On March 23, 2010, President Obama signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPAC). In tandem with the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act, ratified a week later to amend portions of the PPAC, these two pieces of legislation represent the passage of significant pieces of health care reform. Most notably, the new laws expand health care coverage to 32 million uninsured Americans.
The current debate surrounding PPAC has three central voices: those who assert they are fixing a broken system, others who see the legislation as a direct, costly, and unconstitutional attack against the individual liberties ensured us by our nation's founders, and still others who note that PPAC falls painfully short of a necessary universal healthcare system.
What people are saying about PPAC
PPAC will create a new, competitive market place, termed an exchange, in which all Americans not on Medicaid or Medicare can purchase a plan that suits them best. The goal is to correct for the monopoly-like conditions in past insurance markets. (Families USA)
Insurance companies will be required to spend up to 85% of their revenues from premiums on health services. Companies that fail to comply will be forced to pay refunds to consumers. (Families USA)
According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), PPAC will reduce the debt by $143 billion over the next decade. (Center for American Progress)
The numbers behind healthcare: these and many more available from NPP's publications and tools
In 2009, 20.1 cents of your federal income tax dollar was spent on health care. Only the military received a larger portion of the same dollar.
The number of people in the U.S without health insurance has been increasing since 1999.
Government expenditures on Medicare and Medicaid have been rising steadily since 1983.
How NPP can help you learn more about healthcare
Track how the federal government spent your 2009 federal income-tax dollar on health.
This one-of-a-kind database contains state and local level data on federal spending correlated with ten broad issue areas including health. Utilize it to see how the federal government allocated expenditures in your state, county, or school district.
This publication reviews Presidential budget requests spanning fiscal years 2008 to 2012 which include requested spending authorities from the final Bush budget to the Obama administration's projected 2012 budget. See the breakdown of health expenditures over the five year span.
More Food for Thought
The American Action Forum
The American Action Forum is a conservative think tank dedicated to keeping America strong, free, and prosperous. It seeks to promote common-sense, innovative, and solutions-based policies that will reform government, challenge out-dated assumptions, and create a smaller, smarter government that will serve its citizens better. http://americanactionforum.org
The Center for American Progress
The Center for American Progress is a liberal public policy think tank addressing 21stcentury challenges such as energy, national security, economic growth and opportunity, immigration, education, and health care. http://www.americanprogress.org
Families USA is a national non-profit, non-partisan organization working to achieve high quality, affordable health care for all Americans. http://www.familiesusa.org/about/
The Heritage Foundation
The Heritage Foundation is a conservative think tank concerned with formulating and promoting public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense. http://www.heritage.org/issues/education
The National Federation of Independent Business
The National Federation of Independent Business is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization representing small and independent businesses. NFIB works to promote and protect the right of its members to own, operate and grow their businesses. http://www.nfib.com/
PPAC's individual mandate requiring all Americans to enroll in a health care plan is unprecedented and unconstitutional. The Constitution does not furnish Congress with the ability to impose any kind of transaction on individuals. (Heritage Foundation/American Center for Law and Justice)
PPAC will stifle small business. The tax credit meant to make purchasing health care for this sector more affordable will help only a small portion of firms. Further, the credit is only applicable for six years. (The National Federation of Independent Business)
PPAC will increase the budget deficit by up to $500 billion over the next decade. (The American Action Forum)