Affordable Care Act
The Affordable Care Act is one of the most widely discussed and disputed health-care laws that was approved and consequently implemented by President Barack Obama. The affirmation of this health-care plan was not an easy task as it took nearly a year for both chambers of Congress in order to approve it and discuss all the further consequences and issues. The main idea of this act is to gradually improve the current health-care system in the United States, and this goal should be reached by providing more access to health coverage for Americans. Moreover, the introduction of the new types of protections for individuals, who obtain health insurance, is also an essential part of this health-care plan.
From the Progressive era to the present day, the story of attempts to reform the health-care system has been really tense, and there have been many attempts to accomplish this task. Many factors have contributed to the failure of past reform efforts. They include an "antistatist political culture" rooted in an "ambivalence toward government and ...bias toward private solutions to public problems; the absence of a strong labor movement"; race. It was especially distinctively during the period prior to the 1960s, when Southern Democrats dominated the Congress and the government, which gives veto power to even small numbers of opponents, because so many different bodies-especially the two houses of Congress-must agree to pass a major piece of legislation, but it takes only a few determined opponents to kill it.
Besides, some elements of a political strategy tend to result in the passage of health-care reform as an important part of that strategy is the use of public opinion. Senator Barack Obama's health-care proposal moves toward, but would not quite achieve, universal health-care by building on the public/private system that is currently in place. To reduce the number of uninsured, Obama decided to establish a new public insurance program that should help Americans improve their lives. This health-care plan is available to assist in purchasing either the new public plan or private insurance.
One more thing that Obama focuses attention on, is that employers should be required to contribute to their employees' health-care, whether by providing it directly or by helping to pay for it. Obama's proposal includes a mandate, according to which, all children should obligatory have access to health-care package. Obama has acknowledged the need to control the cost of health-care, but his proposed solutions seem inadequate in the face of the problem's magnitude. Many of his methods of cost control, such as offering federal reinsurance to employers to offset the costs of catastrophic illnesses of their employees, aim to control the costs of health-care for individual employers and employees, but not for the entire health-care system itself. The cost control measures that do focus on total health-care costs are limited and barely mentioned controlling the technology costs.
The health system problems and what, I believe, is the logical solution to them should be clear from the discussion, and that is why, it is necessary to discuss both the pros and cons of this health-care plan.
The health-care plan that was admitted by Obama is mainly headed in a positive light according to the majority of historic indicators. It certainly took much time and many efforts in order to create this health-care plan, and the first intentions concerning this act are related to the State Children's Health Insurance Program in the year 2009 and a couple of previous failures. One of the main pros is that this health-care plan helped to maintain current levels of care even for the poorest citizens.
Obtaining health insurance usually guarantees that an individual will only benefit from steps that are aimed to prevent insurance companies from cancelling client's coverage in case this individual gets sick. Moreover, according to the law, a great number of the proven preventive and screening services will be covered by the insurance plans, and this is surely a very significant benefit. The insurance plans will deal with all the out-of-pocket costs in case of colonoscopies and mammograms. Such policy will certainly help to identify all the problems and potential risks from the beginning and avoid the further development of a particular disease and its most terrible stages.
Moreover, according to this health-care act, people will get more health plans, especially if they faced certain difficulties in finding care earlier. The Affordable Care Act surely considers the importance of care for people with some pre-existing. Furthermore, the coverage and the access to it will gradually increase for the majority of Americans and reach its peak in the year 2014. This aspect is particularly important for the cases, when there is no health insurance at the working places, or the coverage was denied due to certain pre-existing condition, for instance asthma or cancer. The Affordable Care Act serves as a large-scale assistance for the small businesses as it helps them cover the expanses concerning the health insurance for their employees. Moreover, this health-care plan supports programs that are able to increase the amount of the health-care professionals. The increase of the primary care physicians, nurses, and other professionals will certainly help to improve the health-care system in general.
The health-care plan that was suggested and approved by President Barack Obama has caused a great number of discussions and disputes, particularly, whether this is a reform at all or not. Besides, one of the most controversial aspects is the ability of this plan to deal with the poorest performing segments within the health-care system. It is believed that these segments are highly likely to develop and cause additional problems. One more serious aspect is the likelihood of little choice and a great number of obstacles at both the individual patient and provider levels.
One more danger and negative consequence of the Affordable Care Act is that individuals may have to buy health insurance or at least pay some tax. This change is highly likely to take place in 2014 or even earlier. Although the patient is perceived as the foremost subject, and he is believed to be the main decision maker within the health-care system, still, the health-care plan creates undesired difficulties for the government as the paternalistic view remains promoted.
The proper value of health-care services should be thoroughly defined not by the government, but at the level of the individual patient. Individual patients can make these decisions on their own despite their current income level or some other characteristics. The only things these individual patients should be given are the proper incentives. Besides, it is believed that if the patients get ownership of the health-care resources, it will certainly result in an increase of the demand for transparency in terms of the price and quality of all the obligatory services.