ObamaCare (The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) was signed by President Barack Obama in 2010; it is “a US healthcare reform law that expands and improves access to care and curbs spending through regulations and taxes” (ObamaCare Facts, 2015). In this way, the purpose of this reform is to reduce healthcare spending and regulate insurances. It tends to enhance the whole quality of services and provide more Americans with the opportunity to use them. The act was meant to:
- Provide a range of new benefits to the US population;
- Implement a Health Insurance Marketplace;
- Allow more people to use Medicaid;
- Enhance Medicare for vulnerable populations;
- Improve employer coverage;
- Implement new taxes.
This act is a well-grounded reform that was designed after the long cooperation between politicians and representatives of the healthcare industry. ObamaCare can be seen as an improved version of programs implemented earlier in the US. It provides individuals who have low or no income to receive cost assistance. As currently the prices for health insurance and medicines become higher, ObamaCare tries to find some ways out for people to afford them.
Advantages and Disadvantages
As all other reforms, Obamacare is not only beneficial for Americans but also has a range of disadvantages that require improvement. Considering the advantages of the program, it should be mentioned that millions of the US citizens will get health insurance. However, it also presupposes that others will be obliged to pay new taxes and increase their expenditures. In this way, the economy in the country will be affected, as lots of money will be taken from the budget to make all expectations true to life. Still, the fact that healthcare costs will be controlled proves that some money will be saved, and there will be an opportunity to create new working places and improve people’s quality of life (Oberlander, 2012).
The framework of Medicare will be extended to help people with disabilities, but there will be a need to find new doctors, as there will be not enough of them to be attentive to everyone. Medicaid program will be expanded, which seems to be of advantage. However, it is believed that such insurance is not good and many people who had it died in hospitals. The Independent Payment Advisory Board is a vital body that will be responsible for financial part of the reform. It is beneficial, as the board will consider what spheres require more investments and allocate money to them. On the other hand, it cannot prevent a patient from receiving particular treatment but will be able to reduce payments to the physicians who provided them. As a result, doctors will not be willing to provide certain kinds of treatment, which is likely to put the patients’ lives at risk.
Except for that, under ObamaCare, abortion is funded. It seems to be beneficial to some women, as their spending can be covered. Still, it does not look good from the moral point of view. Previously, abortion was funded only in case of abuse and threat to the mother’s life. One more advantage of the reform is that more people can receive primary healthcare services and preventive ones. It means that the number of patients in the emergency department will reduce. Generally, ObamaCare tends to make Americans healthier but in some cases, it leads to poor health outcomes and increased costs.
Is It the Answer for Our Healthcare System?
Today the healthcare system in the US is constantly improved to make the nation healthier and increase the quality of life. Due to the high costs of healthcare services and insurance, many people occur to be not able to afford them. ObamaCare is a program that many people believe to be a solution to these most critical problems. It is thought that lots of money can be saved due to it in several years. With the expansion of Medicaid and Medicare programs, medical attention paid to vulnerable populations will increase. As people will have an opportunity to consult their family doctors, they will not create crowds in hospital emergency. Moreover, in this way, they will receive needed preventative care and will get a chance to prevent serious medical conditions that may lead to adverse outcomes.
Still, it should be also underlined that ObamaCare is still not a perfect solution that can be used as it is. Only after a range of improvements, it can really reach its goals. For now, when providing some people with benefits, the program takes money from others (Hoffman, 2013). It also makes people buy a particular type of insurance, the advantages of which in comparison to others can be questioned. Even though now more people gain a chance to receive insurance and better services, it does not mean that it will last forever. This program may also make religious people argue it, as abortion is also covered. It seems that ObamaCare promotes government-managed healthcare that is more considered from the political point of view. Individuals who have no practice in the sphere of healthcare are not able to perceive the whole situation. They focus on the vulnerable population and do not care how their actions influence the lives of the general public and medical personnel.
Hoffman, R. (2013). ObamaCare: The solution to the healthcare problem? Web.
ObamaCare Facts. (2015). Web.
Oberlander, J. (2012).The future of ObamaCare. The New England Journal of Medicine, 367(23), 2165-2167.