Obamacare: is it working?

Are there any positive signs that Obamacare is working?  Is there anything that says the problems are being fixed or that good things are resulting from the bill?  Any signs of hope?  What should we be looking for?

Practical and Thrifty

Dear Practical and Thrifty,

It depends upon what you mean by “working”.  If your central focus is on how many people have health insurance, then you can take heart in a recent CDC Survey which found a drop in the number of people who have no health insurance.  However, some states have seen an increase in the number of uninsured.

So far, 27 states have “expanded” Medicaid to cover all low-income adults.  Experts estimate that 4.8 million people have joined Medicaid since October of 2013.  To some, this is a sign that health reform is working.  To others, this is a sign that the government is now providing a sub-par health plan to more and more people.

I think health reform’s impact (success or failure) will become clear over a longer period of time.  If, for example, more insurers start offering plans on the exchanges, then perhaps health reform can be credited with spurring competition.

We still have more aspects of the law yet to take effect.  The “Cadillac” tax in 2018, for example, will no doubt spark a flurry of debate and perhaps more lawsuits.

Then there are the broader issues of the law itself.  If the stream of lawsuits tapered off, I would take that as a sign that it is firmly established.  It’s hard to call anything a success if the courts are still debating it.

Linda Riddell

About Linda Riddell

A published author and health policy analyst with 25 years’ experience, Linda Riddell's goal is to alleviate the widespread ailment of not knowing what your health plan can do for you.