What Is Obamacare?

Affordable health insurance for individuals and families.

Shelley Okposin

Imagine being seriously injured in a car accident and requiring urgent medical attention. On arrival at the hospital, however, you are refused treatment simply because you do not have health insurance and you don’t have the finance to pay for your treatment. I’m sure you would find this quite worrying.

Unfortunately, this situation was becoming more and more frequent in America, and people were dying unnecessarily. The problem was that the country’s population had outgrown the health system. It was a little like trying to fit a family of ten into a hatchback car. It simply wouldn’t work. Someone would be left out.

The increasing demand on the health system in America resulted in health insurance premiums being very expensive. Many people simply could not afford them and as a result, their families could not access healthcare.

The former U.S president, Barak Obama was concerned about the situation. So, he introduced the Affordable Healthcare Act, also known as Obamacare. One of the most important changes introduced through Obamacare, was that employers would be encouraged to provide health cover for their employees. This meant that when you got a job, your boss would automatically pay for your health insurance, which most people were quite happy about.

Another change, was that health insurance became more accessible. Prior to Obamacare, however, getting health insurance was very complicated. Insurance companies were refusing to provide health insurance for people with pre-existing medical conditions. This meant that if, for example, you had a heart condition, they would refuse to insure you. The only way you could access the medical treatment you needed, would be if you paid for it out of your own pocket, and this was extremely expensive. However, under Obamacare, insurance companies were now obligated to insure sick people, and people with pre-existing conditions.

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