Opposing Position Paper to the Affordable Care Act

The federal statute known as the Affordable Care Act, has been touted as a positive development towards healthcare in the United States. However, there are many downsides to the passing of this act. One of the most glaring disadvantages to this act is the cost associated with it. Also, implementation of it is widely contingent upon the successes of the plan in the various states and communities. In other words, it will be an experiment.

Even among proponents of this legislation, there is great uncertainty over its potential impacts as well as its ability to control cost growth (Gruber, 2011). If our healthcare reform experience in Massachusetts is to be looked at as a prototype, according to the advocacy organization, “Physicians for a National Healthcare Program,” the results are not very promising: A report shows that residents face consistent underinsurance in the State, which is almost as undesirable as being uninsured (Young, 2009). The U.

S. Appeals Court in Atlanta has already deemed the passing of this act as unconstitutional (Brent, 2011). It is a contested issue on which the Supreme Court is set to hear arguments in the coming weeks. Another appeals court in Virginia has stated that legally, this matter should be revisited when taxpayers are made to pay penalties, in the next three years (Savage, 2011). This brings into question the constitutionality of this act and the fact remains that there is far from universal agreement over this.

An important argument raised by opponents is that the passing of this law would open way for unrestricted powers to the Federal government. It is argued that this mandate would be structured like a tax, hence making it legitimate for the Federal government to impose on us. Furthermore, that health insurance is a type of interstate commerce, is another argument cited by the law’s proponents (“Obamacare” 2010). However, this would set a landmark precedent which may become a threat to the liberties we cherish in this nation.

Opponents fear that in the future, the inter-state commerce clause could be cited and arguments developed on what is better for our nation, financially, or otherwise and we may be forced to buy, or not buy certain products. From a cost perspective, there is an argument which suggests that uninsured individuals are the reason that costs are being driven up. However, according to the Pacific Research Institute, this is not the case. They argue that far less uninsured individuals use health care services, much less being a strain on them.

They point towards Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries as being responsible for the majority of the cost. If anything, the uninsured are subsidizing the insured, as hospitals are often seen shifting costs to the uninsured, citing that they are doing so in order to quality for governmental grants (Graham, 2007). It is argued that reforms would not be a fix to insurer discrimination. Health policy institutes predict that patients would still be discriminated against – Especially those that have complicated health issues and as a result, multiple bills.

This would theoretically make it more difficult such patients to contend with uncooperative insurance companies. Additionally, health plans could circumvent costs by not including enough doctors in their network that address ailments which require costly treatments. In a competitive market, it is unlikely that insurance companies will “play fair” (Hilzenrath, 2009). For these reasons, it becomes quite clear that there are many setbacks in the passage of the Affordable Care Act which must first be addressed before we take the plunge towards a reform that is being touted as panacea to our current healthcare problems.

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