|Essay type:||Evaluation essays|
|Categories:||United States Healthcare policy Barack Obama|
Obamacare, officially known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), is a health policy in the united states that was passed by the 111th US Congress and signed into law on 23rd March 2010 by President Barack Obama. This policy has come a long way in ensuring that everyone in the United States has better access to improved medical services. This paper, therefore, seeks to evaluate the merits of The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare. Among these merits are; making insurance affordable, emphasizing on prevention rather than cure, and improving how healthcare is delivered.
Make Insurance More Affordable
As commonly known, there are three categories of people in the united states and around the world in general. Those are coming from high-income families, middle-income families, and lastly the low-income families (Oberlander, 2012). As such, the affordable care act targets people whose income falls below 400% of the poverty level, and which take up a large population percentage. The ACA helps to ease the medical burden for individuals by reducing the plan cost to $7150 and $14300 for families (Oberlander, 2012). Additionally, it has helped to expand the Medicaid up to a staggering 138% of the national government level to accommodate first-time adults with the exemption of children (Oberlander, 2012).
To purchase insurance plans much simpler, the states were instructed to open up insurance exchanges or make use of the government's exchange program. Moreover, this would make it much easier for the patients to compare hospitals, doctors, and other caregivers in their area and choose the most preferred. By 2010, ACA was allowing parents to add their children in the plan to lower the cost for everyone by a significant amount (Oberlander, 2012).
The ACA has also been known to take care of businesses with more than 50 employees. Having been made mandatory for businesses to offer health insurance for its employees, the ACA has helped by offering 35% worth of tax credits to the employee's health insurance contribution. Additionally, the not-for-profits organizations receive 25% credit. This goes a long way in making insurance more affordable.
Prevention is better than cure. The ACA has been vigilant in ensuring that rather than treating diseases, they make prevention a priority. In light of achieving this course, the ACA requires all insurance plans to cover a minimum of 10 critical health benefits. Among these, is preventive care which ought to be provided at no cost. Among the services that are provided at no fee include; screening for domestic violence, management of chronic diseases, and female visits (Oberlander, 2012). Furthermore, it takes care of lab tests that are carried out for purposes of diagnosis. By doing so, it becomes much easier for hospitals and caregivers to detect diseases in the very early stages and prevent them from getting worse.
Improve How Health Care Itself Is Delivered
Before the ACA, hospitals, and doctors used to be paid for every procedure or test they undertook. All this changed when the ACA was signed into effect (Oberlander, 2012). The payment procedure changed to allow the doctors and hospitals to be paid depending on how well the patient recovered. This pushed the doctors, caregivers, and hospitals, in general, to put in more effort, pull their resources together, and ensure that they work together towards a common goal. This approach has significantly improved how services are being delivered at the hospitals today.
Traditionally, all medical records were being stored in paper files. However, with the advent of the ACA, new legislation has been put in place to ensure that instead of being saved on files, all medical information including history, result, and prescriptions are saved electronically (Oberlander, 2012). By doing so, the policy ensures that no medical record is lost or misplaced. Even in the case of accidents such as fires, the data will still be recovered as it is backed up on clouds. Furthermore, this system allows the doctors to be able to share the patient's treatments and diagnosis without moving around all the time. This has further reduced the cost of healthcare.
Another approach the ACA has taken is to increase the number of people offering medical services such as doctors. To do this, it provides loans to students and provides scholarships to others to encourage students to join this course. By doing so, the ACA has been able to achieve a double number of caregivers over the past five years. Not to mention, the ACA has placed a lot of attention in the people living in the rural communities by increasing funding to these areas and consequently attracting more doctors to these areas.
In conclusion, therefore, it is true to say that the affordable care act had considerably helped the people living in America to access better and more affordable healthcare. As mentioned above, the main merits of the Obamacare policy include; a more affordable health insurance cover, better preventive care, and improvement of how healthcare is delivered.
Oberlander, J. (2012). The future of Obamacare. New England Journal of Medicine, 367(23), 2165-2167.
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