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Obamacare: Weighing the Good and the Bad

In 2010, the Obama administration pushed for the enactment of the controversial Patient and Affordable Care Protection Act. Also called Obamacare, this act sought to regulate private health insurance with the aim of giving millions of Americans access to affordable healthcare.

Since then, it has received a lot of negative press. This has dented its image in the eyes of Americans, many of whom only know of its demerits and not of its benefits. Is the criticism justified? To clear the air, here is a balanced look into the pros and cons of Obamacare.

Here are the Pros of Obamacare.

1. Health Insurance to More Americans

Thanks to Obamacare, over 15 million Americans had obtained a health insurance cover by 2015. They could also access preventative care free of charge. This focus on prevention reduced the overall cost of health by 0.5%

2. More Young Adults Covered

It is now possible for a person to add children in their mid-twenties on his or her insurance plan. The goal of this measure is to increase the number of young adults covered by health insurance, and it works. Over three million young adults were enrolled this way within two years into Obamacare.

3. Better Patient Protection

A person with a pre-existing medical condition such as cancer can no longer be dropped by health insurers. In addition, the companies cannot raise the person’s premiums when he or she falls ill.

4. Free Vaccination

Flu shots are now free under Obamacare. According to a recent study on the illness by the University of Arizona, many low wage Americans could not afford the flu shot. Considering that everyone must be vaccinated against the flu every year, this free vaccination campaign is proving beneficial to many Americans.

5. Lower Cost of Prescription Drugs

Senior citizens who were previously unable to afford paying for their medication can now have it covered under Obamacare. This has resulted in savings totaling $15 billion between the years 2010 and 2015.

Here are the cons of Obamacare.

1. Higher Taxes to Insure More Americans

The money needed to insure more people must come from somewhere. Unfortunately, Obamacare means new and higher taxes on wealthy Americans, as well as the health industry itself.

2. Fines for Individuals without Health Insurance

Obamacare aims at providing year round health insurance to all Americans. Those who opt out are forced to pay a small fine, which is projected to increase in time.

Conservatives view the fine as arm-twisting and government intrusion. In contrast, Obamacare supporters insist that people without health insurance are a burden on the healthcare system and must, therefore, be forced to chip in.

3. Businesses are Reducing Work Hours

Under Obamacare, a business with more than 50 full-time workers must cover their medical expenses. To avoid making the payments, some businesses are reducing working hours to less than 30 per week. This way, their employees are no longer defined as full-time.

4. Complicated Enrolling Process

People willing to enroll into Obamacare find its website difficult to use and navigate, even for people with an MPH degree. Sections of the website are even dedicated to explaining the enrolling process. To get around this, hospitals and insurers are now forced to guide people through the process. In addition, the website is prone to technical difficulties. This complicated enrolling process has discouraged many Americans from signing up.


For many, especially those with a masters in public health online, Obama care has huge benefits that are unknown to most people due to negative press it receives. Regardless of one’s view on it, its goal of extending affordable healthcare to all Americans is commendable.

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