In the United States history, the healthcare economies have gone through humongous drastic changes, which have evidently culminated into the noble reforms that are notable currently. Although there are many factors, which come into, play concerning these changes, the fundamental driver behind these noble changes has been the key advances in advanced technology and medical care techniques especially in the field of surgical services and diagnostic imaging. In addition, it is paramount to comprehend the fact that in spite of the time-period taken, the payment for the services, as well as its primary source, has ultimately been a vital element in how far and how fast the healthcare can reach. This study will expound on the reform of health care and economics and values in the United States from the period of 2000 to 2012 (Almgren 04).
The payment source of the medical services has often changed quite a little over the last few decades. Currently, third party payers who include insurance companies evidently pay the huge load of the bills related to healthcare thus leaving a small portion that is paid by the real recipient from their individual funds. Initially, patients had to pay their bills in full from their own pockets. Physicians in those days considered as tradesmen. When the physician’s work was through, the patient had to pay the bill. Most often, if the patients were unable to pay the bill in cash, the physicians would readily accept any non-monetary reimbursement for the services rendered, and this included farm produce items or livestock (Sultz and Kristina 06).
In 2000, there was a paramount dire need to reform the healthcare sector although it would cost more, but the Americans had the fundamental right to free health care. Research conducted by notable scholars confirmed that there were, over 47 million Americans, who were without health insurance. Thus, the reform bill for the health care sector would stop the insurance companies from denying the Americans from health coverage. The government enacted a new health insurance reform law, which gave coverage to the majority of the Americans who were in dire need of the legislation. This legislation meant that all Americans would receive medical coverage regardless of their status. This new legislation ensured that it held the insurance companies accountable as well as kept reducing the insurance premiums downwards. The legislation would also drastically reduce the deficit, which would later translate to a better and healthier economy over time (Kovner, Knickman and Steven 19).
It is only recently that the reimbursement rates from Medicare and Medicaid have significantly decreased thus putting a huge financial burden on the hospitals. It is evident that there has been a drastic increase in the underpayments by Medicare and Medicaid, having made an increment of 3.7 billion in the year 2000 to 31 billion in the year 2008. The resultant of the low reimbursements, hospitals, had cost-shift, and this led to upshots in the prices of services and supplies. Reimbursements for these programs mainly depend on the state budgets, and they normally take a lot of time to be granted and are low. It is worth noting that, as the country’s economy moves to a decline, the number of people who qualify for Medicaid benefits starts to increase significantly. This momentous increase leads to lower rates of reimbursements and higher state deficits (Almgren 32).
Another major factor that affects health care is that the number of uninsured individuals is increasing, and thus majority of the hospital services go without being paid. This increases the debt amount because the federal and state law requires the hospitals to offer care to people going for emergency services despite their ability to pay. The Great Recession led to an instant loss of coverage to many people, and various studies conducted have shown that a 1.0% increase in the unemployment rate will result in a .58 % increase in the number of the uninsured. It is worth noting that very few employers drop their coverage; however, they can reduce the costs by shifting the benefit or by restricting cost sharing with their employees (Sultz and Kristina 58).
Health care reform is a legislation that President Obama has signed into law to improve the United States by offering basic health care to every American. This affordable and economical healthcare Act is a noble legislation, which will offer security and stability to the Americans who have insurance, excellent affordable options to those Americans who do not have insurance and bring down drastically the overall cost of health care for various businesses, families and the government. This legislation would also strengthen effectively the financial health of Medicare. There is an estimate of nearly 47 Americans, who are without health insurance, and this number is expected to increase because of the effects of the recent recession that took place that led to humongous number of Americans jobless. Recent research by authoritative authors has shown that nearly 5% percent of the Americans have any insurance whatsoever. The same research further showed that close to 60% of the Americans benefit from the employee-based insurance programs, and 12% of them are on Medicaid or other types of public healthcare (Almgren 60).
This noble legislation will offer a great opportunity to the Americans to enjoy similar health care options with the Congress. This legislation will lead to cost reduction for businesses because of the increase in cost of the healthcare premiums. The reform will assist people when they switch jobs, lose jobs, or when they start a new job since they will always be offered insurance within the employer’s means, thus having good coverage. The legislation will also assist people who are on Medicare through lowering the prescription drug cost and by providing low priced gap insurance. Eventually, these reforms will also assist the national deficit by lowering the gross deficit by 100 billion dollars over the next 10 years (Sultz and Kristina 73).
The Health care reform will hold the various insurance companies accountable. It is expected that over the years, the insurance premiums will have increased significantly, and they are predicted to continue to increase. Various insurance companies have evidently increased their premiums although they have not notably increased their coverage. Actually, the coverage has drastically reduced over the years, and this has had an adverse effect on the people with pre-existing conditions. It is worth noting that numerous insurance companies have increased their premiums for no apparent reason. This is the fundamental reason that this legislation was enacted to curb such disappointing situations whereby the insurance think that they increase the premiums at will. In addition, majority of the states lack the necessary legal authority to take action by reducing these rates. Therefore, as these rates continue to rise, it becomes very hard for the Americans to afford this type of coverage, and it is an essential necessity for everyone. The health care reform has the potential of driving the insurance companies’ costs down by offering a competitive edge. This could offer 250,000 to 400,000 thousand jobs annually (Almgren 114).
Currently, the deficit for the U. S. is close to 13 trillion dollars. At the slow growth rate of the economy as well as the alarming rise in health costs, this deficit is expected to significantly increase with no changes of the trend reversing. The health care reform will assist reduce this deficit by 100 billion over the coming 10 years. This plan will also drastically decrease this deficit by 100 trillion over the following decade. This legislation will also reduce government funds to majority of the people who depend on these funds. It will assist reduce notably the number of people currently abusing the system now and stop waste and overspending (Kovner, Knickman and Steven 64).
The Health care reform can immensely benefit the people of the U. S through providing lower health care. This legislation will provide the essential health care requirements to everyone leading to people not worrying about doctor visits, hospital visits and the rising prescriptions costs. In the U. S, there is an estimation that people who lack health insurance have caused tens of thousands of otherwise preventable deaths annually. This noble legislation will lead to health care to be affordable for both small businesses and middle-class families. Majority of the Americans are faced by difficulties in maintaining quality and affordable health coverage. It is also paramount to note that lowering health care costs by 1% will create 320,000 jobs nationwide and thus increase the average family income by 6,800 by the year 2030. The Health care reform will also reduce down premiums and out-of-pocket expenses to the Americans. This legislation can attain this noble objective through provision of a marketplace in order for the insurance companies to be able to compete against one another. This will eventually result in the premiums prices to reduce, and the Americans are able to purchase insurance, which is affordable for them and has better coverage. The legislation will also have various stipulations that state that an insurance company cannot set maximum payouts for policyholders, and they are not supposed to have or drop limited coverage for the pre-existing medical conditions (Jonas, Raymond and Karen 47).
Eventually when this health care reform is implemented fully, it will cause a major effect mainly on the numerous biotech companies, which will lead to positives effect to the Americans. Thus, when this reform program takes off, these biotech companies will benefit from the much-needed funds that they require in order to conduct groundbreaking discoveries which will provide better therapies for diabetes, HIV, MS and cervical cancer. With such accomplishments, majority of the Americans will have excellent treatments available, which will enhance effectively their quality of life and especially to those people who are suffering from these diseases. Recent research by notable scientists has shown that biotech companies have indeed had to put majority of their groundbreaking researches on hold such as gene therapy, regenerative medicine and synthetic biology which would assist in not only treating patients, but in predicting, and also prevent disease. The Health reform bill will ensure it utilizes a common sense approach by putting in place a proper timeline for the generic versions of the various name brand prescriptions. Thus, drug companies would offer 12 years of data that a competitor could not depend on since it is not based on the generic level that will require for FDA approval. Such a step would offer the biotech companies ample time to attain a viable ROI (Return on their investments). This would also ensure that the generic version of the drug was safe and well tested, before it is put on the market. These standards would help biotech companies to improve medicines and treatments (Shi, and Douglas 86).
This reform will decrease the long-term increase of health care costs for businesses and the government. All businesses have been hit hard as the costs of health care continue to soar. The insurance premiums for employers have more than doubled since 2000. By 2025,, one out of every four dollars in the nation’s economy will be spent on health care. Due to the rising health care costs, it ends up cutting into the employee wages as well as preventing the business from growing and hiring more employees. Health insurance reform will benefit businesses by offering affordable insurance by putting them and their employees with other Americans so that the purchasing power toward insurance companies increases. The government will provide a small business tax credit to help make the costs of health insurance more affordable (Almgren 129).
In conclusion, healthcare currently represents about 17 percent of the U.S. GDP, and unless reform occurs, it is estimated to reach 20% within the next decade (the global average is only 10%). In addition, it has been estimated that approximately 62% of all bankruptcies can be attributed to healthcare costs. The simple answer to all this is to decrease the healthcare expenses, however, ; it is simply not the simple. Decreasing the expenses means that someone is not paid adequately for whatever service they are providing. All services, regardless of the industry, have a finite amount of resources available to them. These being the case; resources are rationed out to provide the greatest good for the greatest amount of people. Healthcare is no different. There are only so many doctors, nurses, and hospitals. Rationing already occurs to some degree whether publicly accepted or not. This form of rationing will not only continue but very likely begin to reach into the other socioeconomic classes as well (Jonas, Raymond and Karen 128). As the resources are needed to provide the greatest good, and the number of individuals eligible for healthcare increases (baby-boomers and healthcare reform beneficiaries), it is very likely that there just will not be enough to go around. Healthcare economics will again be forced to change only this time that it would begin to with a decision maker in the entire process who will decide who can receive what service and for how long. The negative effects of this scenario are enormous in light of the true intention of healthcare but given the current situations, something should drastically change in the economics of healthcare or the country risks a complete collapse of the entire system. This is the right and appropriate time to revamp the noble concept of health cooperatives as the standard, provide federal funding and tax-exempt status and allow a system that took care of the population at a realistic economic base another chance (Shi, and Douglas 135).
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