Heath is an essential aspect of human life, so people sacrifice a lot of money in getting personal doctors and medical aid. For one to enjoy his or her life, a person has to be fit and healthy. When it comes to problems that threaten people’s health, such as coronavirus and Ebola outbreaks, the world forgets about boundaries and divisions. Everyone works together to eradicate such pandemic that kills people.
The former United of America (US) president Barrack Obama, during his reign in the high office, focused on the health of Americans. His focal radar was on the poor, the sick, low-income earners, marginalized groups of people, and those overlooked by the government. Because of the large population in the US, there is a lot of diversity in races, so the government underfunds some groups. Some are unemployed, especially with the sheer flow of immigrants that resettle in the US.
Given such a country with a diverse population, the former Democratic president Barrack Obama approved and signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010. A Democratic Congress had passed this initiative. The objective of ACA was to enhance the health of the American people by ensuring that almost every citizen is covered by health insurance. This was a good thing for the people and the health sector. Certain people prioritize other luxurious things while ignoring health insurance and will open their eyes when a deadly disease visits their homestead. A lot of progress was made during the first year of ACA implementation, as over 10 million American citizens got health insurance. According to health reports, the percentage of Americans without health insurance declined from 18% in July 2013 to 13.4% in June 2014 [Source].
However, not everyone was happy with the ACA, popularly referred to as ‘Obamacare,’ as some politicians felt that this initiative should be removed. The ‘flaw’ with Obamacare was the provision law termed the ‘individual mandate. The individual mandate was a provision law that mandated every American citizen to have health insurance—failure to have once led to a tax penalty set at $695 unless one is exempted. Everyone was supposed to have a health insurance plan that would be regarded as “minimum essential coverage,” It included healthcare-sponsored plans offered by some employers to their employees and the government to its workers. To be eligible for exemption, one had to be experiencing a life crisis or financial constraints. These crucial crises included being homeless, bankruptcy, death of family members, the occurrence of a natural disaster, eviction, domestic violence, among others. Those who were not exempted would have to pay the tax penalty for the months they were not insured. The amount of the tax penalty was calculated based on the household income. This penalty was for people of all ages, which means an individual with many dependents had to cover all the costs [Source].
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Because of that tax penalty, the Republicans felt that the government was taxing the poor, the working class, and the low-income earners. Also, the tax was an expansive diversion act of a government that should fund some programs that affect people’s lives, like the health sector. Obamacare was also despised for giving the private health insurance companies too much power to raise their prices since the market was now flooded with people who wanted health insurance not to pay the tax penalty. In 2012 and 2015, the program was challenged in courts, and another challenge came in 2017, which was successful as the tax penalty was reduced to $0 penalty after a countrywide outcry. Still, the Republicans kept on pushing for the removal of the program or the provision law. According to the Republicans, the provision law was unconstitutional, and since it was no longer bringing any revenue, it had to be removed. After the election victory by Republican President Donald Trump in 2016, the Republicans thought they would finally remove Obamacare, but they lost in the parliamentary elections, and Obamacare kept running [Source].
And now, the US supreme court has made a ruling to keep the ACA operating in the US after the Republican’s challenge. The order notes that the Republicans have no standing and certainly do not have any right to sue Obamacare. This ruling has been praised by a lot of supporters of Obamacare, who have alluded to the numerous benefits of this program to the Americans. Obamacare supporters argued that the program is a lifeline for the masses in their joyous mood, especially in this covid-19 pandemic era. It also serves people who are in need and those sent away by other facilities due to low funds. Also, around 23 million people are covered under the Obamacare banner, so removing it will be inhumane. Others charitable organizations such as Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security have welcomed this decision by the US supreme court [Source].
With many people covered under its wing, the Supreme court gave the most favorable ruling for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) program.