Loading

The Fate of the Affordable Care Act by Emma Hollenbeck

Illustration by Callie Pruitt

The future of so many families in the United States is in grave danger. The Affordable Care Act, created under former President Barack Obama’s administration to provide healthcare coverage to people of various socioeconomic backgrounds, is currently under scrutiny. Minority communities are especially at risk of having their rights to affordable healthcare taken away. According to estimates from the Urban Institute, if the act were repealed, it would expand the number of uninsured individuals in the United States by around 21 million people – almost a 70 percent increase. Striking the act would also be detrimental to people currently living under their parent’s medical coverage. All in all, eliminating the ACA would be harmful to Americans of all races, genders, and socioeconomic statuses.

Repealing the ACA would let insurance companies deny coverage to millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions.

A big role of the ACA has been helping low-income minorities have access to healthcare. According to data from the American Community Service and the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, between 2013 and 2018 the percentage of uninsured black adults dropped by 10 percent and the percentage of uninsured hispanic men dropped about 16 percent. Repealing the entire ACA would be putting these groups at risk and would cause more minorities to refrain from using medical service out of fear of cost.

In addition, repealing the ACA would let insurance companies deny coverage to millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions. There are around 50 million Americans who would be affected. Even Americans without pre-existing conditions, under the ACA, can afford to get cheaper preventative care instead of waiting for a crisis to strike and having to pay hefty hospital bills.

Many attempts have been made by the Republican Party in the past to go against the ACA, but they were all met with extreme backlash by Democrats in Washington.

It is quite absurd that the Trump Administration has repeatedly gone after the ACA and has tried to enact their own healthcare “plans,” for they utilize parts of the law in order to fight against things like the opioid crisis. However, it is likely that President Trump is constantly attacking Obamacare in order to play to the long-held conservative idea that these big “socialist” programs need to be taken down. In part, we can also infer he may be doing these things simply because the act was created by Obama, a person whom Trump has many issues with.

Many attempts have been made by the Republican party in the past to go against the ACA, but they were all met with extreme backlash by Democrats in Washington. Recently, the Trump administration has been making more attempts to completely destroy the ACA; however, at least five supreme court justices, including two conservative justices, have voiced that they would reject Trump's attempts to completely get rid of the ACA. There is also discussion of severing the individual mandate tax while still upholding the majority of the ACA. Based on the current state of affairs within the court, it is likely that the majority (if not all) of the act will stay intact.

Thankfully, in this current timeline of events the Affordable Care Act seems to be safe. However, with our current administration, anything can happen. We have to hope that the incoming administration will preserve Obamacare and keep millions of people across the nation safe.