The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) (ACA) or Obamacare is the most signification change the U.S. medical system since Medicare and Medicaid reform during the 1960’s. The Affordable Care Act or ACA is designed to ensure that all Americans have medical coverage. It gives those that were uninsured a means to now have health insurance, offers a more affordable coverage to those who couldn’t afford their premiums, expanded the limitations on public insurance and subsidizes private insurance coverage, and with Medicare, expanded, reorganized, and reduced cost on some additional supplemental options. Identifying the impacts of such fundamental reform to the health care system was without a doubt a difficult task and hard to foresee. However these future impacts were foreseen in order for this legislature to pass. This paper discusses how the ACA changes health care, and the historical evolution that has already or what may be to come. It will also discuss my personal view on just how significant the impact has been.
The Title of this Paper is Lengthy: Showing you Proper Title Case Obamacare was signed into law on March 23, 2010 by President Barack Obama. The ACA was designed to offer healthcare to all groups of American citizens, mainly to the upwards of 30 million uninsured Americans. Although there were several reasons this reform was necessary there were a few main reasons that seem to stand out. Being able to offer health insurance to those that suffered from pre-existing conditions as well as not put limitations on the amount of coverage these Americans could actually maintain and keep. It wasn’t unheard of to be capped to a certain amount of coverage once a patient became sick. The US Census Bureau (2011) estimated there to be somewhere around 49 million uninsured Americans in 2010, so this reform would cut down on that number drastically. Putting into perspective the way health care coverage was being provided by the private insurance companies to those Americans that did have existing coverage. And another important factor was expanding Medicare and Medicaid options. These two both being public arenas do service to very different classes of Americans.
Regardless of your level of income, class, or economic status everyone desires to have healthcare coverage and should be entitled to have it. There are other countries where all of their citizens have healthcare or what is known as universal coverage, although access to all levels of coverage all the time is not always possible the idea is still in place. In America prior to the ACA healthcare was primarily supported through private payers such as individual purchased plans or employer supported plans. The other portion supported by the government if the patient fit into certain specifications to qualify for such plans. Buying individual plans of health insurance in most cases is far more than the average person could afford without having an employer to help supplement the cost; However employers rarely pay 100% of the cost of the healthcare they may provide their employees which still left premium cost sharing to paid by the employee. Viewing it this way makes it a lot easier to understand why the number of uninsured Americans was so high.
The ACA was designed to give every eligible American citizen an affordable option for healthcare, even if outside of their employer or if they didn’t fit into the specific criteria of public healthcare. I think that the ACA reform has created a historical impact on the healthcare evolution as we have known it to date. This is the first significant reform really since 1965 when it revolved around Medicare and Medicaid. So in over 45 years this act has been the most cumbersome to date. I agree with the Obamacare act because I have been on both sides of the fence and was able to see firsthand the difference in the type of coverage that I had available to me. My mother worked for Chrysler and with that came excellent benefits with low copays and that was all I knew until I was too old to be on her medical, was still in college and not gainfully employed. The doctors changed, the prescription cost increased and the facilities weren’t the same in quality. I then became gainfully employed and my healthcare options changed once again until I fell ill and was forced out of work and on to Medicare. I had crazy co-pays again, high prescriptions cost, no dental or vision, and I found myself stuck in the cycle of the system.
The ACA gave me the option to buy into a healthcare plan that provided me with adequate healthcare, no caps on my services because of my pre-existing conditions, just about the same out of pocket expense monthly for the plan, a set rate for my prescriptions, dental and vision. To bring it to a close the ACA was a much needed reform. Is it one without flaws? No, but I think that this is a case where the greater good outweighs the minor flaws that we have encountered. Overall this act provides the uninsured and underinsured adequate healthcare which in the long run can save millions by getting a hand on some preventable long term illnesses before they begin.
This act allows for the Americans that may have suffered and recovered from one illness to be able to remain insured in hopes of preventing reoccurring problems or any future elements. For those who fall in that area of expanded Medicaid and Medicare coverage now they also can have equal healthcare. And for those that work every day yet couldn’t afford to pay the outrageous premium for healthcare through their employers, they now also can have healthcare for their families and themselves. There are more taxes and fees for those who didn’t want medical because “they never get sick” but in the end there is a balance in the amount of money the country will eventually save and the amount of lives that can be ultimately saved as well.
Shi, L. & Singh, D. A. (2012) Delivering health care in America: A systems approach (5th ed.) Boston, MA: Jones and Bartlett. U.S. Census(2011). Retrieved from www.census.gov highlights