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The patient protection and affordable care act (PPACA) is a federal statute that was signed into law by president barrack Obama in 2010. The act is also colloquially known as the Obama care. This act was passed into law with the aim of overhauling the entire health care system of the United States of America. The act does not act in isolation. The act works in conjunction with the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act.
The act was made into law with the main goal being increasing the quality and the ability of all the people to afford health care through cheaper insurance option (Atlas, 2010). The act seeks to attain this by lowering the rate of the people that are uninsured through a conscious expansion of the public and private means of accessing insurance. By the increase in coverage of the insurance to most of the people in the United States, the act aimed at reducing the number of people that would be uninsured.
The act seeks to attain the goal of increased medical coverage by use of various mechanisms such as the mandates and insurance exchanges (Pipes, 2010). The law is also more accommodative to the people that would previously not qualify for the insurance cover award. The act also aims at reducing the costs while improving the quality of medical care through the enacting and the consequent enforcing of the regulation, increase in the level of competition and offering of various forms incentives in order to streamline the insurance sector (Graham, 2010).
Obamacare also had the hopes of reducing the budget deficits that the government was facing at the time while reducing the government expenditure on health. In as much as the law has been the target of various opinions from the states government and small business groups, the act has had significant impact on the healthcare sector in the United States. This paper will focus on the real issues that face the act and the stride that is has been able to bring to the nation’s healthcare system. The paper will evaluate the merits and demerits of the care act from the time of the enactment to date while offering the possible solution to the issues that face the act.
Prior to the enacting of the Obamacare, many pertinent issues faced the government. Various governmental players had previously tried to counter the problem by the introduction of new way of dealing with the issue of the healthcare that would encompass all the people and not the selected members of the public that could afford to pay for insurance or who were in the formal employment (Pipes, 2013).
The act was a means that the government would use to come up with the ultimate means to handling the issue of the healthcare (Graham, 2010). Even in the old care system, many issues were still in the balance even for the people that had the average insurance cover (Pipes, 2010). The act may be seen as a cash mill for the biotech and pharmaceutical companies. However, the issue of the biotech companies and what they stand to gain from the enactment of the act is still not clear. The focus of the media on the potential gains that the companies will make tends to overshadow some of the real motivations behind the enactment that focus on the average person in the united states of America that needs to have medical cover.
The first issue that the act addresses is the lack of the surgery option for the people that were suffering from cancer and other terminal diseases (Pipes, 2013). The initial policies were cut out to disadvantage the poor such that they would not have the access to the surgical options when they were suffering from the terminal illnesses such as cancer (Atlas, 2010). The only people that could be allowed to have the option of surgery were the rich and the ones that had adequate insurance cover (Graham, 2010). However, in the real sense, other people deserved the surgical treatment even when they did not have the finances.
The thousands that could not afford the insurance packages that covered the cancer patients ended up dying or suffering from conditions that could have been alleviated or corrected using surgical means. The patients in an attempt to stay alive would end up seeking other modes of treatment that were not authorised in order to alleviate their suffering. One of the common approaches that the patients resorted to was smoking of marijuana (Pipes, 2013). The smoking of medical marijuana is not accepted in all the states in the United States. However, the act was not practiced in the states that allow it. On the contrary, the people that came from the other states that prohibit the use of marijuana even for the medical purposes still used the drug (Manchikanti & Hirsch, 2012).
This meant that the failure of one public policy was making the people resort to breaking the law in the name of reducing the effects of their illness. In worse scenarios, the people used to resort to other approaches to the issue that were uncalled for. The inadequacy of the healthcare system had proved to be the main impetus behind the unwitting willingness of the people to break the law (Graham, 2010).
The other issue that Obamacare seeks to correct is the inability of the masses to afford healthcare. The poverty indicators in the United States point out that the United States has over 15 percent of its populace living in poverty. This can be translated to the fact that over 15 percent of the people earn between 11000-23000. The people that earn this kind of money are unable to afford the health policy cover that often costs an average of 800 dollars per month. However, with the introduction of Obamacare, there is hope for the people in this class since the policy aims at providing the people with the insurance cover in an indiscriminate manner.
The poor people may also be suffering from the aggravated conditions due to lack of medical attention that is accorded to the rich (Atlas, 2010). The Obamacare seeks to rewrite the health cover with the introduction of covers that can touch on the needs of all the people. This approach is also consistent with the public policy requirements that have to cover all the people regardless of the influence and the past of the person. The Obamacare does not discriminate the care to the people according to their ability or inability to pay the premiums (Moncrieff, 2012). The care seeks to include all the people such that their treatment is not a determined by their ability to afford the care.
The Obamacare package was also enacted to deal with the trend that was pervasive in the United States. Prior to the act, the treatment of the old people was dependent on the relatives that the patient has and the financial stability of the patient. However, not all the old people have any relatives that care about their health or progress in life (Manchikanti & Hirsch, 2012). This means that the old people are often victims of neglect from the people that are supposed to help them during their ailing years. The trend was neglecting whereby the patients would be tucked in an old people home and forgotten.
In most of the old people homes, the care accorded to the patient was dependent on the follow up of the other relatives of the patient. With the above predicament affecting the old patients, it was of extreme importance that the healthcare system covers all the people. The Obamacare seeks to correct the trend of neglecting the old people and providing them with the substandard care that they were accorded in the old people homes. With the advent of the healthcare system, the people were capable of attaining the desired healthcare such that they would not be treated as liabilities to the society (Moncrieff, 2012). On the contrary, the Obamacare seeks to include the old people in all the medical attention in the same manner as the young people (Pipes, 2010).
The other public consideration that is behind the Obamacare is the provision of contraception treatment to the women. The consideration was arrived at after the realization that not all the women have the required access to birth control that they would need in order for them to lead a healthy lifestyle that covers all the aspects of their health care (Oberl & Er, 2012). The Obamacare ensures that all the women have the same access to birth control.
The act accords the women the power to take charge of their life and protect themselves from being pregnant. The other package that comes alongside the contraceptive access is the increased access to the treatment procedures for the sexually transmitted infections (Graham, 2010). The women can also access the preventive services such as pap smears and mammograms in order to check if they have cancer.
This way the Obamacare seeks to remove the disparities between the wealthy and the poor when it comes to the access of medical care (Moncrieff, 2012). This is what makes the Obamacare act an essential act in the society that will be instrumental in the according it or at least close treatment to all the people. The act also looks at the possibilities of providing the people with the requisite medical attention regardless of their ability to afford the medical care.
The failure of the Obamacare could lead to serious repercussions for the people whereby they will end up suffering from the severe medical conditions that the nation’s poor has been exposed to throughout the years under oppressive and often segregating medical care. The chances of the people are better with the Obamacare than with the traditional care. The care act provides the individual with the ability to access the medical care that they need with little hustle (Manchikanti & Hirsch, 2012).
The treatment that the people deserve can be easily accessed with the Obama care. The people have the power to take up preventive measures with the Obama care by undergoing affordable tests that will in the end turn the cost of medical care into minimal spending by the government. It will also increase the access that all the people have to the health care (Atlas, 2010).
However, in as much as the Obamacare received the praise for the innovations that it proposes in the provision of medical care, there are some issues that face the act that ought to be rectified if the care is going to survive. This part of the paper will look at the timeline of the care act since the time that it was enacted to date (Graham, 2010).
The professional in the medical care sector had advanced the argument that the care system that runs mainly based on the free market mechanisms in the market had severe impact on the quality (Moncrieff, 2012). Compared to the other countries that sought to guide the healthcare system in their nations, the healthcare system of the United States of America was wanting (Pipes, 2010). The government was supposed to be involved in the care provisions in order to increase the quality of care accorded to the people and reduce the mortality rates associated with the free medical care system (Yelowitz, 2009).
The nations that involve themselves with the provisions of medical care in the direct manner have fewer costs compared to the ones that have to rely on the free market system. The lack of proper health insurance cover has often led to the deaths of the people involved. However, with the introduction of the Obama care the people have more access to the medical care (Manchikanti & Hirsch, 2012). The treatment that the people receive is not purely dependent on the ability of the patients to pay for the care. On the flipside, the care that the people are accorded is standard and all the people can be covered.
The cost and efficiency outlook of the government spending has reduced in a significant manner. The United States was the largest spender of a major proportion of the GDP on the world compared to other major nations of the world. The predicament made the government spend most of its money on the healthcare system that could be availed in an effective manner by the attainment of the requisite public private collaboration. The onset of the economic downturn made it hard for the employers to provide their employees with the required access to medical care (Graham, 2010). This means that the government had to bear more burdens or reducing the suffering of the people that did not have the required medical cover that would deal with the issue.
The Obama care could also be viewed as a policy that was precipitated by the current economic conditions in the area that were making it hard for the people to have the required access to medical care (Pipes, 2010). The loss of employer initiated medical cover means that the people that are unable to buy the needed medical care would be left out when it came to the access of the four types of medical services mentioned above (Atlas, 2010).
However, with the advent of the Obamacare, the affordability of the people has increased over the years to cover all the people. The inclusive nature of the Obamacare is the main force that determines the success of the healthcare provisions to all the people (Manchikanti & Hirsch, 2012). The employers could only offer the medical cover up to a certain limit and the people that were on the lower cadres could on rare occasions be covered by the medical insurance.
In addition to this, the medical care providers that the people could access were limited to the ones that the employer had selected for the people (Moncrieff, 2012). The lack of choice is maybe on other major issues that made the employer backed insurance covers to be less attractive to most of the people (Ross & Ross, 2013)7. The Harvard study that made the government to come up with the medical care placed the number of deaths of the people that arose from the lack or insufficiency of the medical cover to over 100000 deaths per year (Graham, 2010). The enactment of the Obamacare may not have abolished the deaths but it has led to the reduction of the deaths by significant margins.
The people that had the private insurance were mainly underinsured. The event of a major health condition, the people that were underinsured would have to find other sources of funding that would reduce their potential of attaining the affordable medical care. Compared to that time, the current enactment of the Obamacare has led to significant reduction in the instances of the people that are gravely underinsured (Manchikanti & Hirsch, 2012). The underinsurance incidences were mainly manifested in the people that had low incomes (Feldstein, 2009).
However, with the introduction of the Obamacare, the people that have low incomes have access to medical care that is relatively decent compared to what they would have in the even that they had been covered under a private plan (Moncrieff, 2012). This means that the Obamacare act has helped in the alleviation of the medical care stress that affected most of the people. Therefore, it is correct to state that the Obamacare is a success as far as the medical care provision is concerned (Pipes, 2013).
As it is a common phenomenon, many controversies surround the Obamacare. One of the main issues that have faced the law was the fact that most of the people opined that the enactment of the law would eventually lead to the increase in the number of abortions that are procured in the United States (Feldstein, 2009). Some of the people feel that the Obamacare will lead to the creation of situations that would deny the deserving the right to medical care.
Some people feel that the Obamacare will make every federal taxpayer to contribute to a plan that will cover the elective abortions (Graham, 2010). This is the case since the government and the state government agreed to federal state health exchanges. Therefore, the fact that the taxpayer is not from the states that advocate for the abortion or the state has actively voted against the direction of the taxpayer’s money towards the abortion agenda (Atlas, 2010). This outlook has been the major issue that has made the Obamacare act unpopular among the people.
The other cause of controversy in the Obamacare is that it allows the federal legal bureaucrats to come up with the rationing standards that allow the health providers to deny access to medical care to some people that deserve the lifesaving treatments even if the people are willing and capable of affording the care (Moncrieff, 2012). This means that it is possible for a person to die even if he or she has the ability to pay for the medical care. This rationing means that the government will have too much control over the lives of the people even if the people have the access to the medical care (Ross & Ross, 2013). It also beats the logic why the government would deny its people the access to medical care even when the act proposes that it is meant to increase the access (Oberl & Er, 2012).
The other issue that causes a lot of controversy in the mode of operation witnessed in the government is the increased violation of the rights of the conscience of the patients. The people that have conscience issues will have to fund the abortion causes regardless of their innate objections to the plan (Manchikanti & Hirsch, 2012). The faith issues is not well taken into consideration since most of the people that will be making contributions to the Obamacare will have to do so regardless of their reservations on the use of their taxpayer dollars.
This also means that the government will have the ability to dictate what the people will do with their money and they cannot have any objections to the proposed use of the money that the government will be proposing (Feldstein, 2009). Which this issue being a reality it is proper to reconsider the impacts of the healthcare act using a bigger scope apart from the affordability of the medical care. The people that are going to suffer because of the medical care act are also important for the making of the most effective decisions (Moncrieff, 2012). The law ought to be amended in order for it to have the right impact to the people. The areas of controversy mentioned above should be removed or some exceptions ought to be made in matters that touch on the conscience and the faith.
The other issue is the imposition of the Obamacare to all the people. The care does not allow the people to have a choice of the nature and quality of the medical care that they would need for themselves. It seems that the act was made as a rule to be followed by all the people regardless of their inhibitions (Feldstein, 2009). This is manifested in the outright imposition of the law on the state that have actively worked against the imposition of the abortion on them. In this case, the sovereignty of the people that have voted against the act has been largely reduced. The people do not have the requisite choice that makes a nation democratic. In this case, the care act is a mere imposition of the ideas to the public (Pipes, 2010).
The above aspect of the Obamacare can be largely viewed as the main sources of failure for the system (Ross & Ross, 2013). The imposition or rather the perspective among the people that the ideals that the plan holds are imposed on to the people is a major threat to the success of the plan. The public inclusion could have been the main way that the care could have attained the acceptance. However, with the increased rejection of the people against the Obamacare, there are major issues that may lead to the failure of the plan in the future (Feldstein, 2009).
However, the complaints made by the people could be the main sources of future competitiveness for the program (Pipes, 2013). The policy makers can revise the program such that it includes all the people. This way, the care will have the relevance that it deserves in order for it to survive (Atlas, 2010). The strengths of the plan have been its ability to reduce the cost of medical care to all the people. The major weakness of the plan has been the failure to include all the people (Pipes, 2010).
Atlas, S. W. (2010). Reforming America's health care system. Stanford, Calif.: Hoover Institution Press.
Feldstein, M. (2009). Obamacare is all about rationing. Wall Street Journal.
Graham, J. R. (2010). Should Your State Establish an Obamacare Health Insurance Exchange?. Health Policy Prescriptions, 8 (10).
Manchikanti, L. & Hirsch, J. A. (2012). Obamacare 2012: Prognosis unclear for interventional pain management. Pain Physician, 15 (5), pp. 629--640.
Moncrieff, A. R. (2012). Cost-Benefit Federalism: Reconciling Collective Action Federalism and Libertarian Federalism in the Obamacare Litigation and Beyond. Am. JL & Med., 38 p. 288.
Oberl & Er, J. (2012). The future of Obamacare. New England Journal Of Medicine, 367 (23), pp. 2165--2167.
Pipes, S. (2010). The truth about Obamacare. Washington, DC: Regnery Pub.
Pipes, S. (2013). The cure for Obamacare. New York: Encounter Books.
Ross, B. M. & Ross, B. M. (2013). Beating Obamacare. Washington, D.C.: Regnery Pub.
Wilensky, G. R. (2012). The shortfalls of “Obamacare”. New England Journal Of Medicine, 367 (16), pp. 1479--1481.
Yelowitz, A. (2009). ObamaCare: A Bad Deal for Young Adults.
Obamacare is a law that is under siege for the wrong reasons. Some of the people against the law cite unfounded reasons for taking their stand. However a deep look into the law manifests that there are some benefits for the people that were absent in the proceeding laws. The stipulations of the law have led to the provision of a level-playing platform for the people regardless of the gender. In the previous laws, the women were at a disadvantage and they had to pay more than their male counterparts did for insurance. Obamacare came to correct the unfair treatment of the women. This paper will a look at the benefits of the Obamacare law while dispelling the notions that those that are anti-law state.
Women have some reason to celebrate after the historic ruling made by the Supreme Court upholding the affordable care act. The basis of the celebration is the fact that the law is a leeway to the end of gender discrimination in the insurance market. Otherwise put, it is imperative that the women will not have to pay up to 150 per cent more compared to the man for the same benefits. In the previous practice known as gender rating, insurers had the right to charge the women high insurance premiums compared to the men. Gender rating was built on the premise that women have higher needs than men do. The rating makes women pay over one billion dollars per year for the same benefits as men. However, when the plan comes into full effect in 2014, the rationale of gender rating in insurance will be illegal. This provision translates to billions of savings over the years by the women.
Another benefit that the law brings the women is on the maternity benefits. In the conventional plans, the coverage is routinely excluded since there is high incidence of childbirth per a pool of the insured. The lack of the business sense in covering women during their childbirth is so widespread that only 12 per cent of the plans sold have the maternity provision. Even in the event that the plan has a provision for maternity, the plan is inadequate since there is long waiting periods. The deductibles applied can also be as high as the actual cost incurred in childbirth.
However, after the affordable care act comes into full play, there will be a guarantee to the women that they will access cover for their maternity benefits in small plans and group plans. Another conventional approach that the common day insurers take in covering women is that of discriminating women based on a gender based preexisting condition. The conditions that they cite include the fact that an applicant may have been a victim of gender violence, had undergone Cesarean section or breast cancer. This will no longer happen in the Obamacare. In addition to the scrapping of the discriminatory practice, the Obamacare will also ensure that the people that have never been covered in any plan access affordable insurance.
The other big advantage that women get from the plan is that it guarantees the recommended preventive health services whereby there will be no cost sharing. The provision will reduce the instances where the women fail to seek insurance owing to the costs associated with the plans. The situation is worse since some of the women forego necessities so as they can pay for their health care. However, under the new plan, the insurers have the obligation of covering all the preventive care services such as the pap smears and mammograms.
These preventive cares will be covered without the case of cost sharing, as it was the norm in the previous arrangements. The act also provides a provision for the addition of more care plans to the preventive plans. Most of the preventive plans will benefit the women more than men. The preventive plans will cover contraception, breastfeeding counseling, screening, and counseling for the victims of domestic violence. The plan also provides that women should access private space while breastfeeding at their work places. Women can also benefit from home visiting programs. These programs target the high-risk new mothers.
There are other provisions in Obamacare that affect all the people but will also help in improving the access to medical care for the women. Most of the provisions are in place already but will be fully functional after the care comes into place fully in 2014. As the name implies, the plan makes the access to medical care more affordable to all the people. From 2014, families and small businesses will be receiving tax credits on a sliding income scale so as they can afford to purchase insurance plans. The act seeks to make the affordability of insurance cover a reality to all the people (Moncrieff, pg. 288).
The other provision that will benefit all the people is the fact that people will be able to access insurance cover even if they are below the poverty level set by the federal government. This cover will include the families of four earning less than 31,809 dollars or individuals earning less than 15000 dollars per year. The plan will enable the women that are below the poverty levels to acquire the plan even if they are unmarried or are not pregnant.
The other provision in the law that will benefit most of the people is the fact that the plan eliminated the lifetime caps. The plan is also in the process of phasing out the annual caps. The ban on the lifetime limits has been beneficial to millions of women (Oberl & Jonathan, pg. 2165). The copay and deductibles will also be subject to limits. With the introduction of the new limits, the plan will make insurance affordable to all the people and by extension access to medical care will improve.
The other benefit of the plan is that it will include the children and the mothers alike. This is a source of peace of mind to the women since they will know that the cover also includes their children. The provision will reverse the current status quo whereby insurers deny over 17 million children with preexisting conditions access to cover. This plan allows the young adults to stay on the insurance plans of their parents until the age of 26. In short, the new plan will provide insurance cover to the women while lowering the health care costs that they incur. This will be the end of the abuse that women undergo in the current insurance industry.
This makes the debate on whether the plan will win or not a matter of political affiliation (Feldstein par 5). The people that are against the plan are doing so based on their party stands and they do not pose to evaluate the merits of the paper. An honest evaluation will bring out the benefits of the plan to the public that would be absent in the event that the status quo was upheld. This brings the debate to the question of whether the plan is meant to protect a person or the industry practice
In conclusion, the Obamacare plan is a good creation. The merits of the plan can come out clearly in the period that the plan has been working. The main beneficiaries of the plan are the women and children with preexisting conditions (Graham pg. 10). Old people are also beneficiaries. Poor women can access medical care under the new plan. Poor families and small companies can but insurance plans that are not as costly as they were in the previous plan. Passing of the act is a good and not a bad as people would like to make it look.
Feldstein, Martin. "Obamacare is all about rationing." Wall Street Journal, (2009): Print.
Graham, John R. "Should Your State Establish an Obamacare Health Insurance Exchange?." Health Policy Prescriptions, 8. 10 (2010): Print.
Moncrieff, Abigail R. "Cost-Benefit Federalism: Reconciling Collective Action Federalism and Libertarian Federalism in the Obamacare Litigation and Beyond." Am. JL & Med., 38. (2012): 288. Print.
Oberl and Jonathan Er. "The future of Obamacare." New England Journal of Medicine, 367. 23 (2012): 2165--2167. Print.
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