The Affordable Care Act: One of the Major Reforms in Healthcare Under the Obama Administration

2021-05-17 11:04:41
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The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is also known as Obamacare or the Patient Protection and Affordable care Act (PPACA). It is a federal Act of the United Stated signed in to law on 23rd March by President Barack Obama. Full implementation of the statute will be done by 1st January 2014 (Woodlock 19). The Act represents a major reform introduced in the health sector since 1965 when the Medicaid and Medicare Acts were enacted in to law Hurley, Pamela, & Richard 31). The main objective of the statute is to increase the quality as well as the affordability of health insurance, reducing healthcare costs for both the government and individuals and lowering the rate of uninsured citizens through expansion of both private and public insurance coverage.

The implementation of the law would take place in a span of several years, during which several issues in the health sector would be streamlined with the provisions of the Act, including the expansion of the eligibility of Medicaid and the establishment of insurance exchanges as well as the prohibition of health care insurance providers from denying some people coverage due to other preexisting conditions Hurley, Pamela, & Richard 33).

The law is considered one of the major reforms in healthcare under the Obama administration, given its far reaching consequences. Nevertheless, the legislation was a major bone of contention between the republicans and the democrats in congress, with the republicans objecting to the legislation (Woodlock 22). However, the legislation managed to sail through the congress and assented to by the president. As such, since its implementation three years ago, the law has had far reaching impacts in the healthcare sector for different categories of individuals.

The ACA provides various mechanisms for reforming the health system of the US. Among such mechanisms include insurance exchanges, subsidies, and mandates in order to increase the affordability and coverage of health insurance across the country. The statute obliges insurance companies to provide cover to all applicants within the new set standard at the same rates regardless of ones sex or pre-existing conditions (Woodlock 19). There are also other additional reforms that are intended to lower healthcare outcomes by putting more emphasis on the quality as opposed to quantity. This would be achieved through regulation, increased competition among healthcare providers and government initiatives that will streamline healthcare service delivery in country (Hong, Rock, et al. 10). The Congressional budget office predicts that the ACA will help the government reduce Medicare spending and future deficits.

Implementation of the law has faced a lot of challenges both in the US Congress and in federal courts. A major Supreme Court ruling in National federation of Independent Businesses v Sebellius, the court held that in as much as the law was constitutional, states could not be coerced in to implementing it if it could affect their Medicare funding (Woodlock 21). Efforts to repeal, oppose or undermine the statute have come from the Republican and the Tea Party as well as from other conservative advocacy groups.

The Affordable Care Act has a lot of implications on most of the issues that Americans are experiencing today in relation to the heath sector and their incomes. Implementation of the statute will affect the incomes of common citizens to a very big extent. For instance, by 2014, the citizens who will not have secured health insurance coverage will be charged a tax of 1% on their income (Gilliland 17). Those who manage to secure a health insurance plan will have to pay monthly subscriptions for their cover (Hong, Rock, et al., 5). Private insurance companies are set to benefit from this scheme because most of the citizens will sign up for their services. The legislation is however going to improve accountability in the health sector as well as improving the quality of health service. Poor Americans will be able to access healthcare at affordable rates.

One way of analyzing the impact of the ACA is by assessing the Acts impact on the population in terms of accessing healthcare. The uninsured population in a state such as North Carolina is mostly made up of individuals between the ages of 18 and 44 with low incomes Hurley, Pamela, & Richard 40). Nevertheless, the ACA makes it mandatory for each citizen to be covered by insurance. Therefore, these people find it difficult to get insurance cover with their little income, which often makes most of them ineligible for Medicaid coverage based on the requirements of the state. As such, most of the uninsured populations in the state risk being fined up to 1% or $95, whichever is higher (Woodlock 22). The uninsured populations in North Carolina also find it hard accessing affordable health given their low levels of income and their lack of cover. The ACA leaves out a good section of the population from accessing affordable healthcare by focusing only on those eligible for Medicaid. Several provisions in the ACA have also discouraged most of the uninsured populations from getting cover (Gilliland 21). This is because the Cat foes not provide direct help to them in terms of accessing healthcare.

The impact of Obamacare can also be analyzed by looking at the financial costs involved in providing healthcare to the affected populations. Despite making the costs of accessing healthcare affordable to most of the populations in the state, the Act has made it quite cumbersome from an organizations point of view. The law has widened up the insurance market with its provisions that mandate the citizens to get insurance cover.as such, there is likely to be more insurance policies introduced covering different healthcare issues. This will ultimately result heftier copays and higher deductibles in order for the organizations to cover for the additional costs. For smaller organizations in the state, healthcare insurance had always been a challenge to their employees. However, with the introduction of Obamacare, these organizations have the challenge resolved since most of their employees will have to acquire insurance covers at rates subsidized by the government.

Woodlock, Peter. "Obamacare: Impact on Business Combinations." Journal Of Corporate Accounting & Finance (Wiley) 25.2 (2014): 19-26.

The ACA also has various economic impacts in the state. For instance, the ACA provisions make it easier for the organizations to employ more people. The employment rates in the country is set to increase in the coming years since most of the government has leveraged the burden of healthcare insurance for most employers. Similarly, the Act has widened the insurance market, which is likely to result in unprecedented growth in the insurance sector throughout the country (Woodlock 21). The resultant effect of all these consequences is that the economy will grow and expand with more job creation and growth of the insurance sector.

Another important aspect of the ACA is that it will most likely increase the quality of treatment, since there will be more scrutiny on the performance of health organizations in terms of reducing and preventing diseases. Similarly, as more people get insurance cover, the costs of health will significantly reduce as well as increased accessibility of health services in the state (Woodlock 26). As such, the patients will benefit the most n relations to improvements in access, quality, and costs of healthcare.

Gilliland, Jim, et al. "The Affordable Care Act: Credit Implications for U.S. Hospitals." Municipal Finance Journal 36.4 (2016): 19-38.

Insurance coverage in the US takes a variety of forms. There are both state and federal funded programs that target workers in different kinds of fields including the military. On the other hand, other citizens can also access health insurance through applying privately ton insurance providers (Gilliland 20). The two main leading policies for insurance through which Americans are insured are Medicare and Medicaid.

Hong, Young Rock, et al. "Affordable Care Act: Comparison Of Healthcare Indicators Among Different Insurance Beneficiaries With New Coverage Eligibility." BMC Health Services Research 16.(2016): 1-10.

The uninsured population comprises of Americans who do not have any health insurance cover. The numbers of uninsured populations in the US have historically been high due to the high costs of insurance, which often left out majority of low income citizens. A recent survey indicates that the number of uninsured Americans in one of the states, North Carolina, is estimated at 15.6% while those covered by insurance are about 84.4% (Hong, Rock, et al., 7). The main objective of the ACA is to reduce the numbers of uninsured Americans thro0ufghout the country by providing Medicaid coverage to the poor people in the country. As such, the ACA has had a huge impact among North Carolinas uninsured Population since its implementation in 2010 (Hong, Rock, et al., 7).

Hurley, Pamela R., and Richard E. Hurley. "A Federal Dilemma With Health Insurance And Health Benefit Exchanges Under The Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act." Journal Of Applied Financial Research 2.(2015): 30-44.

Access to affordable healthcare is very crucial for everyone. However, with the costs of healthcare escalating, it is necessary for one to have an insurance cover in order to access quality healthcare. Those without the scope of the insurance cover often encounter numerous challenges, which make it difficult for them to access quality healthcare (Hurley, Pamela, & Richard 33). The uninsured people often go with care or end up receiving delay care. Besides, the care they receive is in most cases of lower quality and is often very expensive (Hurley, Pamela, & Richard 41). Also, lack of an elaborate health insurance cover can affect ones financial status since health and treatments will consume most of his financial resources.

McAdoo, Joshua M., and Alberto Coustasse. "Implementation Of The Patient Protection Affordable Care Act On Accountable Care Organizations." Franklin Business & Law Journal 2014.4 (2014): 16-29.

Healthcare in the US is a very crucial issue. It is one of the most fundamental services the government provides alongside security and education. Therefore, it is the governments prerogative to ensure that every citizen in the country has access to affordable quality healthcare. However, the costs of accessing healthcare have been on the increase in the past few years, making healthcare inaccessible for the majority of citizens across the country (McAdoo, Joshua & Alberto 22). One of the ways the government uses to enable its citizens access healthcare is through insurance.

The government has a very complex and convoluted system for financing healthcare. Most of the citizens in the country get their insurance policies through their jobs, the federal government, various state programs, the military or on their own volition. In the same manner, they pay for their insurance through their employers, the state and federal government taxes, as well as financing the insurance bills form their own pockets (McAdoo, Joshua & Alberto 27).

Newman, Max J. "Hospitals, Healthcare In The Age Of Obamacare." Journal Of Corporate Renewal 29.2 (2016): 12-15.

One of the key factors in evaluating health coverage in the country is the quality of healthcare being delivered. Quality of care is one of the most vital elements of providing healthcare and social support in various healthcare settings. In fact, quality is a necessary safety practice that helps health workers to monitor and analyze the process structures and outcomes of delivering healthcare to consumers. Therefore, Quality Control in nursing helps to detect and identify any changes in provision of healthcare in order to eliminate...

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