Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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The lowdown...

  • Obamacare was designed to provide health care for all
  • Obamacare’s future will be impacted by opposing Republican and Democratic party views
  • Premiums Increasing because younger people do not participate
  • Republican proposals do not offer the same level of coverage

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) or Obamacare changed the face of the insurance industry in the United States, providing more coverage opportunities for the people.

Before the ACA came into existence, individuals had to search for policies that met their needs or depend upon employee group policies to secure health care coverage. However, a good share of the population remained uninsured because of cost and the practice of health insurance denying coverage because of prior medical conditions.

According to the Kaiser Foundation, the number of uninsured and non-elderly persons stood at 28.5 million.

This number represented a decrease of 13 million Americans from the prior year. The number did not include the elderly Americans, who were receiving Medicare or Medicaid coverage.

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Understanding the Impact of the ACA


The Kaiser Foundation prepared a report on the success of the ACA during the early years. The following report summary explains the impact of Obamacare. The Foundation reported: “In the past, gaps in the public insurance system and lack of access to affordable private coverage left millions without health insurance.

Beginning in 2014, the ACA expanded coverage to millions of previously uninsured people through the expansion of Medicaid and the establishment of Health Insurance Marketplaces.

Data show substantial gains in public and private insurance coverage and historic decreases in uninsured rates in the first and second years of ACA coverage. Coverage gains were particularly large among low-income people in states that expanded Medicaid.”

Coverage gains were particularly large among low-income people in states that expanded Medicaid.

Since the election of President Donald Trump, attempts were launched by Congress to eliminate the Affordable Care Act. During the early days of the Trump administration, efforts were made by the Republican Party in the House of Representatives to enact the new health plan. The original alternative health plan never came up for a vote.

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ACA Costing More


The cost of Obamacare is increasing for a number of reasons, including:

  • More people are seeking coverage.
  • The basic price of insurance has increased.
  • The increase is due to more persons seeking coverage, the higher cost of medications and health care services along with a decrease in the number of insurance companies participating.
  • Companies not participating in the Marketplace or any of the state exchanges are still required to follow regulations regarding pre-existing conditions.

Thus, at this moment the Affordable Care Act remains in place, but there are serious concerns about the future of the legislation.

Conditions that Caused Obamacare Price Increases


Undoubtedly, it was not part of the plan for ACA costs to increase as much as they have.

The plan was designed for everyone to have insurance. If an individual or family could not afford the premium, they could get a subsidy from the federal government.

However, the situation was different for younger adults. These Generation X members see less need for health insurance. While everyone is expected to have health insurance, the group of young adults is either still being covered on their parents’ health insurance policies, or they choose to pay a penalty for not having health coverage.

According to the website, the penalty can be determined in two ways. The first method is 2.5 percent of the household income. There is a provision for limiting the amount that is based on the total yearly premium for the national average price of a Bronze plan sold in the Marketplace.

The most common method is to charge each adult $695 and $347.50 for each child under 18 with the maximum yearly penalty set at $2,085.

Under today’s conditions, premiums paid by young and healthy adults, supplement the cost of insuring older people who require more expensive health care. However, before the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, many people in the age 40 and up could not always get insurance because of pre-existing conditions that made them ineligible for coverage.

Thus people went without insurance or depended on charity hospitals, Medicaid, and free clinics.

When Obamacare arrived, the number of people, previously denied coverage, were now eligible for it.

Before the ACA, large insurance companies depended in part on the premiums paid by younger people to help cover the medical cost of people who were now eligible for insurance. The fee is paid when the federal tax return is filed and is collected for each year a person or family does not have coverage.

The Future of the ACA


There are three major issues facing the Affordable Care Act and its future longevity.

The ACA or Obamacare was enacted during the when Barrack Obama, a Democratic was president. The measure creating the Affordable Care Act was passed through Congress by a slim majority and was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.

However, the act has drawn constant criticism from members of the Republican Party and other groups.

During the early debate on the Affordable Care issue, President Obama stated in a Presidental Weekly address on June 6, 2009, “If you like the plan you have, you can keep it. If you like the doctor you have, you can keep your doctor, too. The only change you’ll see are falling costs as our reforms take hold.”

There was similar comments made by President Obama and others during the following months. While there were some cases that fell in line with the President’s remarks, there were other issues to consider.

All insurance companies had to meet certain standards such as covering prior health issues. However, all insurance companies did not all take part in the Federal MarketPlace or the state exchanges. If the company did not participate, there was no federal subsidy.

Over the years, the number of participating companies has decreased. This is apparently the result of the program covering health issues for the middle age and elderly group but were not receiving any of the anticipated support from the younger generations.

A summary from the National Center for Public Policy Research report sums up the major problem facing the ACA. According to the Executive Study, “If the ObamaCare health insurance exchanges are to function properly, it is crucial that a substantial number of people ages 18-34 join them.

This age group that is young and relatively healthy must purchase health insurance on the exchanges in order to “cross-subsidize” people who are older and sicker. Without the young and healthy, the exchanges will enter a “death spiral” where only the older and sicker participate and price of insurance premiums will increase precipitously.”

A substantial population segment that was factored into the overall plan, but chose not to participate, which in turn reduced the available income needed to support the program.

Today, the Affordable Care Act still exists. However, fewer insurance companies are participating A large portion of the Republican Party wants to eliminate the Affordable Care Act, including President Trump. However, no one has come up with a viable alternative.

Yes, the Republican party has offered a plan or plans. However, those plans would limit the availability of health care to many low-income persons while providing tax breaks for the wealthy.

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Repeal of ACA Would Benefit Wealthy


A March 19, 2017, story by Jesse Drucker in the New York Times explains how the repeal of Obamacare or the ACA would lead to significant tax breaks for the wealthy. “Two of the biggest tax cuts in Republican proposals to repeal the Affordable Care Act would deliver roughly $144 billion over the coming decade to those with incomes of $1 million or more, according to a congressional analysis.”

The NYT story notes that the assessment was made by the Joint Committee on Taxation, a nonpartisan panel that provides research on tax issues.

Obamacare or the ACA still exists. The Republican Party is trying to repeal it. People needing insurance are facing higher premiums because the younger generation is not participating.

The New York Times story adds, “It is not unusual for tax cuts to benefit mostly the wealthiest, but still save some money for a majority of Americans. But the benefits of these reductions would be aimed squarely at the top.

The provisions would repeal two tax increases on high earners enacted in 2010 to help pay for the Affordable Care Act. An increase in capital gains taxes and other investment-related income, and a surcharge on Medicare taxes.

No one has offered a final solution. However, it would appear that for the interim, decisions would be made on a partisan basis and not on the basis of need.

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