By Alejandro Freixes, CCNN Head Writer
The Affordable Care Act passed by the USA’s Congress in 2010 sought to change America’s healthcare system by increasing the quality and affordability of health insurance. Unfortunately, it’s had a rough rollout these past few months, including a glitch-filled website, unclear explanations to the public about what exactly the law does, low enrollment numbers, and higher insurance prices for healthy individuals. Popularly called “Obamacare”, the law’s implementation has been criticized by both Republicans and Democrats, including President Barack Obama, despite the 7 million or so estimated people enrolled in the program.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who was responsible for overseeing Obamacare, received widespread criticism for not managing the release of Obamacare better. On Friday, Obama announced that he would be nominating Sylvia Mathews Burwell as the new health secretary, with Sebelius resigning her post. Burwell currently heads the White House’s Office of Management and Budget, and is responsible for helping the president manage money and ensure agency programs are in line with Obama’s ideas.
Meanwhile, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that around 7 million people have enrolled in Obamacare. That estimate does not mean there’s 7 million already enrolled after the March 31 deadline to sign up, since it’s more of a long-term calendar-year prediction. One major research group, the RAND Corp., reports that since September of 2013, the number of uninsured Americans has dropped from 20.5% to 15.8%, with 9.3 million gaining coverage. However, it’s not entirely clear how much Obamacare had to do with these changes, since much of the insurance gains came from employer-based coverage. Only time will tell what impact Obamacare has on insurance rates, since it’s even influencing non-healthcare industries like car insurance.
Featured image courtesy of The White House Facebook.