Affordable Care Act brought more coverage

Published 7:00 am Thursday, December 22, 2016

About six years ago President Barack Obama signed into law the Affordable Care Act, a move applauded and jeered at the same time by differing members of the American public.

Objectors said the act would cause problems in the healthcare industry, while supporters countered it would provide coverage to more people, and hopefully bring the cost of medical care down.

While it’s still to be determined if the cost of medical care has been affected, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that more Mississippians do indeed have medical insurance as a result of the law.

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According to those statistics, 30 percent more people in the state now have insurance than six years ago before the law went into effect.

Even those with coverage provided by an employer have seen benefits.

Those benefits included ending annual and lifetime limits on coverage, increasing the age of young adult coverage under their parent’s plan to 26 and making preventive care free.

The law also mandates that insurance companies spend 80 cents of each dollar collected in insurance premiums on healthcare, instead of administrative costs.

Such a move will prevent these companies from upping their salaries while cutting benefits.

More than 1.1 million Mississippians with employer provided coverage have benefited from this law, so long as it is not repealed by the incoming administration as it has indicated.

That figure does not include recipients of Medicare and Medicaid, where benefits have also been seen.

Healthcare is something we all need, and unless America decides to provide free healthcare as some nations do, we need to find a way to continue to make it affordable.

Having healthier Mississippians means our state will continue to prosper, and move out of last place in a number of categories.