The Bottom Line: How the Affordable Care Act Helps America’s Families

Source: Kim Bailey, Kathleen Stoll, Families USA, October 2011

From the introduction:
Over the last two decades, paying health insurance premiums and other health care bills has become increasingly hard for American families. As premiums have gone up each year and the cost of health care has escalated, more and more costs have been shifted to consumers through increases in deductibles and copayments and decreases in covered services. Middle-class and low-income families need relief from escalating health care costs. The Affordable Care Act, when fully implemented, will provide tangible and measurable relief to American families….

– First, the Affordable Care Act will provide direct financial relief to millions of insured American families that struggle to pay health insurance premiums today….
– Second, the Affordable Care Act will help American families who are uninsured today by expanding affordable insurance options….
– Third, the Affordable Care Act will slow the growth of underlying health care costs and thus help all Americans….

…To measure the net bottom line impact of the Affordable Care Act on family budgets, our analysis used a sophisticated economic model built on publicly available data that was able to look simultaneously at all of the major provisions of the Affordable Care Act and to measure their impact on families in 2019. (Detailed descriptions of the methodology and model inputs are available online at www. familiesusa.org/resources/publications/reports/The-Bottom-Line.html.) We used the year 2019 for our analysis in order to capture the effects of the Affordable Care Act when it is fully implemented. Many key provisions of the new law go into effect in 2014, and providing a five-year window for implementation allows us to capture both full enrollment in programs that expand coverage and the effects of initiatives that are designed to slow the growth in health care costs.

Our examination found that both lower- and middle-income families will be financial winners, and both uninsured and insured families will come out ahead.

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