Updated on 14 November 2012
All smiles after re-election: Obamacare promises to provide affordable healthcare (Source: Pete Souza, The Obama-Biden Transition Project)
Americans have re-elected Mr Barack Obama for a second-term as the president of the US. One of the reasons that helped Obama win the elections was his signature healthcare reform, the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
This Act now aims to cover more than 30 million uninsured Americans beginning January 2014 and Mr Obama's Republican competitor, Mr Mitt Romney, had vowed to repeal this law if elected to power. However, the Act is here to stay as is Mr Obama for the next four years. Earlier, the law scraped through a death scare when the Supreme Court of the US upheld the law in a verdict in June 2012.
The Affordable Care Act came into effect on March 23, 2010, putting in place comprehensive reforms that aimed to improve access to affordable health coverage for everyone and protect consumers from malpractices by insurance companies. It allows all Americans to make health insurance choices that work for them while guaranteeing access to care for the most vulnerable. Under the Act, the insurance companies are also required to publicly justify their actions if they want to raise rates by 10 percent or more. It also makes it mandatory for the insurers to cover a number of recommended preventive services, such as cancer, diabetes and blood pressure screenings.
What it means for drug companies?
The Act is a mixed bag for the industry. Simple calculations can tell that more insured people means more drug sales. The flip side is that the legislation, designed to reduce public spending, will impact drug pricing and thus the drug companies.