Is the Affordable Care Act the Solution to Healthcare Problems in the U.S.

Is the Affordable Care Act the Solution to Healthcare Problems in the U.S.

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Is the Affordable Care Act the Solution to Healthcare Problems in the U.S.?

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Is the Affordable Care Act the Solution to Healthcare Problems in the U.S.?

The Affordable Care Act was a health care legislation enacted during the Obama administration and brought dramatic changes to the United States healthcare landscape. The law intended to raise the number of insured people make access to health care through the reduction of the cost burden (Silvers, 2013. The law stretched the eligibility of people for Medicaid and expanded new markets where policies were available for purchase for those with no employer coverage. Its carrot and stick approach requires every adult to have coverage or otherwise incur a fine. The population with moderate-income coverage receive subsidized premiums to purchase policies in these new markets. Since its adaptation in 2010, approximately 20 million Americans have registered for insurance, and 24 million have gained access to subsidized or free health care made possible by the expansion of Medicaid and Marketplace tax credit (Obama, 2016. Despite the evident success, the law has been subject to political headwinds with calls to repeal it or modify it to incorporate more goals. This paper seeks to discuss the problems of the Affordable Care Act and why it is unlikely to solve healthcare problems. There is a twist; however, there is no better alternative, and it appears that it might be the lesser of several dysfunctional proposed legislations.

The first problem of the Affordable Care Act is what it inherently sought to counter, and that is healthcare costs. It is so ironical to call it expensive, but unfortunately, it is. The united states spend close to $10,000 per person every year on healthcare double the amount sent in other wealthy countries. Although the cost of care has been growing modestly in the last few years, it is still more rapid than the economy. The ACA has not been able to contain cost but house bills proposed to counter it has nothing to offer in this regard according to experts.

The other problems with the ACA are the unstable individual markets with insurance providers ditching specific markets, especially rural areas leaving people without an option. Some areas have been left with a single insurer and although the issue needs fixing according to Larry Levitt, the senior vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation it is not such a catastrophe. Again, the senate health bill does not appear to increase the stability of these markets. A statement from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) suggests that the ACA will be able to hold firm the markets for another decade (Kurtzleben, 2017). The difference between the senate health bill and the ACA is again not clear here, adding to the confusion on whether to repeal the latter or not. The main take away here is, however, that the ACA is a long way from solving our health care problems.

The other problem with the ACA is the rising premiums. Premiums have risen sharply in markets under Obamacare for a variety of reasons. The Senate bill is believed to address the increases but not without a price. Lower premiums sound good, but they are not enough to entice lower-class Americans to purchase insurance. According to the CBO, not many low-income people would purchase any plan (Kurtzleben, 2017). The price for these plans will be shifted to deductibles meaning purchasing the proposed policies will result in higher out-of-pocket spending on health care under the current law. Somehow, the nation goes back to where it began.

Medicaid changes will result in lesser coverage, meaning under the proposed laws, 22 million people will be uninsured, and 7 million fewer people will be enrolled by 2026. This has been the biggest blow to the Republicans calling for the repeal of the law and pushing the senate health bill.

In conclusion, the rising cost of health and premiums, unstable individual markets, among other problems indicate that the Affordable care act will not solve health care problems in the nation. However, there is no superior alternative being proposed at the moment.

References

Kurtzleben, D. (2017, June 30). Obamacare Has Problems. The Senate Health Care Bill Doesn’t Solve Them, Experts Say. Retrieved from https://www.npr.org/2017/06/30/534756511/senate-bill-leaves-key-problems-with-health-care-system-unresolvedObama, B. (2016). United States health care reform: progress to date and next steps. Jama, 316(5), 525-532.

Silvers, J. B. (2013). The Affordable Care Act: objectives and likely results in an imperfect world. The Annals of Family Medicine, 11(5), 402-405.