Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obama Care, gained attention of all people involved in the system including media, government, health service providers and patients. The act has become an extraordinary topic of debate because of its positive and negative impacts on different stakeholders and economy. President Obama signed Affordable Care Act in March 2010. This health care reform faced unanimous opposition from republicans and mix response of public and democrats. Media also played a major role in framing the issue in the minds of citizens. This paper discusses the role played by media, political parties and public in framing Affordable Healthcare Policy. The paper will elaborate on various aspects and opinions associated with the Affordable Healthcare Act.
Media is considered as an effective medium that plays significant roles in the issues and frames it in a manner that it gains high coverage. Media is an influential medium that has capability to draw the issue in a specific direction. In case of Affordable Healthcare Act, media emphasizes on both positive and negative aspects associated with the Act. On one hand media explained about the economic necessities and health requirements of people whereas on the other hand media considers it as a poorly formed healthcare policy.
Different mediums of communications focus on confusion created by new healthcare bill among public. People are neither aware about what exactly this new bill is all about nor are they aware about its provisions and benefits. Media developed a negative frame on the issue that was so big that people considered the bill as bad policy. Media emphasized on negative points of the Affordable Healthcare Act which surpasses the positive provisions made under the act. People without gaining full knowledge on the bill started blaming the new Act.
Various studies conducted by different groups to gather the information on public opinion on the Affordable Healthcare Act. According to a survey conducted by Pew Research mentioned that 42 percent Americans endorse the new bill whereas remaining disapprove it (Pew Research, 2013). People are not satisfied with the new law and it is further found that 23 percent of the respondents want law to be failed whereas 27 percent mentioned that they want government make few changes in order to makes law more acceptable by the people.
Public opinion on the ACA is mix since its formation. However people who oppose the bill are always on higher side which shows that Americans are not in favor of the new ACA. According to a study conducted by Harry J Enten, people who are opposing ACA slightly decreased after decision of Honorable Supreme Court to uphold the laws over and above of all. However, the number again started increasing. Recent data shows that 52 Percent people do not in favor of ACA (Enten, 2013). Below chart is showing individual likeness and dislikes on Affordable care act.
Healthcare service providers are also not happy with the ACA because this new law will make reimbursement process more complex and government will take doctors services at lower cost. ACA will increase expenditure significantly hence government will adopt different ways to reduce the cost which will result in low quality of healthcare services. According to doctors this new law will decrease the accessibility of healthcare services and there are higher chances that doctor start taking their consultancy fee directly from patients (Nordal, 2012).
The Affordable Care Act will increase the number of insured persons significantly because of lower cost of insurance. If demand and supply theory of economics will be applied than the cost of medical services would go up because of higher demand and if not than there should be higher number of service providers and physicians. The ACA will benefit elder people who normally receive rejection from insurance service providers. Senior population and poor people will be benefited under ACA; these people faced lot of difficulties in getting suitable healthcare services.
President Obama during his speech in Virginia said that “The real solution is to take on drug and insurance companies and modernize our health care system for the twenty-first century. Further it was claimed it reducing costs for families and businesses and finally provide affordable, accessible health care for every American. And that’s what I intend to do” (Fahmy et al., 2013). ACA up to some extent fulfills its objective that is increasing affordability and accessibility of healthcare services. ACA made healthcare services affordable and accessible for poor population.
Affordable care act is a much debated and waited bill. President Obama believes this bill will serve and help millions of Americans who find medical expenses burdensome. Medical expenses in United States of America are too costly and it is not feasible for a common man to bear the expenses without derailing his economic planning. President Obama has presented this ACA as an effective step to deal with health related issues. The ACA has to prove its effectiveness by benefitting a larger section of the American society.
The Affordable Healthcare Act receives opposition from Republican Party, public and some democrats. Opposition within democrats intensifies the opposition made by Republicans. According to Pew Research only 13 percent Republicans considered the ACA whereas 85 percent disapproves it (Pew Research, 2013). Republicans encouraged law makers and elected officials to fails the bill. Below given chart is showing the percentage break-up of Republicans on subject:
Having observed the above mentioned succinct discussion, it can be concluded that affordable care act has gained wide acclamations as well as criticism. No law is beyond disputes and criticism and so as the Affordable care act. It has benefitted so many people and also there are some who criticize it for their personal as well as professional reasons. A section of media is also responsible for making Affordable care act as controversial. Affordable care act was presented and portrayed in a negative way which gained mixed responses from different sections of the society. Affordable care act was proposed with a good intention and the same has benefitted millions of common Americans for whom affording medical expenses is a difficult task.
Enten, H. J. (2013, October 1). The Guardian. Retrieved December 6, 2013, from www.theguardian.com: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/oct/01/healthcare-obamacare-affordable-care-act
Nordal, K. C. (2012). Healthcare Reform: Implications for Independent Practice. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice , 1-11.
Pew Research. (2013, September 16). Retrieved December 6, 2013, from www.people-press.org: http://www.people-press.org/2013/09/16/as-health-care-law-proceeds-opposition-and-uncertainty-persist/
S. Fahmy, C. J. McKinley, C. R. Filer and P. J. Wright. (2013). Pulling the Plug on Grandma: Obamas Health Care Pitch, Media Coverage & Public Opinion. Advances in Journalism and Communication , 19-25.