10 Jun 2016

The History of Obamacare in the United States

The History of Obamacare in the United States

Health care and health insurance in the United States have changed a lot in recent years. With the addition of the Affordable Care Act, or ObamaCare, health insurance has been misinterpreted and misunderstood both by the political leaders opposed to and in favor of the act, and by the media tasked with reporting on this nationwide game changer.

Obamacare and the Affordable Care Act were born out of the need for affordable health insurance for millions of Americans who remained uninsured and unprotected. The United States didn’t have the financial will nor the political backing to create a socialized health care system like those in Europe or Canada, but needed to change the way health care insurance was handled to offer protection to those citizens needing it most.

The beginnings of Obamacare

Obamacare was created for people to have a way to pay for health care costs if and when they become sick or injured. The recession decreased the number of people who were covered under their employer’s insurance, leaving many uninsured completely.

President Obama introduced the idea of health care reform very quickly into his first term as president. He knew better than most people that waiting would only delay the needed social change; politics, press releases, and the stresses of the job would get in the way of reform.

The bill known as the Affordable Care Act faced criticism from Republicans in the House and Senate and was stonewalled throughout its time in Congress. Non-cooperation marked the bill as it struggled through amendments, changes, and near dismissal to eventually be passed into law.

Learning from the past

Taking note from other past attempts at health care reform, predominantly by the Clinton administration, Obama knew there were a few essential steps that needed to be taken to successfully pass health care reform. One step was to create relationships with the existing health care industry including hospitals, insurance groups, pharmaceutical companies, physicians, and others directly connected to the health care field.

The second step was to outline his goals for health care reform and let the politicians in the House and Senate fill in the blanks. This gave senators and representatives the opportunity to hash out the details on their terms, while keeping the greater goal in mind. Although the details were contested, many recognized that the Affordable Care Act was necessary and here to stay.

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