In June of last year, the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act.
Despite Republican’s efforts to defeat President Obama and Democrats for what they call derisively “ObamaCare,” the President was reelected.
The bulk of the provisions of the health care law will start in the year 2014. At that time health care exchanges will be established that will increase access to healthcare plans and provide information about the performance of each company.
For example, consumers will know how often each insurance company denies a claim. Such information will allow consumers to make an informed choice and incentivize companies to treat consumers better.
It is safe to assume that the Affordable Care Act is here to stay and will become a pillar that holds up the social safety net and guarantees that Americans will have access to medical coverage and that catastrophic health problems will not drive Americans into bankruptcy.
Several key provisions are already benefiting customers. Among them is the provision that forces companies to spend a minimum of 80% of premiums on the delivery of healthcare.
According to the research group the Commonwealth Fund, those rules saved $1.5 billion for their customers.
As I wrote earlier this year, this is the Greatest Tax Ever! I was thrilled to get a notice this year that I was getting a rebate check from my health insurance company.
Overall, according to the study, customers received $1.1 billion in rebate checks this year.
One of the major benefits is that consumers are no longer paying inflated premiums that are merely designed to increase profits for an insurance company.
By reducing administrative costs and massive executive compensation packages for companies, consumers are now actually paying for the services they want rather than getting fleeced by insurance providers.
Another major benefit of Obamacare is that gender discrimination is no longer allowed. Traditionally companies have charged women more for coverage than men.
Between capping administrative percentages, reducing costs and establishing gender equality in health insurance premiums the Affordable Care Act is already paying more than a billion dollars in dividends to consumers.
That is a good start.
About Bill Buck
Bill Buck is a Democratic strategist, President of the Buck Communications Group, a media relations and new media strategies consulting business based in Washington, DC, and Managing Director of the online ad firm Influence DSP. He has over twenty years of international and national communications experience. The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of CBS Local.