Despite being rocked by constant and unrelenting opposition, the US president’s health care reforms are starting to look up.
The two factors that are considered most important – prices and coverage – are favourable.
According to the US Bureau of Labour Statistics, health care costs have been rising but rising very slowly. This is inevitably good news for health insurance policy holders.
Over the past year costs have apparently risen only 3% overall, while prices for medical facilities such as insurance, hospital care and so on have grown by just 2.5% in the same period.
This good news has also had the knock on effect of encouraging uptake of health insurance by those people for which Obamacare is aimed.
Until it was introduced, many people with long term medical and care needs, and who often didn’t have the means to pay the expenses, were unable to get health insurance coverage.
President Obama decided that although a universal health system was not on the cards, it was possible to legislate so that people with pre-existing disorders and illnesses would not be denied coverage.
He also ensured that an individual’s inability to pay for health insurance should not be a barrier.
The biggest problem (other than political interference by opponents) was the cost. Many people opposed to the scheme believed Obamacare would result in a massive increase in health costs and health insurance costs.
Obamacare was fully implemented in January this year after 4 years of preparation. Uptake was not as fast as some thought it would be. Moreover, experts also realised that it would not be viable to look at how the scheme was working until around the middle of the year.
Interestingly, medical and health care economists are unsure why prices and costs have slowed.
One suggestion is the health industry is still in the midst of a recession. Other experts believe there is less take-up of new medical technology, which is generally accepted as being expensive.