As humans, it is in our nature to pick a ‘team’. We have this sort of pack mentality instilled in us. This can be witnessed in school groups, cliques, clubs, family life, and even politics. In the United States the common political division is among liberals and conservatives; Democrats and Republicans. As we grow and mature we begin to pick our governmental team. This decision is typically made through our ‘pack’ initiative. We follow what is familiar, and support those that support us. To no surprise, this creates a cyclical pattern of division in the political world. One side supports one thing, while the other opposes it. This routine of picking sides and defending your team has created a lot of misconception and controversy throughout the years.

When The Affordable Care Act was put into action on March 23, 2010 eruptions of joy and distress broke out. Following the political pattern, not everyone was happy with the changes. People on both sides were furious, and from this rage misconceptions were born and false information was spread. While Obamacare has been in effect for nearly eight years, falsities are still being linked with the healthcare plan. Beliefs that Obamacare is socialized medicine, healthcare is more expensive, and patient to doctor relationships are jeopardized under the plan are common myths associated with The Affordable Care Act.

However, these particular misconceptions can easily be disproved. Many believe that Obamacare is socialized medicine. Meaning that the United States healthcare system is similar to that of Canada. While the Affordable Care Act has expanded health insurance, the majority of this has occurred under the private insurance market. Whereas in Canada the government is required to pay for medical bills, ultimately making it a public sector. In order to truly be considered socialized healthcare, the United States would have to have a formal mandate for each individual. While Obamacare did have a mandate, there were far too many exceptions to allow the Affordable Care Act to fall under the category of socialized healthcare.

Another popular argument is that the Affordable Care Act has made health insurance far too expensive. On the contrary, insurance prices have essentially remained consistent under Affordable Care Act. Meaning that the annual price per person under the ACA is extremely similar to that of prices in 2009. In 2009 healthcare cost an average of $8,141 per person, whereas in 2010 it was $8,404. Since the enactment of Obamacare prices have only increased 100-400 dollars a year. Surprisingly, this pattern of increase has been present since 1977 under the Carter Administration. For example, prices from 1977 to 1978 rose from $777 to $865. Similarly from 2014 to 2015 the cost per person only rose around four hundred dollars. In 2014 individual healthcare was $9,515 and in 2015 it was $9,990.

Myth number three states that “Obamacare intrudes into the doctor-patient relationship by allowing government bureaucrats to decide your treatment, not your doctor.” is completely false. The radical idea that the government is interfering with personal patient to doctor relationships is admittedly misleading. The balance.com simply defends this by stating, “Your relationship with your doctor hasn’t changed. Bureaucrats have always been involved. Your doctor decides on the treatment. Then, an insurance company staff person decides whether it will be covered.The insurance company also determines how much it will cover and how much it will pay the doctor. For Medicaid and Medicare, the government is involved in this decision by acting as the insurance company. The ACA didn’t change any of this.”

There are other factors and misconceptions that are tied to the Affordable Care Act. The illusion that Obamacare is detrimental to our wallets, our government, and our personal relationships is a testament of our nation’s political divide. Under this cycle of division, people grow stubborn in their beliefs and are easily misinformed.

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CC BY-SA 4.0 Mislead and Falsely Informed by Emily is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

1 Comment
  1. Anna 2 months ago

    Hi Emily,
    Im researching universal healthcare and I have come across many of the criticisms you brought up of the affordable care act. The affordable healthcare was a step towards bringing healthcare to everyone, but it was so widely and passionately opposed that I feel like getting closer to a universal healthcare system in the United States is going to be really hard. If youre interested, theres three types of universal healthcare models. All three provide universal coverage and access, but do so in different ways, suggesting that high performance can be achieved through a variety of payment and organizational approaches. They are the the Beveridge model utilized by the UK, Medicare, a single payer insurance program used in Australia, and a multi-payer system used by the Netherlands which most closely resembles the affordable care act. I also found a study comparing the United States healthcare system with eleven other countries if you’re interested: http://www.commonwealthfund.org/interactives/2017/july/mirror-mirror/

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