Healthcare and state policies for affordable healthcare
Healthcare is an increasingly changing profession with the inclusion of a myriad of policies. These policies aim at improving the quality of healthcare provided, the accessibility to, and the affordability of the health services offered as well. Healthcare policies are often the decisions enacted by the specific government to attain the proficient provision of services to the community. They are legislative plans and acts taken to ensure the regime achieves specific goals with respect to healthcare in the society being served. Healthcare policies are often designed to carter for financial, equity, care quality, and access to care within a society. The main focus of this paper is to look at the Affordable Care Act (ACA), analyzing one strength, one weakness, a brief discussion of the policy or legislation in question (ACA), and a brief examination of the impact of the policy on both providers and consumers affected by the Affordable Care Act.
Affordable Care Act
Referred to as Obamacare was signed into effect in 2010 and has been the most significant healthcare policy enacted by the United States (Quadagno, & Lanford., 2019). With a key emphasis on minimizing healthcare costs by the provision of expanded oversight on health insurance practices and premiums. increasing healthcare provision workforce by the provision of support training programs for nurses and back up emerging models of care. significantly expanding the community’s access to health services by expanding public and private insurance, significant increase in consumer protection by establishing minimum medical loss ratios and marked emphasis on wellness and preventive measures by the formation of the prevention and Public Health Fund (Levy, Ying, & Bagley., 2020). It is the hope of many Americans that the legislative policies bound to affect this healthcare policy be designed on improving this policy.
Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been of great relief to Americans with pre-existing conditions. Conditions of which one was under medication prior to the effective date of the insurance one are subscribed to or current ailments in which one might develop complications or imminent poor prognosis are covered under the Affordable Care Act. This serves to increase the coverage of the population by the existing healthcare system (Rutherford., 2017). This has further ensured the affordability of services to clients with chronic ailments enabling them to have access to much-needed services such as chemotherapy and mental health counseling.
Affordable Care Act has its share of cons. Inclusive of a burden on insurance companies. Insurance companies cannot deny client coverage as it is mandatory for them to provide services as required by law. Removal of clauses such as the presence of pre-existing medical conditions that were initially not covered by insurance companies have been included in the conditions to be covered by insurance companies. This has further increased the risk pool, and as a result, insurance companies have been forced to provide a wider range of services thus increasing the premiums for clients who initially had insurance covers. The rise in premiums is purely a reflection of an increase in medical costs in the healthcare system (Rutherford., 2017). In view of this, the Affordable Care Act has resulted in increased prices for insurance coverage across the healthcare system.
Impact of policy legislation
Owing to the increased demand on providers and expanded scope of coverage by providers as insurance companies cannot deny providing services to consumers regardless of clauses initially present alienating some from coverage, they have been forced to respond in a bid to save their businesses. The increase in demand has further necessitated the healthcare system to increase staff to carter for the influx of patients into hospitals, hospitals have been forced to put in place measures such as hiring administrative clinicians and include technology in the provision of care to cater to the increase of demand on clients to further ensure adequate care provided to clients. The number of working hours have also increased as areas in which needs are unmet still are prevalent (Voskerchyan., 2019). Thus proving an uphill task for providers.
For consumers, a myriad of risks of increased spending on healthcare is ever impending. On the contrary as thought by most, the newly insured clients stand to benefit as out-of-pocket spending is decreased, however, uninsured individuals spend more to receive healthcare services hence the importance of being insured. Decreased risk for increased spending for newly insured by Medicaid will decrease risks of spending at least ten percent of income on medical costs decrease from 45% to 5% as reported by Eibner & Nowak., (2016). With this in mind, the ACA does have varied impacts on consumers depending on the level of income of various Americans
In conclusion, the introduction of a myriad of healthcare policies aimed at improving the quality of healthcare provided, the accessibility to, and the affordability of the health services offered as well. been the most significant healthcare policy enacted by the United States. With a key emphasis on minimizing healthcare costs, increasing the healthcare provision workforce, expanding the community’s access to health services, and marked emphasis on wellness. Regardless, the ACA has its pros and cons as well as the impact on consumers and providers as illustrated above
Eibner, C., & Nowak, S. (2016). Evaluating the CARE Act.
Levy, H., Ying, A., & Bagley, N. (2020). What’s left of the Affordable Care Act? A progress report. RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences, 6(2), 42-66.
Quadagno, J., & Lanford, D. (2019). The Obama health care legacy: the origins, implementation, and effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act of 2010. In Looking Back on President Barack Obama’s Legacy (pp. 69-92). Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.
Rutherford, K. (2017). Obamacare: Under the Knife. Marriott Student Review, 1(1), 4.
Voskerchyan, M. (2019). Affordable Care Act (Doctoral dissertation, California State University, Northridge).
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