Quora Question: Is Obamacare Helping or Hurting the Average U.S. Citizen?

Hillary Clinton on Obamacare
Arminda Murillo, 54, reads a leaflet at a health insurance enrollment event in Cudahy, California. Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

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Answer by Hillary Clinton, Candidate for President & Former Secretary of State, on Quora:

One thing is clear about the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare): it’s working.

And we should build on its success, not start from scratch. And we can’t let Republicans in Congress repeal or weaken it (which they’ve voted to do more than 50 times) and risk returning to the days when insurance companies wrote their own rules.

I’m a veteran of the fight to make quality, affordable available for every American—and I have the scars to show for it. So I was thrilled to be a member of President Obama's administration when he signed the Affordable Care Act into law. Today we’re beginning to see some remarkable results. For the first time in 50 years, the rate of uninsured Americans has fallen below 10 percent. Nearly 18 million people have gotten coverage through the Obamacare and—despite what the Republican presidential candidates would have you believe—it’s actually saving us money.

The law also offers important new protections to consumers. In the past, insurance companies could put a lifetime cap on what they would spend and they could deny you coverage for being sick. The Affordable Care Act protects millions of people with pre-existing conditions. It also says women cannot be charged more for health care just because we are women. And it allows young people stay on their parents' plans until the age of 26. Put simply, it has given millions of families peace of mind.

Of course, it didn’t solve all of our problems. While overall health care spending growth has slowed, most people don’t feel like costs are coming under control. That’s because premiums and out-of-pocket health expenses keep climbing, while wages have stayed flat. According to a report by the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation, four out of five workers face an annual deductible—and the average deductible has spiked to more than one thousand dollars. That’s putting additional financial pressure on a lot of families.

I want to build on the progress we’ve made under the Affordable Care Act and strengthen the pieces that need improvement. We have to expand access to affordable coverage—especially for rural Americans, who have difficulty finding quality health care provider—and continue to slow the growth of health care costs. At the same time, we need to make sure families are seeing lower out-of-pocket costs and deductibles. That’s why I’ve proposed a new tax credit of up to $5000 for families with excessive health care expenses. My plan also includes a tax credit to help the millions of families caring for aging relatives or family members with chronic illnesses or disabilities.

This is what my health care plan is all about—building on the progress we’ve made under the Affordable Care Act and fighting to put quality health care within every American’s reach.

Is Obamacare helping or hurting the average U.S. citizen?: originally appeared on Quora - the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights. You can follow Quora on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. More questions: