Sample Management Paper on Patient Protection

Introduction

Also known as Obamacare, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) is a Federal Act that was signed into law on March 31, 2010. Its main provisions were as discussed here. This Act aimed at providing affordable health care for the general population of the United States. According to Amadeo (2019), the Act made it possible for 32-50 million more Americans of the legal population to access medical care. It remains one of the greatest legacies under President Barrack Obama’s administration.

Main provisions of the law

The main provisions of the law included; (1) New insurance market regulations such as the provision of health insurance for children with pre-conditions, (2) The requirement that all American citizens enroll for qualifying coverage or else they would face tax penalties (an exception to those who cannot afford such coverage), (3) Provision of refundable tax credits to eligible individuals, (4) Establishment of the Independent Payment Advisory Board with the primary objective of helping  Medicare provides affordable and better care through finding ways of saving that do not affect the quality of healthcare and coverage, (5) Requiring all medical plans to include essential health benefits including maternity care and preventive care (such as cancer screening), and (6) Extending of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) funding to 2015 (Kaiser Family Foundation, 2017). In addition to these provisions, the state governments were required to organize health insurance exchanges to help in understanding the new laws and urge insurance companies to find ways of incorporating citizens without health cover into their programs.

Central Economic and/or Social Issues addressed by the ACA

The Obamacare Act sought to address both social and economic issues revolving around Health Care. First, the Act reduced the burden of Medicare from the general population by making Healthcare affordable and demanding that high premiums be reduced by insurance companies. Secondly, the Act reduced the cost of providing medical care by focusing on preventive rather than curative measures by insisting that insurance covers provide a minimum of 10 plans including preventive care plans (National Conference of State Legislatures, 2011).  Socially, Obamacare addressed the issue of equity. Previously, only families with high incomes could access Medicare at the rates demanded by the health insurance companies. However, the new regulations seek to increase the premiums being by high-income earners to cover for the inability of the low-income earners to afford medical covers. As a result, the Act promoted equity in society and improved access to health care services.

Historic Issues Regarding Health Care and How the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act addresses these issues

The first major issue in the past has been the number of people who can access medical care. In most cases, only people who had good salaries could afford health covers and most persons living below the federal poverty level (FPL) could not afford health covers. However, Obamacare expanded Medicaid Coverage to non-elderly individuals earning below 133% of the FPL and provided subsidized insurance through avenues such as healthcare marketplaces (Glied, Ma, & Borja, 2017). Over the years, statistics indicate that access to medical care has increased by over 20 million Americans which means that this strategy has turned out to be effective. The second issue was the wide variation among the states with regards to universal health care. At the time, states implemented universal health care at their own will and in their own way depending on the available resources. The South and West states had high numbers of people lacking coverage or under covered whereas the Northeast states had low rates of lacking coverage (Chokshi, 2014). The Obamacare Act smoothed out these differences as every individual and every state were required to comply with the new regulations. I find that this was effective in boosting access to medical care.

Thirdly, insurance costs were increasing at a faster rate than the earnings of households in America. Eventually, most people resolved to prioritize meeting their basic needs (food, shelter, and clothing), rather than chase after health insurance covers that were quite expensive (Chokshi, 2014). Obamacare helped in resolving this by providing solutions that treated each household as per their income earnings which made it possible for almost everyone to afford health insurance covers. In this way, I find that the law was effective in addressing the issue of overpricing of health premiums without caring about its effect on the general population.

However, the major challenge with Obamacare is its sustainability. While a large population of Americans now have access to medical care, how long will this be the case? In the recent past the Trump administration planned to scrap off Obamacare and its fate is still hanging in the balance. The US government needs to come up with ways of addressing the challenges posed by this Act rather than doing away with beneficial law. One of the ways of doing this is to generate employment opportunities for the unemployed and ensure that citizens earn a salary that can sustain their daily lives and also provide health cover for their households.

 

 

 

References

Amadeo, K. (2019). 2010 Patient Protection & Affordable Act Summary. The Balance.    Retrieved from https://www.thebalance.com/2010-patient-protection-affordable-care-act-   3306063 on 29th November 2019

Chokshi, N. (2014). Historians take note: what America looked like before Obamacare. The         Washington Post. Retrieved from   https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/govbeat/wp/2014/03/26/historins-take-note-            what-America-looked-like-before-obamacare on 29th November 2019.

Glied, A. S., Ma, S., & Borja, A. (2017). Effect of the Affordable Care Act on Health Care           Access. The Commonwealth Fund. Retrieved from           https://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/issue-briefs/2017/may/effect-           affordable-care-act-health-care-access on 29th November, 2019.

Kaiser Family Foundation. (2017). Summary of the Affordable Care Act. Retrieved from             http://files.kff.org/attachment/Summary-of-the-Affordable-Care-Act on 29th November 2019.

National Conference of State Legislatures. (2011). The Affordable Care Act: A Brief Summary. Retrieved from http://www.ncsl.org/research/health/the-affordable-care-act-brief-       summary.aspx on 29th November, 2019