Since the Affordable Care Act law was passed five years ago, tens of thousands of people in Maine have been thrilled with it, as they had quality and reliable healthcare. Seventy five thousand Mainers no longer had to choose between a checkup and a household bill.
They found tax credits made health insurance affordable and even those with pre-existing ailments were eligible for health covers.
The author Emily Brostek felt, "It's just that you (don't have) that burden laying on top of your shoulders, that you've got to pay for everything out of pocket. (Before this) I couldn't go to the doctors; I couldn't do what needed to be done, because we couldn't afford it."
That meant 74,805 people in Maine would no longer need to choose between undergoing a checkup and paying a household bill, or worry that an accident could plunge them into debt or, worse, bankruptcy. These were people whose life had changed for the better with the Affordable Care Act.
The healthcare marketplace in Maine offered quality insurance covers at affordable rates — 89% of those who signed up on the marketplace qualified for tax credits and 65% paid less than $100 per month after tax credits.
Thousands of Mainers who had insurance had seen their coverage improve due to preventive services like vaccines, cancer screenings and yearly wellness visits at no out-of-pocket cost. Also they had the added benefit where coverage could not be denied to them due to pre-existing conditions.
Nationwide, since the Affordable Care Act's coverage expansion began, about 16.4 million uninsured people had gained health insurance coverage - the largest reduction in the uninsured in four decades.
Because of the Affordable Care Act, states could accept federal funds set aside to cover uninsured people with low income, those who were not eligible for tax credits, at the same time with incomes more than the eligible amount for Medicaid.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie acknowledged the tremendous savings expansion afforded his state's Medicaid program: a savings of $150 million. "Expanding Medicaid was the right decision for New Jersey," said Christie, a Republican. "It's helping to save us money. Our state taxpayers are seeing more federal dollars, and we've also added more people covered so they don't go for their primary care in a hospital emergency room."
The Affordable Care Act is not only about a new way to buy insurance; it's about a health system that prioritizes access, affordability and quality for everyone.
Source: Emily Brostek