Affordable Care Act Helped with American Health Care

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Social Justice Issues and Policy

Healthcare should be an absolute right to all of humanity, unfortunately, it is treated as a privilege in America. When we are in a poor state of health, every aspect of our life is affected; thus, affecting other people, cycling into various areas, causing a negative disruption in society (Segal, 2015). Taking the steps to maintaining a healthy life may seem simple, but they can be strenuous and costly. The implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as the ACA, in 2010, aimed at lowering costs and insuring millions who were currently uninsured (Segal, 2015). According to Graves & Nikpay, 2017, The health insurance reforms brought about by the ACA have resulted in approximately twenty million people acquiring insurance.

Comprehensive Review on Related Populations

When we are discussing policies and how that are made, we start by looking toward the population of the United States. Policies are created because there is an issue at hand that will greatly affect the public in some way, in this case it is healthcare. Healthcare has been an issue for several decades; the gap of the working uninsured was gradually growing, which hurt the uninsured, healthcare facilities, and ultimately the economy (Saltzman, Eibner, & Enthoven, 2015). Former President Obama was aware of the healthcare coverage issue; thus, he focused on the state of our country’s health and lobbied to make positive changes for Americans (Segal, 2015). Once the new policy went into effect, there were a few methods for how it would be implemented. Much of the policy was applied through the individual states, with assistance from the federal government. Several groups of individuals were now able to receive more affordable healthcare; the working uninsured taxpayer who made an annual household income above 100 percent of the Federal Poverty Level and below 400 percent for a family of the taxpayer’s size, was entitled to a premium tax credit (Hymson & Ornelas, 2016). Through the ACA, an employer’s mandate was created, requiring companies with 50 or more employees to offer health insurance to their full-time workers or pay a penalty (Rivlin, 2013).

The American people alone are not the only ones who are seeing changes. The medical industry and their employees have had to adjust to the new policy. Through the marketplace, we are seeing health insurance companies competing for our business, which has helped to lower costs in a previously low competing field (Frank & McGuire, 2017). Healthcare providers were also susceptible to changes. The ACA imposed new restrictions on the formation and expansion of hospitals owned by physicians (Plummer, & Wempe, 2016).

Over the past few years, we have seen a decrease in the number of insurance companies that are willing to participate in the Marketplace that was created through the ACA. The result is a “death spiral”, where prices of plans are heavily increased for the pool of individuals in that region (Frank & McGuire, 2017). This eliminates the competition that was set up to provide affordable healthcare, placing the burden on individuals who need to acquire their own insurance. The relationship that insurance companies have with Government plays a role in this. Concentrated market power might be used to advance political influence over regulatory processes, thus, reducing consumer welfare (Frank & McGuire, 2017). With the backing from the government, insurance companies are leaving many individuals in a variety of financial and economic situations from various backgrounds vulnerable to higher costs, or lack of coverage.

Different Impacts on Diverse Populations

There is no doubt that the ACA has helped to insure Millions of Americans. The ACA policy states that discrimination is prohibited by any federal health program or activity on the grounds of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex (111th Congress,2010). Through the Medicaid expansion, which allows states to voluntarily extend Medicaid coverage to individuals with incomes that exceed 133 percent of the federal poverty line, more individuals and families have access to public healthcare (111th Congress,2010.). The tax credits supply millions of Americans with more affordable insurance (Hymson & Ornelas,2016). Unfortunately, the limit on what income level receives the tax credits has flaws. Those individuals who do not meet the qualifications to receive the tax credits have to pay full cost for their insurance, which can be expensive. The ACA also excludes individuals who are not legal citizens (111th Congress,2010), leaving that population, and the United States vulnerable to steep medical costs (Muschek, 2015).

Policy Suggestion

While millions of Americans have greater access to healthcare, there are several areas in which the ACA could be improved to provide the entire population with coverage. Implementing a percentage of all taxed goods to be put towards healthcare would allow immigrants to participate in paying for the insurance, reducing the medical costs that are reabsorbed by the health industry. Providing tax credits for all levels of income would reduce the high costs for those who do not qualify under the policy at hand. The idea of universal healthcare could be implemented; various countries around the world partake in this model, allowing everyone access to the care they need (Rivlin, 2013). Considering the effects that our state of health has on virtually every aspect of our life, keeping the population healthy should be one of our country’s top priorities, giving everyone a healthier future.

Cite this paper

Affordable Care Act Helped with American Health Care. (2021, Nov 22). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/affordable-care-act-helped-with-american-health-care/

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