The Affordable Care Act became law in March, 2010 and is often referred to as Obama Care. The act was the beginning of reforms in the healthcare sector which was crippled and in crisis and, therefore, needed urgent revamp. The Affordable Care Act involves a series of reforms of Medicare and is guaranteed to provide savings to Medicare. The Act guarantees full benefits of Medicare and strengthens the existing care that Medicare offers to its beneficiaries. The act was majorly aimed to reduce the number of Americans who are uninsured as well as to decrease the cost of healthcare for all Americans. This can be achieved through various mechanisms such as tax credits, mandates, and subsidies. It is, therefore, reasonable without doubt that the Affordable Care Act should be upheld and implemented over the course of years.
The Affordable Care Act commonly referred to as Obama Care has brought more good than harm to US citizens. As much as the act creates hot debate among citizens as well as in the Congress, it is evident that many people, and even the Government itself, have benefited from this act. Therefore, the act should be upheld and no further contestation of the act should be allowed. The benefits of the act are discussed further.
A Decrease in the Number of Uninsured
Insurance companies are known for their stringent rules when it comes to insuring individuals. Therefore, most Americans have been locked out of insurance due to their inability to meet insurance companies’ requirements. With the implementation of the Obama Care, most individuals, who were not previously entitled to insurance can now boast of being insured. On inception, about 2.5 million young adults had access to health insurance. This is because the Affordable Care Act (ACA) allows individuals who have not attained the age of 26 to still remain in their parent’s insurance plan.
Initially, individuals with preexisting conditions, such as cancer and other chronic diseases, were not covered by insurance companies. However, with the act becoming law, now it is possible for these patients to access insurance, and this removes a huge load from their shoulders since catering for their medical bills is a nightmare, leave alone emotional stress. This could in the long-run increase their prognosis since their primary stress is off the table, they can concentrate on getting better.
The ACA provides that $11 billion should be dispatched to expand community healthcare centers. Moreover, it is important to take into consideration that about 350 community healthcare centers were put up and this in turn created about 19,000 new jobs to cater for 50 million citizens who lived in areas with low medical care access. This is a sufficient reason to uphold the Act since it not only provides healthcare to areas with no medical teams, but also provides jobs to the unemployed, and this in turn works well for country's economy.
School-based healthcare centers are not left behind in the expansion process, and the Act has set aside $200 million to improve dental health, substance abuse counseling, mental health, and primary care. Through school-based healthcare centers, more citizens, especially children, are given all round healthcare without delay. This automatically improves healthcare access as well as its quality.
Affordability of Healthcare
Kovner (2011) further demystifies the Obama Care. With Obama Care becoming a law, healthcare has become more affordable to all US citizens at large. The ACA is determined in keeping its promise on sealing the “donut hole”, this is the Medicare part D prescription drug coverage gap. This has been achieved by the provision in the Act that allows persons with disabilities to be subjected to discounts on brand named prescriptions that are in the donut hole. If the discounts continue overtime, the donut hole will be sealed by 2020, and this will reduce Medicare problems that existed before the Obama Care came into place.
The Act also provides for free important preventative services for women such as screening of cervical cancer and mammograms. Due to free services, women have come in large numbers to be tested and it has helped them in many ways since they are aware of the risks of cancer, preventative measure that have to be taken, and the importance of early detection. In this way, high healthcare costs for patients with stage four cancer, especially for women, has reduced since most of them are detected early and treated before the disease becomes a serious issue.
No cost sharing preventative services for senior citizens has made it affordable and widely accessible and has also encouraged more individuals to go for important health screenings and immunizations.
The Quality of Healthcare has Improved
Increased quality of healthcare is another very important benefit of the Act. Ubokudom (2012) writes that the Affordable Care Act provides that a certain amount of government funding, approximately $1.75 billion, should go to expanding primary care workforce. The boost in funding will go a long way in helping in the access of preventative care, lowering healthcare costs, and increasing quality care among millions of American citizens. The National Health Services Corps (NHSC) is an evident example for the provision of improved healthcare. The NHSC provides care mostly primary to undeserved communities, and over the years the communities that have been served have tripled.
Through the “Partnership for Patients: Better Care, Lower Costs” major leaders of hospitals, physicians, nurses, patient advocates, and employers from all over the United States in conjunction with the Federal Government will ensure that hospitals are safer, less costly, and more reliable, hence quality care for patients.
The Act provides for the Independence at Home Demonstration, which will provide over 10,000 Medicare patients who are suffering from chronic diseases with home care services at lower costs. This is living proof that Obama Care indeed improves the quality of healthcare in America and would be a great decision to uphold the Act since its Americans who will benefit at large.
Holding insurance companies responsible and preventing them from ripping off innocent citizens over the past years, insurance industry practices have largely prevented many individuals from having affordable health cover. Before the Affordable Care Act was put in place, Americans suffered as premium rose rapidly without any viable explanations, and this put strain on many above average families and their budgets. With the advent of the Act, now insurers cannot just wake up one day and decide to raise premiums without explanations. They cannot decide to drop health cover when an individual gets sick and cannot discriminate against individuals with pre existing conditions such as cancer. If you ask me, the Act has done nothing but started to protect the rights of innocent citizens who are always ripped off by insurance companies and cannot complain due to industry’s rules and practices. The Act has brought back sanity & fairness to insurance and clarity to the confused citizen, who does not see the sense of taking a health cover and will be frustrated in the long run.
The Act Provides for Consumer Protection
Over the years, parents who are paying off their mortgage or car payments get worried when their sick children get dropped by insurance companies, or sick breast cancer patients get worried about their families when they hit the dollar limit coverage. These worries are of real and common people. The Affordable Care Act puts these worries to rest by ensuring consumer protection. The Act ensures that an individual is in control of the care he or she needs and deserves. Under this act, consumers can put to rest most of their worries and be confident that whenever they get sick, insurance will protect them and they will not be crushed by medical bills. This is healthcare that citizens want. They do not have to look over their shoulders every time someone gets sick. Therefore, there is no doubt that the Act should be upheld.
The Affordable Care Act has raised many issues since its inception. Opponents of this act insist that it will do major harm to American economy, increase deficit, and raise health care costs overtime rather than making the cost of healthcare to fall. Republicans are major opposes of this act and are advocating for a repeal of the said act.
On the contrary, repealing the Affordable Care Act is a bad idea, and this is why it is one of the worst decisions the Congress can make if they repeal. First and foremost, repealing the Act will harm millions of US citizens. The Act has prevented insurance companies from rejecting over 17 million children with conditions that are pre existing and has eliminated the lifetime coverage of over 100 million people thus ensuring that their coverage continues.
Secondly, repealing the Affordable Care Act will weaken Medicare since the Act has enabled closure of the donut hole and has strengthened Medicare’s coverage of preventative care. Thus, it is very important to uphold the Affordable Care Act.
Thirdly, repealing the Acts will be a classic example of financial irresponsibility. This is because it will reduce deficit by over $120 billion and this will worsen economic conditions of the United States. The ACA should be upheld to prevent insurance companies from ripping off citizens and denying them care. The ACA will also expand coverage, reduce the rapidly increasing health costs, and eliminate once and for all bad practices of insurance companies.
The opponents, who are claiming a tax increase due to the implementation of the ACA should look at the benefits of the Act and see how many middle class citizens will benefit from the ACA and forge ahead to implementing the ACA without criticism. It is, therefore, advisable to uphold the Affordable Care Act due to its positive reforms. With the Act in place America is headed for a better and revamped healthcare system and greater economic security in years to come.
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