The ACA (Obamacare) was designed to provide health insurance to many of the estimated 40 to 60 million uninsured Americans. Has it succeeded? At the risk of sounding like a politician instead of a health care provider, the answer is “yes and no”.
Yes, many previously uninsured Americans now have insurance. But the offering has fallen far short of expectations of enrollment and more importantly in the benefits it provides.
For the lower income Americans, they can now access an affordable health insurance plan. They can then receive a physical examination as a determination of their current health status along with recommendations to get or stay healthy. The issue is the plans. The deductibles are so high, most insured’s cannot afford ongoing treatment.
Often the deductibles range from $2,000 to $5000 per year. Rarely does a patient incur those levels of charges to satisfy the deductible. Therefore, after their physical, they basically do not have any health insurance unless they suffer a catastrophic event such as hospitalization. We believe this type of high limit deductible coverage is still important to financially safeguard the patients against those significant health events. Many others believe ongoing routine health care is simply out of reach.
The New York Times covered this important disparity in detail. You can read their excellent analysis and in depth reporting at New York Times