Politics Behind The Affordable Care Act

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The Affordable Care Act has been a constant source of political debates because of the perceived disadvantages it has on the American citizens. The main criticism for this act has been the fact that taxes will have to increase in order to fund fundamental elements of health reform. In May 2007, while campaigning for the presidency in Des Moines, Iowa, Mitt Romney argued that the act would result in massive tax increases. He was categorical in warning voters that an increase in taxes would do more harm to Americans than passing the bill. Mitt Romney strategically utilized the Affordable Care Act to enhance his presidential ambitions. The act also encourages strong government control, meaning that health care in the United States will be in the hands of the government (Cohn, 2013). Mitt Romney encouraged voters not to elect Obama because his actions would radically transform the health sector and reduce the competition. Government control is good because the relevant officials can closely follow the health care situation in the country. Limiting the competitors in the health care sector, however, is disadvantageous because there is the risk of reducing the health care standards in the country.

Obama’s Presidency

The politics behind the Affordable Care Act was a fundamental reason in getting Obama reelected back into office as a two-term president. President Obama actually endorsed the name ‘Obamacare’ as a reference to the Affordable Care Act. By March 2012, ‘Obamacare’ was a key election term, and more people followed information about Obama and his campaign. The Department of Health and Human Services had to purchase Google advertisements to direct people searching for ‘Obamacare’ to their official website. Between July 2009 and June 2012, the term ‘Obamacare’ was used 3,000 times in congressional speeches, further highlighting the importance of the act (McDonough, 2011). The Affordable Care Act is a major political issue in the United States even as Republicans threatened to undo Obama’s work if they came into power. The debate about the Affordable Care Act has also drawn a significant point of discussion among Americans as they decide on the political importance of the bill and who to elect. Obama’s presidency certainly has benefitted politically from the Affordable Care Act because it has been used to attract more voters. The popularity of ‘Obamacare’ in the United States stems from the political effort to help Obama’s reelection for a second term.

Death Panels

The Affordable Care Act is likely to create a group of powerful individuals who will determine accessibility to heath care services. Sarah Palin, in 2007, coined the term ‘death panels’ because this group of people would determine whether elderly or sick Americans were worthy of accessing good health care services. Political debates have emerged as a result, with some Americans actually believing that Sarah Palin’s claims were accurate. In 2010, Pew Research Center reported that 30 percent of the respondents believed that Sarah Palin’s claims were true. A massive 85 percent of Americans were familiar with the claims, and it resulted in awareness being spread about the details of the act (Jacobs & Skocpol, 2011). The debates surrounding the ‘death panels’ have been strategically used by the Republicans to gain political advantage in the country. By demeaning the value of the Affordable Care Act in the United States, they are effectively garnering a steady base of support. The next elections in the country will heavily feature the merits and demerits of the act, and this will help the politicians gain voters. The politics behind the Affordable Care Act will affect the accessibility to good health care services in the United States.

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