Affordable Care Act

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Affordable Care Act

Introduction

Healthcare has always been considered as one of the fundamental pillars of any country. It is well acknowledged that the health of a people is a fundamental determinant of the health of the economy especially considering that only healthy individuals have the capacity to generate wealth. In the recent times, the United States government has made numerous legislations that have changed the healthcare sector, the most fundamental of which is the Affordable Care Act. Popularly known as “Obamacare”, the Affordable Care Act is considered the most sweeping and reformative legislation since the passage of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965. It is aimed at giving all Americans the capacity to obtain medical coverage at an affordable rate. While there may be differing opinions as to the utility of the Affordable Care Act, the law comes as extremely beneficial to the country.

First, the legislation would allow for increased health insurance coverage in the country. Research shows that currently, there are about 32 million Americans who are yet to be under a health insurance cover (Hill, (2011). This piece of legislation will allow for these people to be covered at least by 2014 when the bill comes fully into force. This includes the 3.1 million Americans aged between 19 and 25, who are under their parents’ plans since they cannot afford to pay for their own plans (Tate, 2012). In addition, insurance companies will no longer have the capacity to deny individuals who have pre-existing conditions insurance coverage or even drop plan members when they become sick (Hill, (2011). For many years, applicants for health insurance in the Family or Individual market were required to complete an application and pass the approval of the underwriting guidelines. This was extremely frustrating to individuals who had their applications declined or even their premiums increased simply because of the preexisting health conditions (Tate, 2012). In essence, the Affordable Care Act comes as a relief to these people, as well as for individuals who are unable to afford their health insurance as they will be added to the Medicaid’s program in the states with the federal government paying the states for the addition (Tate, 2012).

On the same note, the bill comes as extremely beneficial to the low-middle income families and individuals. Scholars note that Medicaid program will be expanded so as to cover individuals in the low income brackets (Pipes, 2010). It is worth noting that individuals who have low income will obtain subsidies from the United States government, which will be catering for up to 100% of the monthly premiums (McCaughey, 2012). In addition, subsidies will be availed up to 400 per cent of the Federal Poverty Level. The determination of the subsidies is based on the family’s annual income, as well as the total number of dependants in that family. This ensures that individuals in the low-middle income bracket can access healthcare services if and when they need it, which goes a long way in enhancing the health of the country (McCaughey, 2012).

In addition, the Affordable Care Act reduces the healthcare costs (Murdock, 2012). The Congressional Budget Office noted that there would be a reduction in the healthcare costs in the .............


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Affordable Care Act

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Affordable Care Act

The Affordable Care Act is today the most talked about health care legislation in the whole of the United States of America. It is considered as the most radical of all the health care legislations to have ever been drafted. This is so because it involves an ambitious health care plan that will ensure health coverage for all American citizens regardless of their social standings in the society or their financial circumstances. There is no doubt that this program does and will continue to provide hope for many of the American people. But is it foolproof? This paper seeks to answer this question by evaluating the importance, or the lack of it, of the Affordable Care Act.

The Affordable Care Act was passed by the American “Congress and then signed into law by the President on March 23, 2010” (HHS.gov, 2013). The decision was contested but later on upheld by the Supreme Court on June 28, 2012 (HHS.gov, 2013).  The term Affordable Care Act is actually used to refer to “two separate pieces of legislation — the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (P.L. 111-148) and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-152) — that, together expand Medicaid coverage to millions of low-income Americans and makes numerous improvements to both Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)” (Medicaid.gov, n.d.).

The health care act contains several provisions that are meant to improve health care provision for millions of Americans. This is intended to be achieved though expanding access to insurance cover, increasing health services consumer protection, emphasizing wellness and illness prevention, promoting the development of the health workforce, and curtailing the rising cost of health care services among other benefits (NCSL, 2011). All these provisions are good generally. However, some problems arise in the implementation level.

Good Aspects of the Affordable Care Act

One of the laudable aspects of the act is that it will help to reduce the rising cost of health care (Obama Care Facts, 2013). I believe that this will go a long way to ensure that millions of American low and middle-income families, most of whom are uninsured now, are able to access affordable and quality health care services. Affordable health care is very essential in any community since it helps to keep a majority of the people healthy enough to be able to engage effectively in productive work. I think this will work great in times of emergency. In terms of sudden illnesses, injuries that require immediate hospitalization and life threatening situations, this will be helpful especially if the family affected does not have money saved up for their health needs.

Another aspect of the Affordable Care Act that I find commendable is about the expansion of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). It is expected that the expansion will affect up to 9 million children (Obama Care Facts, 2013). This will ensure that more children, especially from the poor families, are able to access medication. Consequently, this will help to reduce child mortality in the US. There has been a relatively high mortality rate for many children from the low-income American families due to the inability to access quality health care. Preventive health care services like immunization and vitamin boost are very essential for the development of children during the early stages of life. This proposal will therefore greatly help to reduce child mortality rates. I really like this feature of the Affordable Care Act because of its target population – the children. They are one of the most vulnerable parts of the society due to their underdeveloped immune system and their behavior to discover things. It is good to prioritize children as they are the future generation of the country. It really saddens me when I see children suffering from severe diseases, like the girl once featured in the Ellen show. She died at a very young age that led me to think, what if kids as young as her happens to contact cancer and be able to pay for their medical needs. What would happen to them? This act, supporting the welfare of children’s health is indeed helpful.

The act is also expected to benefit the small businesses with less than 50 full-time employees. The proposal to offer millions of dollars in tax credits for the small business will go a long way to help these upcoming small businesses to “offset the cost of buying health insurance for their employees” (Obama Care Facts, 2013). This is particularly amazing as far as it will help to sustain the small business. These small businesses provide jobs to many people, especially the non-college trained Americans and the aged. This provision therefore, eliminates the risk of having these small businesses shut down and instead will promote the establishment of many such businesses. This will be good for the economy.

Most small-scale business, which would essentially provide employment to the old, feared doing so because they could not afford to pay for their insurance cover. With this new proposal, the seniors will be employed more easily since they are covered and will be able to afford health care.............


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