Ever since, the howling from the Right has not lessened one decibel. The Republican majority in the House has attempted to repeal it no less than 40 times.
On June 28, 2012, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of most of the ACA in the case National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius. However, the Court held that states cannot be forced to participate in the ACA's Medicaid expansion under penalty of losing their current Medicaid funding.
Since the ruling, the law and its implementation have continued to face challenges in Congress, in federal courts, and from some (guess which ones?) state governments.
Why? Beats the heck out of me. Except, of course, it was passed under the leadership of the first Black President in our history. Wait! No! That couldn't have anything to do with it right? Right!
It aims to increase the quality and affordability of health insurance, lower the uninsured rate by expanding public and private insurance coverage, and reduce the costs of health care for individuals and the government.All that being said, the ACA is one small but critically important step in leveling the playing field for access to affordable health care for every citizen in the United States. We need more revisions and changes and reform. Many more.
It provides a number of mechanisms—including mandates, subsidies, and insurance exchanges—to increase coverage and affordability.
The law also requires insurance companies to cover all applicants within new minimum standards and offer the same rate regardless of pre-existing conditions or sex.
Additional reforms aim to reduce costs and improve healthcare outcomes by shifting the system towards quality over quantity through increased competition, regulation, and incentives to streamline the delivery of health care.
The Congressional Budget Office projected that the ACA will lower both future deficits and Medicare spending.
A few years ago, I developed an allergic rash. I didn't know it at the time but it was the fault of my pharmacist who dispensed the wrong form of a medication. I went to see a doctor locally. After the exam, she ordered a full battery of blood work. When I saw the order, I went right back into her office and questioned it. She was stunned - I mean, in addition to the fact that she had already spent the requisite 15 minutes with me - and said, "Why are you concerned? Your insurance will pay for it."
I was stunned by her response. "Yes," I said, "but do you really need to know my cholesterol level to determine the cause of my rash?" She admitted she didn't, along with several other blood panels. But, because this was the first time she had seen me, it was "allowed". Working together, we eliminated all but the ones she really needed, which turned out to be a few simple tests.
After that episode, I never went back to her.
Most consumers of health care still labor under the illusion that doctors are demigods. They are not. They are human. I'm reminded of what one of my physicians once said to me, "Remember, 50% of all doctors graduated in the lower half of their class."
Oh, and turns out that the lab the doctor used charged more than the "usual and customary" fees my insurance would allow and I ended up being charged to pay out of pocket to cover the balance. I contested it. After 3 months, the lab dropped the charges.
Unfortunately, doctors are often seduced by greed, supporting unnecessary lab, X-Ray and "Big Pharma" which feeds the system. Our political process is, more often than not, a reflection of that greed. Some politicians vote not to serve "we the people" but those who line their pockets with money that will get them re-elected.
It hurts business? People are losing their jobs? Corporations are laying off people or reducing the hours their employees work not because they can't afford health insurance, but because it cuts into their profit margin.
See also: greed.
I think we had best get used to it. Christians ought to support changes in laws and policies that insure best practices of medicine and businesses so that all of God's children have access to affordable health care.
I think that's the "conservative" Christian thing to do because it "conserves" as well as preserves the respect and dignity of every human being.
If you have heard a sermon about this or know where I can read it online, please let me know. I'm not holding my breath, but I'd love to hear from you.
I think church leaders ought to start making some noise about the Affordable Care Act.
Why? Because Jesus said, "The poor will always be with you."
He also said, "Whatever you do for the least of these, you do for me."
That's one theological cure for the Affordable Care Angst.