March 3, 2016
Even with the upcoming elections, Obamacare (also known as the Affordable Care Act) is even more unlikely to change, and if you’re seeking addiction treatment, that might be great news.
Whether one agrees with president Barack Obama’s policies on foreign or domestic issues, the Affordable Care Act is here to stay. This act is and will affect many different insurance policy holders, but most importantly, it will have massive effects on those seeking addiction treatment. To get a grasp as to its inner mechanisms and understanding the mechanics of it, one must understand the purpose behind its creation and push onto the political landscape.
Birth Of An Idea
The idea of the Affordable Care Act in fact did not start with president Obama.
The reality is that the programs ideals and details were first promoted by president Richard Nixon and his administration in 1942. From its idealistic beginnings, the thoughts about its formation first started as an add-on plan from Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s social security act in April 1935.
At the time it was just proposed, it was known by several different names but was yet dropped because of the political storm that the new social security act created, in a time where war peeked around every corner.
While the body of the work changed over time, its essential components changed only once. Those main aspects of the plan were simply updated and revised by the republican senators during the Clinton administration.
Why Was It Created?
Once most presidents are elected, there is a 75 percent chance that they will be reelected. This consensus creates an incentive for many presidents to enact and create signatory deals, plans, and laws.
During this time, many presidents try to create a lasting legacy that will forever be tied into their time in office. For example, during president Bill Clinton’s administration, he enacted the Family Medical Leave Act. That act forced employers to grant employed and unpaid leave to their employees who have to take an emergency leave of absence, for both family and medical reasons. Another prime example of a lasting legacy is during the George W. Bush administration from 2001 to 2009. A monumental bill passed during his presidency was the very controversial Patriot Act. This bill has been contested for years and will likely keep stirring up hot debate, but its legacy is uncontroversial in its impact.
President Obama first mentioned his assembly of a team to first draft the bill days after his swearing into office. By March of 2010 a few months after his election, his administration had a working draft to begin to work and add on. In that same month, it was completed and enacted into law awaiting the supreme court’s decision over it.
To the larger purpose as to why it was created rests highly on the country’s rising healthcare costs.
Costs for medical procedures, prescription drugs, and addiction treatment services were monumentally high. Due to the ever rising healthcare cost, insurance premiums and co-pays skyrocketed as a result.
In this turmoil of rising insurance and medical costs, the amount of people claiming bankruptcy rose to record levels. Add to all those issues the economic crisis going about the world around 2007 to 2012.
By the end of 2009, the American government was pumping out trillions in uninsured medical and treatment visits that brought the American debt to the highest it has ever reached in its history.
Throughout the oval office and much of the government, there was a consensus that action had to be taken to curtail those rising costs. In congress and senate circles, it was agreed that a law had to be enacted soon to figure out what to do with the ever rising debt.
What Is Obamacare?
Obamacare or the Affordable Care Act, is a bill passed and enacted into law for the purpose of which is to make healthcare more affordable to those who have little or no money. It was created as a type of assistance to those under a certain income bracket.
Another part of the law is the closing of loopholes created by certain insurance companies which reject certain customers due to pre-existing conditions.
A smaller part of the law was passed to extend the reach of medicaid coverage to a larger income bracket than was previously set. This is simply to make the budget larger so that more can then apply for its benefits.
A main reason in much of the rise in the healthcare costs, happens due to the younger generation simply not being enrolled in any type of insurance plan. In those lacking any kind of coverage the cost is then passed over to take from the medicaid budget. The very medicaid budget allocated for those already enrolled into it.
The new law is supposed to help more of the younger generation enroll, by providing more assistance and making the application for healthcare easier by being available online.
What Effect Does Obamacare Have In Treating Addiction?
The entirety of Obamacare inscribes to itself a set of 10 essential healthcare elements. This means that anything that falls into those 10 elements, has the full backing of the law. Otherwise put, it’s the reason for its creation.
Substance abuse and addiction fall into the 10 elements described by the law.
This means that it provides treatment services because it’s seen as an “essential health benefit”. In addition, it means that any insurance plans under the hand of the Affordable Care Act or those subscribed to using medicaid will fall under its coverage. Any insurance package purchased through healthcare.gov or any of its third parties, will have the added substance abuse treatment under it.
As of the writing of this article, it is still unsure about what substances will be covered under treatment according to the law.
Unfortunately throughout much of the healthcare history in the United States, substance abuse addiction was never directly covered under most government insured plans. Even under medicaid, coverage varied widely with many differing factors as to what will and won’t get coverage.
Jeffrey Buck, a senior advisor for behavioral health at the centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services, spearheaded the move to get substance abuse issues on the table when it came to medicaid and medicare. He believed that for an overall healthier society, substance issues must be treated with the same severity as that of any other medical issue.
Obamacare is most certainly still in its infancy and growing each day. According to Forbes magazine, since its inception, there has been a total of 22.8 million people to have enrolled into the Affordable Care Act. Due to the high numbers enrolled now and the many more for the coming year, it’s highly unlikely that the core principles behind the law will ever change, if so, not in the near future.
In just the recent month, more policies were amended and added to it to further coverage for more substance abuse issues. In certain places, there is even a push to require police to utilize addiction treatment over punishment in any cases involving drugs or alcohol.
Favorably the road ahead for any who wish to enroll into Obamacare for the medical benefits, including addiction services is certainly unobstructed. Getting help for yourself or a loved from the clutches of addiction should soon become easy to find and even easier to get help.
If you or someone you love’s in need, make sure to contact us.