What are the pros and cons of ObamaCare?

Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Given how the Affordable Care Act has become embroiled in political partisanship, I think that you will find an abundance of information on both sides.  The Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare") has become a critical political issue for both its proponents and its critics.  In examining its pros and cons, one has to recognize the role of politics in such an analysis.

From the most theoretical point of view, the issue of government provided health care can be seen as itself a pro or a con.  On one hand, some will view a pro in that the government is providing health care for those who are in need.  At the same time, this can be seen as a con in that it increases government involvement in the realm of health care. This helps to enhance how the Affordable Care Act is, by definition, fraught with political implications.  Its mere theoretical presence initiates intense views in terms of pros and cons.

In terms of specifics on the Affordable Care Act, the pros are dependent on individual predicament.  For example, if a person is currently unable to afford health insurance, they are able to receive it under this act.  This is a pro for those who lack it. It is a benefit because they are able to experience health care coverage, when they previously were unable to possess it.  Along these lines, the Affordable Care Act ensures that health care plans cover specified health issues and that no one can be turned away if they have preexisting conditions.  A pro of the Affordable Care Act is that it provides coverage for such conditions, something that was absent before.  At the same time, children are covered under the Affordable Care Act.  The proponents of the legislation make the persuasive argument that no longer will parents have to sacrifice for their children's health care needs.

Naturally, the political lightning rod of the Affordable Care Act involves individuals who cite specific cons.  The first would be that the rollout of the Affordable Care Act has not been reflective of the best in management.  Problems with the health care website represent a disadvantage to government mandated health care.  Those who argue this point suggest that government involvement in the realm of something as nuanced and delicate as health care is not good, symbolized by the crashing website and the interminable wait when on the site.  From a more literal point of view, a con in the Affordable Care Act is the challenging costs to small businesses.  Small businesses who were able to not have to provide health care coverage now must do so under the legislation's mandate.  This creates a situation where small businesses struggle under the weight of federal regulation.  Another con of the Affordable Care Act is how people have been forced to change their health care coverage.  Based on the standards that the legislation dictates in terms of how each health plan must cover specific conditions, individuals whose health care plans failed to do so lost their health care coverage.  As a result, individuals were dissatisfied and concerned when they had to go "back to the market" to find a health care plan when they originally did not plan on doing so.  Naturally, to finance the costs of the Affordable Care Act, taxes are going to be raised on the wealthiest of Americans.  Such a position has been fleshed out as a con because of the rise of taxes for a product that is not necessarily going to benefit them.

tyler-k | Student

The most obvious pro of Obama Care is the fact that it will allow millions of Americans who can't afford health insurance to become insured. It is meant to lower costs and make healthcare available even for people with existing medical issues and conditions. The problem with Obama Care is that many elderly Americans have signed up, but not many healthy, young citizens have. This means that there aren't enough people to pay for the high health care costs of older people.