President Obama delivered his third State of the Union on Tuesday. The president spoke about many issues concerning the U.S. in his speech, but only made one mention of the controversial Affordable Care Act he signed into law in 2010. In his address, the president noted that it was no longer possible for insurance companies to operate with impunity and must submit to new regulations that help protect consumers. Obama also stated that part of the goal of the health care reform law was to get rid of regulations that no longer worked in the industry.
According to the president, the health care law relies heavily on changing the way the private market works. This is, in essence, why health insurance exchanges are being built as they will allow consumers with more options for health care and expand their ability to find policies that suit their needs. The health care law will also have influence over the federal Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security programs. Obama has said that he is willing to make more changes to these programs if such changes would ensure their longevity.
Perhaps the most poignant statement delivered by Obama during his address was the claim that Washington is broken. Obama postulates that this is the way many Americans are feeling, especially in light of the sluggish pace of legislation and the number of failed legislations that were trashed due to political infighting. This claim could resonate with consumers and their feelings about the changing insurance industry. The industry is controlled by regulations at both the state and federal level. If the legislative process is truly broken, as Obama suggests, new regulations coming to change the industry may have little to no impact where consumers are concerned.
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