Ever since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, abbreviated the ACA, also known as Obamacare, the future of health care law has been a polarizing debate within the political world. Given the gridlock between the right and left ends of the political spectrum, the future of national health care laws face a very uncertain future.
While the passage of the ACA was and still is hotly contested, one thing that most everyone agrees on is that health care costs are spiraling out of control, making basic medical care an expensive proposition for most individuals. Despite this, what exactly to do about it is where the debate begins.
The Affordable Care Act offers federal subsidies and a marketplace for competing quotes, in the hopes of making health insurance more affordable to lower income people. In fact, millions have registered through the site over several years to purchase coverage. The subsidies are financed through a number of taxes and fees, including a hotly contested mandate that all adult Americans have health insurance or pay a fine.
The results of the ACA are openly disputed nearly daily between the Democrats on the left and the Republicans on the right. While there is of course no pure consensus on either side, in general, the Democrats plan to defend the law and strengthen or improve it, while many Republicans advocate repealing the law and replacing it.
The future of the health care law may not wind up in the hands of Congress, in the end. Making significant changes to it or killing it altogether would likely require the same set of political circumstances leading to the bill in the first place, that is: the White House and both chambers of Congress all being controlled by the same political party. While the future is unknown, pundits do not expect this trifecta to come together again in the next two to three years, if not longer, as Congress is expected to remain divided, regardless of the outcome of the Presidential race.
The ACA has already survived a number of court challenges that went all the way to the Supreme Court. Given the demise of Justice Scalia and the possibility of a deadlocked court producing tied votes for the near future, it is unlikely that any court decision could overturn the bill. While there are those both advocating for the destruction of the law as well as some clamoring for taking the next step into actual universal health care, it would seem that the ACA is here to stay for now.