Even as the Trump administration is doing its best to abolish Affordable Care Act (ACA) or Obamacare from books, millions of Americans still want to avail benefits of the health care law introduced by former U.S. president Barack Obama. Nearly 11.8 million people enrolled for the coverage in 2018. However, the country witnessed around 3 percent decrease in enrolment over the last year, according to an Associated Press estimate.
California, the last state to announce its figures on Feb. 7, 2018, reported over 1.5 million sign-ups this year. As many as 16 states saw higher enrolment in 2018. Surprisingly, nearly 60 percent of people signing up for the ACA in 2018 live in states that supported President Donald Trump. Meanwhile, the Trump administration has denied commenting on AP’s analysis, saying it would come up with an official tally by next month.
The statistics show that the popularity of Obamacare has remained unaffected despite Republicans’ multiple attempts to repeal it. In July 2017, Republican senators had tried to “repeal and replace” the ACA, but could not get enough votes. After the devastating defeat in the Senate, Trump had announced his plan to “let Obamacare fail.”
‘Obamacare is here to stay’
Considering that the elimination of the ACA would deprive people of Medicaid funding in 31 states and the District of Columbia, some senators are concerned about the massive financial burden it would put on people in their states. Probably, that is the reason that even some Republicans continue to support Obamacare. “The Affordable Care Act and the landmark protections and affordable coverage it provides are here to stay,” House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement.
ACA’s major public benefits include federal subsidies for many consumers’ premiums, the mandate that taxpayers buy coverage, and Medicaid covering roughly 11 million Americans. Experts feel that abolishing these benefits without providing a potent replacement to them could produce devastating consequences for the insurance market. According to the Congressional Budget Office, overturning the ACA may cause a 25 percent increase in premiums in the individual insurance market in the next year while they are likely to double by 2026.
Dealing with mental health problems
Eliminating the ACA would deprive around 20 million Americans of health insurance, including coverage for services benefiting those living with a mental health condition. Therefore, while the Trump government is trying to deny people of access to the ACA, it should make way for an equally effective bill to give due diligence to those battling mental health problems. Until it happens, the federal government should ensure that people with mental illnesses get adequate medical attention. One should remember that mental disorders like depression and anxiety can have life-threatening consequences, if left untreated. If a person is grappling with a psychiatric problem, he/she should immediately seek professional help from a reputed mental health care provider.
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