Here’s What Would Happen If ACA Gets Cancelled During This Pandemic
COVID-19 is sending shivers down the spine of everyone in the United States. With around 11 lakh positive cases and over 65,000 people dead, in the US alone, the situation is grim for everyone. What’s more alarming is the number of people who have lost their job around the time of this crisis. If reports are to go by, around 11 million people are unemployed, and that number is alarming. The job losses also mean people lose their health care insurance from the employer or their ACA cover.
What is ACA?
The Affordable Care Act, the Patient Care Act, or Obama care as most people refer to is health insurance regulated by the government. In other words, it makes health care affordable to everyone by providing low-cost health insurance coverage. However, the ACA caters only to those in the lower and middle-income groups. The ACA covers citizens with income, not more than 400% of the federal poverty level.
You can avail free Obama care if your annual income is less than $18000 as an individual. A family of four with less than $35,000 annual income can also get free Obama care. However, if you are not eligible for free Obama care, you will be paying a premium of $400 for an individual and $1168 for a four-member family.
What’s the challenge on hand?
The Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017 took away the liability from the individuals for a tax penalty for not having insurance. It will be impossible to implement ACA as it makes the whole state-subsided health care insurance unconstitutional. That’s because the state cannot hold anyone accountable or impose a penalty for not having health insurance. The initial idea for penalty imposition was to make sure every person gets quality health care. However, the 2007 ruling eliminates the mandatory health insurance clause.
What’s at stake?
Obama care applies only to US Citizens with employment. This means, all those people who do not have jobs or have recently lost their jobs, will not be eligible for Obama care or the ACA. Instead, they will have to shell out a massive amount of money to find an insurance cover for themselves and their family from the Marketplace.
The healthcare industry has seen a massive transformation since the launch of affordable healthcare. It caters to more patients from all walks of life than ever before. However, there are still over 28 million Americans who still do not have insurance?
What if the Supreme Court strikes ACA?
The low and middle-income group communities in the country stand to be worst affected if the court strikes out ACA during this pandemic. It will thus increase the number of people without insurance. All those people without a job will be losing the health insurance cover that their employer provides them. However, without a job, paying the $400 premium for the insurance is the last of their concerns. And during a pandemic and a global recession, they will not consider spending their merge savings on health insurance.
Not having insurance increases the risk of a pandemic spread. Experts agree that it will only increase the spread of the virus as people might not seek treatment fearing the high healthcare expenses. The ACA currently covers around 10-12 million American households. This is a significant increase in comparison to what it was a decade ago.
The Supreme Court’s judgment will decide if people continue to have access to affordable health care without being held liable for huge tax fines. Experts believe it will take around 12-18 months for the discovery of a vaccine for COVID-19. It is scary as people without insurance will not seek medical help even if they have symptoms. It will thus increase the number of cases and deaths in the country from the disease.
However, panic buying, soaring prices, and loss off jobs make it easy for people to ignore spending on health care insurance at this point. So, in short, if the Supreme court chooses to overturn the ACA at this time, the social burden from the pandemic will only increase. It will thus lead to a healthcare catastrophe. One can say so as ACA plays a crucial role in the life of Americans and their approach to healthcare. We hope the Supreme Court doesn’t overturn the ACA at least until the end of this pandemic.
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