Health Care Resources at Library

Getting to the Bottom of Affordable Care Act

By Brigham Narins

So it’s November, kind of a busy month: On the 4th we had the mid-term elections—the Republicans came away pretty happy, the Democrats not so much. And on the 15th the second open enrollment period began for ObamaCare.

Among the happy Republicans was Mitch McConnell. Not only did he win his reelection race, he is also expected to be confirmed as the new majority leader in the Senate, a position he has reportedly coveted his entire political life.

On November 5, the day after the election, McConnell and Speaker of the House John Boehner published an op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal in which the two congressional leaders renewed “our commitment to repeal ObamaCare, which is hurting the job market along with Americans’ health care.” Elaborating somewhat on that point, they wrote that “[h]ealth costs . . . continue to rise under a hopelessly flawed law that Americans have never supported.”

While it is true that among the general public, ObamaCare—the legislation’s real name is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act—has never had majority approval. However, recent polling shows that 70% of people who actually use the new system—that is, who get their health insurance either through their home state’s health exchange or through the federal exchange,—really like it.

Is there a disconnect here? The general public does not support the Affordable Care Act (ACA), but the people who get their insurance through it do. Some commentators have suggested that the general lack of support is complicated by significant numbers of people who express disapproval because the Act doesn’t go far enough. This group includes people who advocate a single-payer health care system, which, unlike the ACA, would take for-profit health insurance companies out of the picture. So the disapproving group could include some strange bedfellows—the political left and right. With a different take on the matter, one blogger suggested that “[t]he people who hate the Affordable Care Act are generally people who have no idea what it even does, and who aren’t affected by it at all.”

In any event, it seems clear that with a new majority in the Senate and with the Supreme Court set to hear a new challenge to the ACA, “ObamaCare” will be in the news for the foreseeable future. Do your patrons know what it’s all about? Do you?

Consumer Health Care Gale eBookConsumer Health Care has nice big entry on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care. It’s a
two-volume encyclopedia with 230 more entries from aging population and the U.S. health care system to the World Health Organization (WHO); plus, appendices listing State Health Insurance Exchanges, Toll-Free Numbers for Health Information, and more.

Having Consumer Health Care in the highly searchable GVRL eBook platform provides users with answers to their questions in a single search.  Access a free trial of Consumer Health Care and our other more recently published health titles today!

Editor’s note: Consumer Health Care is award winning! It was added to the 2015 Outstanding References Sources List, an annual list selected by experts of the Collection Development and Evaluation Section (CODES) of the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), a division of ALA.

Brigham Narins

About the Author

Brigham is a senior content developer at Gale. He works on the Health and Wellness Resource Center and has edited many “Gale Encyclopedia Of” health and medical titles—so many that he’s practically a doctor.


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