Texas is the third-largest market for the Affordable Care Act (ACA), known informally as Obamacare. More than 1.3 million Texans are enrolled in the Affordable Care Act, a number slightly higher than a year ago.
While the rate of uninsured Texans has fallen steadily because of the ACA, dropping to 17. 1 percent in 2015 according to the Texas Tribune, our state still has the largest number of uninsured citizens. Some 4.6 million residents lack health care insurance.
Though many studies, such as The Commonwealth Fund’s recent report, have found that the Affordable Care Act has had an overall positive impact on the economy, small business owners often find themselves between a rock and a hard place.
As often happens with legislation, details that help a law work day-to-day are often left to the states, leaving business owners to struggle.
Universal Coin and Bullion’s Mike Fuljenz has seen some of the effects of the ACA firsthand, noting that he knows someone who lost their cancer doctor and who was forced to switch jobs because it wasn’t covered under the Obamacare system.
The affordability of the health care offered by different insurance carriers has been questionable, too. Mandated to provide adequate insurance instead of selling substandard policies at cheaper rates, these companies are hiking rates in response to market demand and other factors.
Fuljenz’s ability to provide insurance for his employees has been affected by the ACA, explaining that costs for providing healthcare for his employees have gone up by 15-20% during each year of Obamacare. He explains that in order to absorb that cost, he has had to raise the deductibles for his employees.
Fuljenz has been a first-hand witness to how Obamacare has affected his employees along with his employees’ families, noting one example of an employee’s spouse who was forced to go to Winnie to see a pediatrician, rather than being able to see one in Beaumont.
The solution, Fuljenz believes, is to improve an imperfect system and the sooner the better. He is hopeful that politicians from both major parties can work together to bring about those much needed improvements.