Affordable Care Act, one of Obama government’s most ambitious healthcare laws, secured a milestone victory on 25th June, Thursday. The U.S Supreme Court’s ruling, which is crucial for the signature law’s effective implementation, allows for tax subsidies to be provided even in states which have no healthcare insurance system of their own. It is expected to affect the lives of nearly 6.4 million low income Americans. Obama acknowledged this achievement and said ’Five years ago… we finally declared in America, health care is not a privilege for a few, but right for all. The affordable Care Act is here to stay… this is reality. This law is working.’ Those who drafted this act claimed that the main purpose of this Act was to make healthcare accessible and affordable for all irrespective of whether it’s being done from the state exchange window or the federal one.
10.2 million Citizens are known to have signed up for health insurance under ‘Obamacare’ as it is popularly known, which includes 8.7 million people who are receiving an average subsidy of $272 a month to help cover their insurance costs. If the ruling would have gone against the Act then approximately 6.4 million people, residing in states that do not have a healthcare insurance system of their own would have been deprived of this benefit.
The Republicans have strongly opposed the Act ever since it was initiated in 2010. They find the content of the Act misleading and ambiguous to an extent. It is also claimed that instead of deflating healthcare costs, if implemented, the Act will further inflate the already high healthcare costs. Conservatives have also predicted that the fiscal woes of US will worsen and economy will be harmed in the long run.
The decision has received criticism from many in the US. Jeb Bush, a prospective candidate for the upcoming US Presidential Elections of 2016 expressed his disappointment by saying ‘This fatally flawed law imposes job-killing mandates, causes spending in Washington to skyrocket by $17 trillion and drives up healthcare costs. Instead of fixing our healthcare system, it made the problems worse.’
Despite the favorable ruling, the road ahead doesn’t seem very smooth for Obamacare since opposition has announced that the battle isn’t over yet.