US Health Care Services:
Health Services Issues and Consequences. 3
When thinking about America’s health care system, most feel that it is time for a change. While most other countries provide some sort of limited health care plan for their citizens, America, having a high quality of care, should do the same. President Obama’s administration is pushing for a government run health care system, which has its benefits as well as its consequences. Health insurance companies cause scores of tedious problems for patients, which most times, in part, cause a delay in treatment. Any person regardless of insurance and/or money should always be able to seek and get the medical attention needed. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) of 2010, signed into law by President Obama on March 23, sought out to provide better affordable health care for most Americans (Oberlander, 2009). Despite some advantages, like abolishing pre-existing conditions for children under Age 19, there are some major disadvantages. This reform will increase taxes and decrease quality of coverage.
Key Words: Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), Taxes, Coverage
Enacted into American Law on 23rd March 2010, the Patient Protections and Affordable Act (PPACA) aims at providing affordable healthcare to Americans. Fundamentally, this health care act emphasizes the need for improving access to primary health care for all American citizens irrespective of their economic backgrounds. Additionally, this act also seeks to provide affordable health care insurance at a low cost, so as to, allow easy access by all Americans (Newman, 2011). As researchers and policy makers explain, this healthcare legislation is bound to bring about changes in the US healthcare system for years to come. However, research studies cannot agree on whether or not these changes will be beneficial to America, especially with regards to the American healthcare system. Some believe that the PPACA will impact the health care system by reducing the quality of healthcare provided for Americans. Others believe that this legislation will increase taxes instead of reducing the cost of healthcare as Obama and his administration would like to believe (Hunt, 2010). Accordingly, the PPACA was designed to provide the required healthcare reform that America has been seeking for the last few years. However, in the process of the enactment of this law, other policies and legislations have been integrated into the Act, thus making the influence of this Act widespread. Not only has this act reformed the Federal Family Education Loan program (FFEL), it has also affected the health insurance policy, hence changing how health insurance is provided to companies. This has, in turn, received plenty of criticism and praise, owing to the immediate effects of this Act on the ways in which the different systems are run. In view of that, it is prerequisite that all professionals in the healthcare industry familiarize themselves with the scope, content, and implications of the PPACA, for proper comprehension and application of the Act (Kocher et al., 2010).
This paper presents a review of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). Specifically, the paper will examine some of the components of the Act, as well as, the various ways it affects healthcare service and profession.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) is a significant topic for discussion because it seeks to ensure that all Americans are granted access to good quality and affordable healthcare. Additionally, the PPACA also seeks to reduce the cost of healthcare in America, which is considered as one of the best improvements that America’s health care system can undergo (Goodson, 2010).
Health Services Issues and Consequences
Like other pieces of legislation in American federal law, the PPACA addresses various issues that have been a bother in the American healthcare system. Specifically, this legislation addresses various troublesome areas of healthcare in America. At the outset, the legislation seeks to ensure that Americans receive quality and affordable health care, which is believed to have been lacking in the past few years (Cavale, 2011). As Obama’s administration had observed, only the Americans who had a proper source of income could afford good quality healthcare for themselves. Americans without a proper source of income suffered because they could not afford to pay for their medical coverage as required. This act, therefore, pushes for shared responsibility in the insurance market that will assist in reducing these discriminatory practices in America’s healthcare system.
Public programs, such as the Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Programs, as well as, their respective role in America’s healthcare system are also problems that America’s healthcare system have been forced to face in the last few years. Though these programs were developed for utilization by all Americans, the issue of program eligibility has brought about problems as most lower-income Americans have been deemed illegible for these programs. Specifically, the Children’s Health Insurance Program has been identified as having the biggest issues because children at a certain age have been disqualified from the program, thus putting their lives at risk because of lack to proper medical access (Elmendorf, 2011). In addition to the issue of eligibility, the health programs in America have also been accused of lacking transparency and integrity, which in turn promote unfair and illegal practices in America’s healthcare system.
Obama’s administration has also cited the existence of chronic diseases an issue that needs to be addressed effectively. Chronic diseases are issues and problems in America’s healthcare system, not because they increase the rate of mortality in the state, but because America’s healthcare system as failed in providing access to preventative treatment for all Americans (Harrington, 2010). Consequently, the rate of mortality as a result of chronic diseases has increased, hence revealing a problem in America’s healthcare system.
America’s health care workforce has also been identified as an issue and problem to America’s healthcare system. As most researchers in the field would explain, American healthcare practitioners have long been accused of incompetency, and for that reason, American citizens argue that they should not be in practice (Elmendorf, 2011). Additionally, the America medical workforce is lacking, in the sense that it does not provide a sufficient number of healthcare workers to attend to the needs of patients. This has, in turn, decreased the quality of healthcare provided to Americans as the healthcare workforce is overworked.
Health Reform Proposals
As a response to the issues presented above, the PPACA presents various reforms that are aimed at changing the state of the American healthcare system. Accordingly, the PPACA suggests nine main reform approaches that will assist in giving America’s healthcare system the change it requires. The first reform proposal emphasizes the need for the provision of quality and affordable healthcare for all Americans (Manchikanti & Hirsch, 2009). The implementation of this will be conducted to the assurance of the immediate improvement of healthcare services and increasing the available insurance coverage for patients. The second reform proposal as per the PPACA centres on changing the contents and role of American public healthcare programs. Two main healthcare programs will be affected in the process including MEDICAID and CHIP. The eligibility for these two healthcare programs will be changed through simplifying enrollment into these programs (Newman, 2011). Thirdly, the PPACA proposes a reform that is aimed at improving the quality and efficiency of America’s healthcare provisions. The first step towards the achievement of this will be the linking of a payment to quality outcomes of healthcare services, as well as, the reinforcement of the quality of medical infrastructure (Copeland & Carey, 2011). Additionally, for this reform to fully take shape, the government will also need to ensure a proper healthcare sustainability for years to come.
The fourth reform provision of the PPACA focuses on the prevention of the spread of chronic diseases, which will, in turn, improve the overall public health of Americans. For this to be achieved however, the US government is considering the possibility of modernizing the healthcare system, as well as, increasing access to preventative healthcare services. The healthcare workforce reform, as proposed in the PPACA, is the fifth provision of the act, and it aims at ensuring that the healthcare workforce is at its best at all times. The government will be required to increase the supply of medical practitioners in the field. Additionally, the government should ensure that these medical practitioners are well trained and educated regarding their duties and responsibilities (Gray & Sullivan, 2011). The sixth reform proposal in the PPACA is the transparency and program integrity reform, which seeks to put into place a new set of policies aimed at combating issues regarding fraud and malpractice. Another reform that has been proposed in the PPACA revolves around the improvement of access to new medical therapies for all Americans. According to Blendon and Benson (2010), The PPACA also proposes a reform on community assistance services and supports. This reform proposal aims at establishing voluntary insurance programs for the improvement of the health of communities. The last reform proposed in the PPACA entails revenue provisions, which defines how the government will gain funding for the provision of health insurance for Americans (Foster, 2010).
As research studies explain, the PPACA presents both benefits and losses to the American healthcare system. Some of the benefits of the PPACA have been identified to include the abolition of pre-existing negative healthcare conditions in the American healthcare system. The PPACA will improve access to medical service for low-income earners, as well as, children under the age of 19, which is seen as the first step towards the improvement of the health of all Americans (Trumbull, 2010). The number of medical practitioners and workers will also be increased, which will, in turn, assure the American population of having access to a large number of competent staff in the field. However, because of the financial implications of the PPACA, critiques believe that this piece of legislation may be detrimental to Americans, as it risks an increase in taxes and a decrease in the quality of healthcare provided to Americans.
I believe that the PPACA will be more costly than most Americans would like to believe. Although the Act will reduce America’s healthcare deficit by a significant amount, it will, in one way or another, increase the amount of money spend by individuals, as well as, the government as a whole on health care (Klein, 2009). At the outset, the implementation of the PPACA will increase the number of insured Americans, which inherently increases the budget for the number of people to receive insurance (Wolf, 2010). Non-Americans, who consist of a third of America’s population, will not be eligible for insurance, meaning that they will be forced to personally pay for the healthcare they receive. This implies that, in the long run, more money will have to be spent on a program that as initially designed to cut the cost on spending. Another factor that most people have failed to realize with relation to the implementation of the PPACA is that, for the government to raise the funds to support all Americans they need to increase the taxes (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2010). Government revenue and expenditure is solely dependent on the amount of taxes that people pay to the government. Accordingly, for the American government to offer quality and affordable medical insurance for American, they need to increases the tax amount to be paid for Americans.
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