Social Problem Addressed by the Policy
One of the biggest social problems in the U.S. that requires immediate attention is health care. The enactment of the policy called the Affordable Health Care Act has addressed the social problem on health care. One of the problems that have to be resolved by the policy is to provide long-term care for the citizenry since there is scarcity of government funding. At the same time, the current recession and global crises has caused a significant impact in the U.S. which prevented the grant of health care insurance to the people. Although the government aims to resolve the problem on health care as part of the essential issues concerning national policy, it has been a great challenge to provide health care coverage to all Americans regardless of age has due to insufficiency of governing funding to support the benefit. The steep prices of insurance premiums have crippled the average working citizens to pay for health care premiums, which caused the increase in the number of uninsured Americans.
Based on the history of the health care in America, the population consisting of disabled adults and children, including the elderly with disabilities had been deprived of health care coverage due to high cost and other cultural, social and economic concerns. Another identified problem is the political issue which controlled the grant of government funding to the minority population. Majority of the elderly and the disabled population demanded for the government to provide expanded health care programs since they have be deprived of special medical services that will address their needs. These are the ultimate and fundamental issues that have to be by the country.
The Affordable Health Care Act that was initiated by President Barrack Obama has mandated the employers to provide their employees with health care benefit plans as part of their benefits. The Obama Care has been perceived as the solution to the looming health care problem in the country that will provide medical services to the Americans who do not have health care insurance coverage. Such move of President Obama is commendable since it promotes equality and justice for all by granting the each and every American the right to enjoy uniform health care coverage. The government took into consideration the protection of the rights the minority population and to provide them the dignity, independence and integrity that they deserve. It is believed that the Obama Care system will encourage the consumers to give contribution that will finance for their health care needs which only shows the flexibility of the law to meet the demands of all consumers by following the same criteria on financial eligibility (Pratt, 2011).
Effects of the Policy
The new health care system is believed to be beneficial for all Americans coming from different sectors that fall under one unified health care system (Chen 2008). Thus, the unified system will promote the interest of the insurance companies and health care providers since they only follow a set of standard guidelines that will regulate the health care service that will govern the end-users, insurers, and hospitals. The beauty of the Obama Care system is that it promotes the best health care system by emphasizing on the accessibility of the program on preventive care. The enhanced health care services shall be beneficial to the entire American population including the indigent, elderly, and disabled members of the minority by giving universal access to medical services. In order to prevent superfluous budget allocation for health care, the government should be able to identify the immediate families who have the capacity to support their own health care and to give incentives if they are able to pay their dues on time. One way to improve the health care policy is by implementing a reward system for those who religiously pay their dues on time in order to encourage the people to participate in promoting the health of the nation.
The ACA bears some advantages and disadvantages. In order to improve the law, there are some recommendations that should be given in order to ensure the efficiency of the new health care system. One of the recommendations is for the law to be strictly enforced against large organizations and companies employing many employees who give healthcare coverage as part of the benefits of the full-time employees. At the same time, the small enterprises must be given tax benefits as part of their incentives in order to encourage them to give health benefits to their workers. By decreasing the cost of penalties to these small enterprises, they will be forced to take in full-time employees and not just part-time workers since they will also provide them the same health benefits. However, this will adverse to those belonging to the unemployed population since the employers will have second thoughts of expanding their businesses so as not to pay fines and other penalties. The new health care system has expanded the coverage of minority families and their children, especially for those who fall below the poverty level since the law has given financial assistance to families with low-income, pregnant women, and the disabled. Healthcare centers should also be encouraged give free consultations and outpatient treatments within various states.
The study of Pratt (2011) showed that the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid revealed that majority of the uninsured belong to the working families. They remain to be uninsured by their respective employers for failure to qualify under the requirements of the insurance policies. In fact, there is at least seventy eight 78% percent of the uninsured adults who have been identified to belong to the naturalized American population (Pratt, 2011).
Unintended Effects of the Policy
There are several unintended effects caused by the Affordable Health Care Act or ACA on majority of the working. One of which is the instance where the spouses can be excluded from the insurance coverage. Under the new law, most of the employers were forced to drop spouses of their employees from the insurance coverage. As a result, it caused a burden on the individual employees to file their application for state exchanges. Another unintended effect is the reduction of working hours by the employers in order to avoid the additional expenses to provide health coverage to part-time workers. Based on the report of Becker (2013), there were many retirees who were affected by the new law such as the case of the company IBM, which had to terminate 110,000 of the retirees who are eligible to avail of Medicare from the health insurance of the company. As a result, the company has given these retirees their subsidies to allow them to buy state exchanges which caused the elimination of their supposed level of medical coverage. The enactment of Obama care does not automatically resolve the problem of uninsured Americans. According to Becker (2013), the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has made a forecast that there will be at least thirty-one (31) million Americans who shall remain to be uninsured in the year 2023.
The Obama Care was enacted to provide immediate solutions to address the problems on the health care and to implement a new system that will promote uniformity and affordability of insurance premiums. The government should provide the employees a health care system that will protect the constitutional rights of the people, encourage capitalism, empowering the private sector, allow the people to take active part in the healthcare financing and delivery, and to promote national uniformity within the insurance industry. Health care reform has to be instituted since the enactment of the policy is to insure equal access to health care to all citizens in the U.S. The political leaders are expected to create productive solutions that will improve the health care system that will serve the people and avoid the possibility of making divisions on the basis of political motives.
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