|Type of paper:||Essay|
|Categories:||United States Healthcare policy|
Access to health care is everyone's right. The maintenance of health insurance in America is a bold step that is focused on improving the health outcomes of all Americans. Besides, it is aimed at ensuring that even the economically disadvantaged have proper access to health care. Access to health care insurance should be supported because it ensures that individuals can receive more medical care in a timely manner, it helps to cut health care costs and ensures that people have financial stability by avoiding bankruptcies caused by medical bills.
The argument for Health Insurance
Having access to health care insurance means an individual will receive more medical care in a timely manner. Access to health care is the primary role and everyone, whether old or young, need to have easy access to proper health care. The people who are not insured will usually get about half as much care as those who have been insured. It is estimated that since the coming into effect of the Affordable Health Care Act, millions of Americans have been registered with the program making them have easy access to health care. In 2013, 16.6 percent of America's population aged below 65 years was not insured (Field, 2015). However, upon the implementation of the ACA more people got registered and in 2016, only 10 percent of those below 65 years were uninsured. This number is decreasing year by year as more people get enrolled in the program. Health care access for those aged below 65 years was an issue of concern since this is the population that forms the workforce of America (Coughlin, Terri, Long, and Shen, 2015). With poor health care access, the productivity rate of this population was extremely low. However, the implementation of ACA ensured that many of these people could access health care services thus improving their productivity in the workforce. ACA has assisted more than 20 million Americans but there is still a large number that has not been insured yet. Those who are uninsured find it hard to receive preventative care and are also not likely to seek care when they are sick due to the high cost that goes with it. The health care costs incurred by the people who are insured are likely to get passed to those who are insured by way of higher premiums. With more people insured, the costs of the health care system in the US will generally reduce.
Health insurance is important as it helps to cut health care costs. One key requirement of a self-sufficient nation is a population that is healthy. For people to be able to access health care, then it must be cheap and affordable. Other than increasing insurance coverage, ACA makes great efforts to reduce the costs as well as improve the quality of health care. For instance, ACA is involved in programs such as Partnership for Patients, which is an initiative which is mandated to reduce the hospital-acquired conditions (Maitra and Weatherson, 2013). This program has been key in saving the lives of people and contributing to cater to health care costs. For instance, it helped to save lives of 125,000 people and contributed $28.2 billion to help cater for health care costs for a period of four years spanning from 2011 to 2015 (Coughlin, Terri, Long, and Shen, 2015). ACA has been key in reducing the health care costs and it is still undergoing reforms which have continued to reduce health care costs in the present and in the future. In 2014, the US health care spending represented 17.5% of the GDP. By 2025, this figure is expected to reach 20.1%. If more people were insured, this cost would go down and the funds that is taken up by health care could be used to grow the economy in various other ways. ACA ought to be supported by all people so that the health care costs may reduce (Coughlin, Terri, Long, and Shen, 2015). In the case where the cost of health care rises, it would contribute to the federal deficit and reduce the government's ability to fund other important areas of the economy such as housing and education. Besides, the high cost of health care has a direct impact on businesses as well as consumers.
Health insurance is also important because it saves people from financial problems and consequent bankruptcy. The lack of insurance makes people experience various problems such as inadequate treatment. It is to be noted that a majority of the people who lack medical insurance are usually those who are from poor backgrounds. People from low-economic status have are faced with various challenges such as lack of adequate money for basic needs such as food, shelter, health care and education. When such people are faced with a medical problem, they use all their financial resources to offset the medical bills leaving them with no money to cater for other needs. Depending on the cost of medical attention, many of them end up being declared bankrupt. It is reported that almost half of the bankruptcy cases in the US are as a result of health care expenses. Many of those who face medical bankruptcies are those who do not have access to health insurances. Were such people insured, cases of medical bankruptcies would be a forgotten thing. This explains why it is important to have medical insurance since it does not discriminate between the rich and the economically unstable.
ACA has helped to minimize disparities between the various members of society. The introduction of the ACA was a bold step towards ensuring that even the underprivileged in the society could get access to health care. Most of the affected areas in relation to low access to health care are the low developed regions. Health inequalities are mostly considered across demographic lines and population. Research shows that whites are better placed in terms of their access to health care than African-Americans and other minority groups. Research shows that African-Americans are at a higher risk of dying from diabetes than their white counterparts. ACA has come up to save this situation by ensuring that both the whites and minority groups have equal access to health care.
Many people opposed to the insurance argue that many people do not understand what ACA entails. There has been very little civic education that educates people on the benefits of ACA. Besides, many people especially those in the rural areas rarely understand how medical insurance, whether private or public works since they have never been in any of them. As such, it is essential that the government provides enough civic education on why people should enroll for medical insurance. Encouraging people to get insured without telling them the importance of getting insured is akin to forcing the program on them (McGinnis, Michael, Williams-Russo and Knickman, 2012). Despite this claim, there has been a lot of civic education facilitated by the government and other social organizations on the importance of medical insurance. When the former president of the US, President Obama proposed and implemented ACA, he ensured that enough information was able to reach as many people as possible as a way of encouraging them to get enrolled. This was done and continues to be done through public leadership forums, employing vast resources to be able to pass the information to as many people as possible and also the use of the mainstream media houses.
Health insurance in the US is majorly an issue of the Democratic Party and is bound to exercise a Socialist takeover of health care. Many people have disputed the ability of ACA in addressing the needs of the Americans fully by arguing that the policy will become useless as soon as Democrats are out of power. There have been attempts to repeal the policy under the leadership of President Trump. However, this step has not proved futile as people have come to the realization that ACA is not a Democratic Party's agenda but an agenda for the Americans at large (Mosqueira, Hua and Sommers, 2015). ACA covers both the agenda of the Democratic Party, Republican Party and that of any other party. Simply, it covers the agenda of the American citizen as good health is a right that is enshrined in the constitution
By and large, affordable health care is a right that is enshrined in the constitution. Thus, any program, policy or law that is aimed at improving the access to medical care by the Americans should be supported fully. The establishment of ACA in America was a great step towards improving access to health care. Some of the reasons why medical insurance is important in America to include individuals will receive more medical care in a timely manner; it helps to cut health care costs and helps to save financial costs. Although there have been some arguments that ACA does not live up to its mandate, it will be a matter of time before Americans realize how important getting insurance is.
Coughlin, Terri A., Sharon K. Long, and Yu-Chu Shen (2015). "Assessing Access to Care under Medicaid: Evidence for the Nation and Thirteen States," Health Affairs 24(4) :1073-83. McGinnis, J. Michael, Pamela Williams-Russo, and James R. Knickman (2012). "The Case for More Active Policy Attention to Health Promotion," Health Affairs 21(2): 78-93.
Field, R. I. (July 01, 2015). The Ethics of Expanding Health Coverage through the Private Market. AMA Journal of Ethics, 17, 7, 665-671.https://journalofethics.ama-assn.org/article/ethics-expanding-health-coverage-through-private-market/2015-07
Maitra, I., & Weatherson, B. (2013). In Defense Of The ACA's Medicaid Expansion. Public Affairs Quarterly, 27(3), 267-288. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/43574523
Mosqueira, A., Hua, L., & Sommers, B. (2015). Racial Differences in Awareness of the Affordable Care Act and Application Assistance Among Low-Income Adults in Three Southern States. Inquiry, 52, 1-4. Retrieved from https://www.jstor.org/stable/26369614
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