The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

ACA
—Rescued for Profit, Not People

Mar 15, 2021

Included in the American Rescue Plan that was passed by the Democrats in Congress and signed by Biden is 34 billion dollars to expand the Affordable Care Act (ACA), known as Obamacare.

About 15 million people have lost their private health insurance since the start of the economic crisis and the pandemic. It is estimated that only about one million people would get insurance through this measure, a drop in the bucket to what is really needed. And for those million or so people getting insurance through the ACA, many of them will still be paying hundreds of dollars a month in premiums, after the small subsidies provided by the government.

What the 34 billion dollars in this legislation really amounts to is a subsidy for the profits of the insurance companies and the health care corporations, just like the original Affordable Care Act.

While most of the wealthier countries in the world have some form of a national health care system, the U.S. health care system is mainly based on making profits for the insurance companies, the hospital corporations and the drug companies. That’s why the health care provided in this country is worse than in many other countries.

Under the ACA, while it did enable some more people to buy health insurance, many millions of people were still left without insurance. The ACA was mainly a big boost for the guaranteed profits of the health care corporations.

During the election campaign, many Democrats and Biden himself talked about improving the health care system, and providing health insurance for people who don’t have it, through some kind of public option, or Medicare for all, or through some other form of government health care.

But this legislation they just passed and signed continues to ensure that profits will come before the health care needs of the population.