quality health insurance to offset the Medicaid expenses of the older population. However, the ACA has failed miserably in its attempt to do this. The truth is, with high paying jobs growing scarce since the economy collapsed in 2008, many young Americans cannot afford even the cheapest plans starting at 150 dollars a month that requires them to pay 5,000 dollars before insurance will pay anything (Global Research). This might as well be called a legal form of extortion, for what is the point of having health insurance if it doesn’t cover basic medical expenses? Most young people’s medical needs per year will not go beyond the 5,000-dollar deductible. To accompany the high unemployment rate for young Americans, the increasing cost of tuition and rent further restrains people 18 to 34 from opting in the ACA. In a survey conducted by Alternet, an independent news outlet, only 5% of working people ages 19 to 29 say they didn’t need their employers healthcare plan, and 22% said the coverage was out of their budget. The rest of those surveyed were covered under a spouse or parent.
Young people are not the only ones who have suffered under the ACA. Millions of union workers have been forced to pay more each month for their current health care insurance provider, while employers are demanding concessions such as higher co pays and increased deductibles on top of an already increased monthly rate. Low wage union workers will be pressured to give up their current plans and buy insurance outside of their jobs since they cannot get their monthly subsidy to help them pay for insurance costs (Global Research). Essentially, employers are forced to cut back on what they can provide to their employees under the ACA. They either have to pay the fine that comes along with not providing ObamaCare or pay an increased amount for their employee’s insurance.
Another ill affect of the ObamaCare act is the major cuts in hours employees have had to face in American public sector. Because the mandate requires employers with over 50 employees to cover people who work 30 hours or more, most part-time employees have been experiencing a decrease in work hours. Many full time employees have either lost their jobs or had their hours cut so they wouldn’t be covered (World Socialist Web Site). Community colleges have been hit particularly hard by this policy. Oakton Community College in Illinois prohibits employees from working 30 plus hours a week, leaving them uninsured unless Medicaid or ObamaCare covers them. Both local and state governments across the nation are unable and/or unwilling to absorb the costs associated with providing health care. However, the Obama administration has bragged that since 2010, after the ACA was put into effect, 8 million jobs in the private sector have been created. They have not put forth any reasonable evidence showing how the two are related, but deny that the almost 700,000 jobs that have been lost due to cuts demanded by the ACA have anything to do with ObamaCare at all (World Socialist Web Site).
Recently, some disturbing reports coming out of the Congressional Budget Office projected that the ACA would reduce the full time labor in the US by 2.3 million jobs by 2021 that would have otherwise existed. According to the report, “this stems almost entirely from a net decline in the amount of labor that workers choose to supply rather than a net drop in business” (World Socialist Web Site). Although one could argue that lower waged workers are not choosing to work fewer hours, but are rather being forced to work less hours at each job in order to still qualify for government assistance to purchase coverage under ObamaCare or another provider. The message from the survey that can be taken is that people are working fewer hours per job, for it also must be taken into account that many Americans, especially those who are poor or middle class, if they can find adequate employment, work more than one job.
Although our president has been quoted saying, “If you like your healthcare plan, you can keep it” (The Independent), this statement has turned out to be entirely untrue. Millions of Americas received letters saying that their existing plans had been cancelled and it is unclear how many people are eligible to re-instate their previous plans at the same cost. Furthermore, the government had planned to have about 7 million people under the ACA by now, but has only been successful in enrolling about 2 million Americans (The Independent). This act is putting the burden of health care upon the shoulders of employees who don’t make a high salary and small businesses, and giving the government less responsibility from doing it’s job, which is supposed to be helping its citizens. It is despicable and indefensible that such a wealthy nation cannot be bothered to properly care for its citizens. Universal health care could be achieved by expanding Medicare to cover all Americans, but this would benefit the people more than the insurance corporations and politicians, so it is unlikely to happen.