Healthcare Reform: It’s a right, not a privilege.
New words are coined all of the time. There is one that spread like wildfire when President Barack Obama was first elected, “Obamacare,” also known as The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. This has been one of the prime issues during the last two elections because it is basically performing a radical and invasive surgery on our current health care system. Basically this entails extending affordable and same health insurance options to all American citizens that their government has by mandating a tax be paid every month for. During the last decade healthcare has become a lucrative industry that all types of businesses and hospitals have been built around. Obamacare threatens this structure as it aims to turn healthcare into as normal a right as having fire or police protection, rather than a retail product available to few Americans. The benefits of this healthcare reform will not be seen immediately, but President Obama is integrating a plan that will slowly shift the way healthcare system is run. Most health care takes place in the tertiary phase, which is when diseases and illnesses have reached their absolute worst due to poor preventative care. The long-term goal is to shift this into primary care that focuses on preventative measures by being able to receive regular check ups, consultations, and Williams 2
education as needed. Some would argue that Obamacare could eventually lead to a higher percentage of healthier citizens, but unfortunately America’s citizens are still very divided as to whether or not the Presidents plan is worth the wait.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) was signed into law by Barack Obama on March 23rd of 2010, and is scheduled to take full effect in 2014. It is the most significant regulatory overhaul of America’s healthcare system since Medicare/Medicaid (Wikipedia). According to the U.S Department of Health and Human Services, part of the new “Patient Bill of Rights” includes making it illegal for insurance companies to discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions (Healthandhumanservices.gov). The Health and Human Services website also states that Americans will be able to purchase insurance through the Affordable Insurance Exchange where they can compare plans and choose the best fit for themselves and families, rather than being offered only one kind of insurance by an employer (Healthandhumanservices.gov). The Act also allows states to require insurance companies to justify premium increases and bans a yearly cap on what can be spent on healthcare per year for an individual. As well as, eliminating co-payments for contraceptives, mammograms, colonoscopies and other annual basic preventative care measures for all age groups. There will also be tax credits given to small businesses for providing insurance to employees. There will be a sharp decrease in the number of uninsured citizens, which would decrease the overall costs of health care in the Williams 3
years to come. Controversy also springs up around issues of money distribution and a individual mandate. In 1994, the Congressional Budget Office issued a report describing an individual mandate to buy insurance as “an unprecedented form of federal action” (Healthandhumanservices.gov). Many states even joined litigation in federal court arguing the power to ‘regulate’ commerce does not include affirmative power to compel commerce by penalizing inaction in 2010 (Healthandhumanservices.gov). At this rate citizens will have to pay an annual penalty fee if they opt out of paying the monthly tax.
The economic and financial turn that the PPACA will induce is one of the primary concerns of everyone from the restaurant industry, insurance companies, to clinics and hospitals. By law it restricts insurance companies to alter rates based on pre-existing conditions therefore forcing insurance companies to set rates to cover costs. The...
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