Health care reform

Health care reform has a definition of being a government policy that affects the delivery of health care. Health care reform involves major changes or creation of policy. Health care reform includes goals of broadening the population that receives healthcare, expanding the choice of providers, improving access to specialists, improving the quality of health care, and decreasing the cost to consumers. The health care reform debate includes the questions of who has a right to health care, who has access to health care, is it sustainable, will it be quality care, and what is the government cost.

The United States is said to have the most expensive health care system in the world. That is because the United States has a mix of private and public health care and insurance which leads to a high cost per person. President Barack Obama signed into law on March 23, 2010, a health care law known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. It is known to some as Obama Care. The health care law is considered by some to be a reform that has expanded access to care. The law has numerous provisions that will take effect throughout a period of four years.

The provisions include expanding the eligibility to include more consumer for the Medicaid system, insurance premiums would be subsidized, businesses that provide health care benefits to employees would be provided with special tax benefits, pre-existing conditions would be prohibited from being denied and would be provided coverage, annual coverage caps would be prohibited, and providing support for medical research. The provision for expanding Medicaid eligibility would make consumers that made up to 133% of the poverty level eligible for services.

The provision for subsidizing insurance premiums would make consumers that made up to 400% of the poverty level, eligible for a maximum out of pocket expense of 2% to 9. 5% of their income. An example of this would be the 2013 Federal Poverty for a household of one is $11490. 00 per year and 133% is $15282. 00. That means the out of pocket expense would be a maximum of $305. 64 to $1451. 79 per year. Another provision is that insurers will be required to offer plans that fit within four levels of coverage. These four levels are bronze (lowest level), silver, gold, and platinum (highest level) (Tucker, 2013).

Another provision allows children to receive coverage from their parents insurance until the age of 26 (Consumer Reports, 2012). There are others that have said that the new healthcare law has actually inhibited access to care. There is a cost to the new health care provisions however. These costs include taxes, fees, indoor tanning fees, medical device fees, and fees for pharmaceutical companies, and cuts to the Medicare Advantage program (Consumer Reports, 2012). These taxes affect those in the higher tax bracket and also affect indoor tanning businesses.

There is also a penalty in the form of taxes for those that do not obtain or maintain health care coverage; however there are exemptions for people that fall into the low income category. Another way that the new healthcare law has inhibited health care is that employers have to pay at least 50% of the insurance premium for all full time employees (Obama Care Facts, 2013). This has led a lot of employers to reduce their workforce in order to cut costs and reduced the working hours to part time for employees. By making the employees part-time, the employer is not responsible for paying the insurance premium.

Health care reform is aimed at making it easier for consumers to utilize the use of health care. Health care reform is defined as the government actions to improve the availability and performance of the health care systems (American College of Emergency Physicians, 2013). Health care utilization and trends are important because they provide information about the type of care that specific populations seek (CDC, 2013). Even with the reforms in the health care system and the growing elderly population, the trends for health care utilization shows the physician office visits remain stable (CDC, 2013).

The goal of the Affordable Care Act is to make it so that everyone will be able to utilize health care. It requires that everyone has some type of health care coverage. Universal health care coverage is providing health care to all people without making them suffer a financial burden (World Health Organization, 2013). There are several factors that must be in place for a country to maintain universal coverage.

These factors include a well-run and maintained system that meets the health needs of the community, must be affordable, must be accessible, and must have educated, trained health care workers illing to provide services to the patients. In order to maintain a system that meets the needs, it must inform people of how to prevent illness and maintain a healthy lifestyle, must have a system to detect health conditions early, must have the capacity to treat diseases, and must be able to help patients with the rehabilitation process (World Health Organization, 2013). All sectors must be recognized that assure human health which includes urban planning, education, and transportation. The population is directly affected by universal health care coverage.

If families have access to health care services, it allows individuals to be productive and active members of society, allows children to be healthy so that they can attend school and obtain an education, and also alleviates the financial burden of paying for health care services. The Affordable Care Act has the goals of universal health care because it has the goals to provide health care to everyone, however unlike universal health care in some countries where it is provided by the government, we will still be responsible for paying for it.

My experience is the health care expansion has been negative. I used to have health insurance that covered major medical, prescriptions, and had a yearly deductible before Obama Care. After Obama Care, I have health insurance that only covers two doctor visits per year, no prescription coverage, and doesn’t cover any labs or procedures. One of those visits is taken by my annual checkup, so that means I can only get sick one time a year. If I have to go to the doctor more than the two visits, then I’m responsible for the entire cost of the visit.

My health care costs have also gone up. I may not have a deductible to meet anymore, but I end up paying more because nothing is covered. My income is too high to qualify for any assistance or for the free medical from the government. I think that the government should at least cover some of the cost of visits, prescriptions or procedures. I think it is also unfair to make everyone has health insurance, especially if they don’t want it. I hope the change will be for the better, but I guess I will just have to wait and see.

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