President Barack Obama signed a health reform law designed to be comprehensive on March 23, 2010; it is called the Affordable Care Act. Also referred to as the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act (PPACA) or “Obamacare”, it has become a topic of controversy due to its wide range of influence and its complex nature. The main focus has been to insure that all Americans have coverage by health insurance and while estimates of the results differ for the coming decade, both supporters and opponents of the law agree that the goals are commendable (whitehouse.gov, 2012).
In terms of health care professionals, the Affordable Care Act is promoting an integration of services to encourage a whole-person focus with a final objective of coordinating the current method of fragmented care toward long-term optimal function (Fani Marvasti & Stafford, 2012). Today, a number of disciplines work toward patient health with issues of communication and consultation. In addition to testing and treatment of symptoms, recommendations for strategies for illness prevention should be incorporated into the treatment plan. Particularly with an increasing number of seniors in the patient population, standardization for care involving multiple systems is required to address the sweeping wave of persistent diseases.
Moving forward within the boundaries of financial options, particularly in terms of Medicare funding, current and future health care providers have a responsibility to take action to attempt to curtail the emergence of disease processes rather than attempt a cure if they appear. Total patient care both in terms of present ailments and disabilities and the possibilities of new ones occurring create a challenge for both the medical community and the funding agencies associated with them.
Fani Marvasti, F., & Stafford, R. (2012). From Sick Care to Health Care — Reengineering
Prevention into the U.S. System. New England Journal of Medicine, 367(10), 889-891.
whitehouse.gov. (2012). FACT SHEET: The Affordable Care Act: Secure Health Coverage for
the Middle Class. Retrieved 17 July 2015, from http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-