Advantages and disadvantages of Obamacare act

By DANIEL WAMBUGU on August 1, 2014

Obamacare is the un-official name for Affordable Care Act. Amadeo, (2010, p. 10) explains that it is intended to protect the American citizens against exploitation by the insurance companies and includes provisions of quality health care. In the recent years, there has been negative feedback for the health services being offered to Americans.  Oberlander, (2012, p. 2160) after in depth research claimed that in 2011, 65% of Americans claimed that they were not satisfied with the health services. On top of that, the insurance companies are exploiting the people by overcharging them, sometimes not catering the full cost incurred during treatment, gender discrimination and even making unreasonable decisions.

This Obamacare act is in a written document, which is composed of over 1000 pages and mostly consists of the reforms of insurance and healthcare industries. It is structured in a way, such that the most important reforms are placed in the first 140 pages. It targets to provide Americans with affordable and quality health care while still reducing the government health care spending as explained by Battistella, (2010, P. 623).

Implementation of Obamacare act

The government is planning to implement the Obama care act in several phases. Some of the phases include the expansion of  Medicaid, implementing marketplaces and improvement of Medicare by 2014. Also the law requires all Americans to have insurance cover by 2014. Those who will fail, will have to pay an additional tax of 1% on the total income and by 2016 they will be paying 2.5% tax on their total income.

According to statistics 44 million Americans had insurance in 2013 which constitutes only 16% of total American population. In 2014, 13% of the population are still waiting to get a health insurance. Below are pie chart diagrams drawn from information obtained in (Obamacare facts, n.d.) to represent the information above.

Percentage of American population covered with health insurance before and after implementation of Obamacare Act
Percentage of American population covered with health insurance before and after implementation of Obamacare act

The affordable care act has set some period known as the open role where one is supposed to check the marketplace and obtain the most favorable insurance that they can afford. It is meant to take care of all the people in different classes of life and organizational size. For example, there is cost assistance policy that assists the families and individuals that are poor and also the small businesses. There are also future plans which are intended to be put in place starting from 2016 where companies will be paying insurance fee for their employees as stated by Thompson and Gusmano (2014, P. 10).

Advantages of Obamacare act

For everything that is introduced, there are always advantages as well as disadvantages attached with it Obamacare is no exception. There have been several positive and negative impacts of the same which impact different stakeholders i.e., national citizen, insurance providing organizations and state itself. Politicians have had lengthy discussions over it. Some supporting its implementations while others opposing its implementation; stating that the the implementation of Obamacare will have more negative effects than  positive effects as stated by Thompson and Gusmano, (2014, p. 11).

Firstly, the Act provides cost assistance to families, individuals and small business. Manchikanti and Hirsch, (2012, P. E635) explain that the act is built on the fact that not all families have equal resources and therefore, some families need more resources than others. Hence this policy ensures that these special groups get a bit of assistance that might help them choose a more cheaper policy.

The new health insurance market has given people their freedom of choice. It allows people to choose which insurance policy they can easily afford. During the open-role period, online marketplace is open for all  Americans to purchase the insurance policy that fits best in their pockets (Amadeo, 2010, p.9). It also offers a guarantee over the insurance cover which has been discussed by Wilkerson, Williams and Wirth (2010, P. 10) in their research that most of these insurance companies are fond of dropping mid-treatment. That is, they will cover the payment up to a certain extent then they will withdraw. Also, it protects one from gender discrimination. It was found that some of the health insurance firms charge one gender more than the other gender. The client also has the power to file a case over the decision made by a given insurance company and if the client is not satisfied with the decision made then he may seek justice over the insurance company.

Young adults are now privileged to stay with their parents up to 26 years. This is because the policy is extending the cover of the parents to the young adult up to the age of 26. There are also several reforms that will be put in place in health care to avoid wasteful spending. It will be through proper supervision and accountability of how resources are used in the health care. It will aim at reducing the out-of-pocket-cost by implementing new preventive measures. These out-of-pocket cost are mostly experienced during an emergency care, maternity and hospitalized drug prescription.

Disadvantages of Obamacare

There are disadvantages that have been brought about by the Obamacare. They include the employer mandate to pay the insurance fee for the employees, which will be in effect from 2016. Battistella, (2010, P.625) explains that it will be a policy or a law that will be forcefully demanding the employer to give $20, 000 annually for their employee’s insurance which may or may not be affordable for all the firms operational in US. The taxes have also been adjusted and everyone is entitled to pay them.

The Obamacare has also taken care of the anti-social mandate which forces religious organizations to provide contraceptives, free sterilization and abortions to the employees who may contradict with some these religion as explained by Oberlander, (2012, p. 2162).

Thompson and Gusmano (2014, P.11) state that “the government in its plans to control the wastage of money, will be supervising the doctors and trying to control them so that they can provide better services with the least resources.” It might not work well with the doctors and they might decide to resign hence the state might suffer from shortage of doctors.

Economic growth from Obamacare act

The Obamacare act is implemented to benefit the Americans and if implemented properly, citizens of US will experience new benefits, protections and even their rights guarded. Even if Obamacare has a few disadvantages, it is evident that the advantages are more. If embraced, it might lead to more business for the insurance companies because healthy people are likely to be employed hence resulting in an overall  economic growth in the country.


  • Amadeo, K. (2010). What Is Obamacare? (7-21).
  • Battistella, R. M. (2010). ObamaCare: miscalculated assurances. The Cancer Journal16(6), 622-628.
  • Manchikanti, L., & Hirsch, J. A. (2012). Obamacare 2012: prognosis unclear for interventional pain management. Pain physician15(5), E629-E640.
  • MarketPlace and insurance cover. Retrieved from
  • Oberlander, J. (2012). The future of Obamacare. New England Journal of Medicine367(23), 2165-2167.
  • Thompson, F. J., & Gusmano, M. K. (2014). The administrative presidency and fractious federalism: The case of Obamacare. Publius: The Journal of Federalism, pju011.
  • Wilkerson, K., Williams, J., & Wirth, T. (2010). ObamaCare: Improving Reform’s Bill of Health.( 5-15).