Obamacare is the nickname or common name that has been given to a piece of legislation known formally as The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. This was an act of President Obama, hence it’s more common nickname. Obamacare had a number of fairly basic intentional reforms to the US healthcare system, designed primarily to make sure that everyone in the United States had some type of health insurance coverage.

Obamacare has generated a huge amount of controversy, politically, and it is still unclear whether future leadership in the United States will accept the reforms, or try and remove them. As stands, the affordable care act or Obamacare has a certain number of provisions that to affect most people. Health insurance reform has proved to be hugely difficult to achieve in the USA, and the nature of these reforms was more limited than many people would have liked.

However, given the resistance politically to President Obama and any type of health care reform, the substance of these reforms should be seen in that context.

Obamacare Reforms

The main focus of the health care reforms enacted under Obamacare is as follows : Everyone in the USA would be required to have some type of health care insurance. Those who did not buy any might be required to pay a penalty or fine. Insurance companies would not be able to deny coverage to anyone because of what is known as a pre-existing condition, which they were able to do before the reforms. Nor would insurance companies be able to charge more to an individual because of a pre-existing condition.

Insurance companies would have to ensure a basic set of benefits existed under all insurance plans that met minimum standards. There could potentially be financial help to individuals who need it in order to pay for healthcare insurance if they were buying it or paying for it privately. As a result of Obamacare, health insurance plans have become more standardised. Some people will still buy health insurance privately, whilst many will still have it paid for by their employer.

One big change of Obamacare has been the setting up of insurance exchanges.These are essentially online marketplaces, set up on a state-by-state bais, where individuals can do and see what insurance plans are available, and compare costs and benefits on a like-for-like basis. Some of these insurance exchanges are run by the states themselves, and some are run by the federal government where the individual state declined to participate.

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