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Hot Topic: Scrutinizing the Affordable Care Act

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This week’s “Hot Topic” is the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which has recently been brought back into the spotlight.

After three years and more than ten million subscribers, people are starting to learn that the ACA isn’t as revolutionary as some might have thought. Consumers now have little choice regarding who they get their healthcare from.

Are we seeing ACA’s beginning of the end? Is there still hope for those who rely so heavily on universal healthcare?

Opinion columnist Odus Evbagharu:

ACA, better known as Obamacare, did not receive a single Republican vote. Many supporters of the law didn’t expect such reprisal from many unions, medical institutions and businesses.

With the battles the law has had to face from the opposition, including being challenged in the Supreme Court and being upheld in 2012, the ACA has been beneficial for U.S. nationals.

Obama signed the piece of legislation in 2010, hoping it would help millions of uninsured people to gain insurance through a universal healthcare system predominantly run by the government. The numbers have shown the program successful in the U.S.

Statistics show 11.6 million people had already retained or signed up for the program. Numbers continue to fluctuate, but there has been a significant decrease in the number of citizens without insurance.

Before the major coverage requirements of ACA were executed, an estimated 47 million people in the U.S. did not have health insurance. According to Gallup, by the end of the third quarter of 2015, only 11.9 percent of adults aged 18 or older were not covered — down from 12.9 percent.

The number will continue to drop when the program matures: Market prices should settle, and so will the prices of the premiums.  Also, the percentage will decrease even more when the other 20 states decide to expand Medicaid under ACA.

The program is saving lives and giving people a chance to seek medical help without having to pay an arm and a leg for it. Yes, there are some kinks, but ACA is only three years old.

Opinion columnist Jorden Smith:

If there was ever a perfect representation of writing on the wall, Nancy Pelosi’s now-infamous statement, “We have to pass it to find out what’s in it,” would be it. This was pretty spot on in foreshadowing Obamacare’s effect on the U.S.

With an embarrassing launch, lies from the Obama administration and the rise of premiums, Obamacare has been, to put it lightly, a disaster.

Sure, some citizens who previously couldn’t afford health insurance have been able to purchase it thanks to the healthcare exchanges. Along with that, though, many have had their coverage cancelled, can no longer use their insurance due to excessive deductibles or have just decided it’s easier to pay the IRS an unconstitutional tax.

ACA has done exactly the opposite of what it set out to do: make the healthcare system better and more affordable. I’m not here to ostensibly question the intentions of the Democrats who forced this through, but they’ve found out, inevitably, that you can’t regulate the market for lower prices. And the players within the market react poorly.

Whether you like it, money makes the world work. You can’t successfully operate a business while losing money. Take the case of Aetna — it was hemorrhaging capital in the market. It must save itself like any normal business would.

Aetna is not a perfect company, but the government and, subsequently, Democrats have made its life much harder. Democrats such as Elizabeth Warren tried to take the moral high ground and forget that their ideas have caused this problem.

Again, you cannot regulate business to implement your newfound policy without some kind of reaction. Forbes columnist Michael Cannon put together a document showing how Obamacare is actually (unsurprisingly) destroying job growth, effectively showing that Obamacare has pushed businesses to lay off employees, cut back hours or simply not hiring.

In a time when the national economy is in such a poor condition, this is an abysmal policy. If ACA has done anything, it has worsened the quality and raised the costs of healthcare.

Opinion columnists Odus Evbagharu and Jorden smith can be reached at [email protected]


  • Some ObamaCare Exchanges have not one sign-up. It has been a disaster, and Obama knows it. Unfortunately, ObamaCare was designed to fail in favor of Single-Payer, which will be an even bigger disaster. When government is in charge of you, your interest is not their concern … just ask Black inner city residents how well off they are with Progressives in charge.

  • If you were to ask me, “What’s your favorite Hungarian Rap group” I would say “I don’t know” because I don’t know anything about Hungarian Rap. Health Care regulation is like Hungarian Rap for you, Jorden Smith. You know nothing about it. You should try doing some research before you form an opinion. Your column betrays buckets of ignorance that could profitably be displaced by a small fleet of industrial mining equipment.

    >Take the case of Aetna — it was hemorrhaging capital in the market.
    Couple of problems here – Aetna is profitable (I should know, I own shares in the company) – to the tune of $4.6B in gross last year (ie, the part of their profits related to health care expenses). If this is hemorrhaging to you, I would hate to see what losses are.

    Further, it’s not been revealed that Aetna in fact lied when they said they were leaving the marketplace due to losses. They were leaving to follow through on a threat they made to regulators should they fail to approve a merger (ie, reduce competition) with a large competitior. While we can disagree about whether or not this merger should be approved, I think we can all agree that threatening the government should get you nowhere.

    >Aetna is not a perfect company, but the government and, subsequently, Democrats have made its life much harder.

    Your effort to anthropomophize a legal fictional entity is as adorable as it is the hallmark of an inferior conception of society. Humans don’t exist to serve businesses…businesses exist to serve humans. If Aetna is not an effective servant, it should be let to bankrupt (not die, because legal fictions cannot die). Your tale of woe would be more compelling if Aetna’s profits were not at an all-time high in the years since the ACA was passed. So again, with such little information about regulation…one wonders why the heck you are offering an opinion about it?
    >In a time when the national economy is in such a poor condition, this is an abysmal policy. If ACA has done anything, it has worsened the quality and raised the costs of healthcare.

    And that’s really the bottom line. While your ignorance of regulation is not really a surprise – mommy and daddy told you “government bad” when you were a baby and frankly for a mind that is content to watch basic cable for the rest of its life it’s expected that your opinions wouldn’t develop much from that point.
    This peer-reveiwed study from the NEJM is by no means comprehensive, but it does attempt to do what you (like a frightened piglet hiding under its mother) refuse to – it actually examines the data instead of the Fox News headlines.
    The data is pretty compelling – hospital readmission rates (an indication of the quality of care) have collapsed. The number of uninsured persons is declining for the first time since the 1960’s. The non-partisan CBO is continuously re-projecting the cost of Medicare lower for the first time since the program was implemented – this in spite of the Baby Boomers signing up for Medicare in mass numbers.

    But by all means, continue spewing your pig-ignorant lies. It’s a real service to yourself and those around you that you continue speaking as if you have any basis in fact for your opinion.

    The stakes here aren’t just ideological. These are people’s lives your lies are ruining. Quite aside from the ethical considerations…don’t you, as a person who believes in personal responsibility, care about your own integrity enough to just…look at what’s actually going on in the world around you, instead of chasing around the laser pointer that Fox News eagerly splays across like ground like a cat with aggressive hydrocephaly? But alas, I forgot – when people like you talk about “personal responsibility” what you mean is you want others to take responsibility for you.

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