Many changes take place within the health and human services system each year. They shape ordinary citizens’ lives, who rarely clearly understand them, as it takes much time and effort to realize their complex aspects. However, it is impossible to underestimate the considerable significance of reforms concerning people’s health and human services. Without any doubt, most Americans are familiar with the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which was signed into law in 2010, as it triggered heated debates regarding its advantages and disadvantages. Nevertheless, the ACA strongly influenced the delivery of care and health outcomes among Americans.
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It is essential to identify the ACA and describe its significant aspects to judge it objectively. The law aimed to improve health care in the United States by increasing the number of citizens covered by health insurance. Besides, its goals were to control the costs of health care and improve the quality of patient care delivery. It is crucial to emphasize that the ACA was one of the most considerable changes in the history of the health and human services system; thus, it was particularly complex and involved numerous aspects. Unfortunately, many individuals tended to concentrate on the adverse outcomes and ignore the positive ones, which caused vigorous debates over the ACA. Still, the law led to many beneficial results regarding healthcare delivery and the general state of citizens’ health.
First, the delivery of care has improved, as the ACA profoundly affected it in numerous ways. For example, “estimates are that as many as twenty million Americans have obtained insurance under the ACA” (Sommers et al., 2017, p. 1119). Without any doubt, it is a significant number, and many individuals changed the way they dealt with their health. The law required each citizen to be covered by health insurance and enjoy its newly established benefits. In addition, individuals, suffering from pre-existing conditions, could get insurance coverage, preventive care became covered, annual and lifetime limits on care were eliminated, and Medicaid coverage included more Americans. In general, the ACA had numerous benefits, which positively influence health care delivery.
Second, health outcomes among Americans improved as well. According to Sommers et al. (2017), the ACA was associated with improvements for low-income adults’ access to care, use of preventive services, and self-reported health. Furthermore, “among those with chronic conditions, coverage expansion was linked to improved medication adherence, more regular communication with physicians, and improved perceived health status” (Sommers et al., 2017, p. 1127). Hence, the law was advantageous for people who lacked resources to successfully deal with different health issues or had already had chronic conditions. Even though taxes increased and some Americans had to pay more, the ACA aimed to be cost-effective in the long run due to its focus on preventive care. Therefore, health outcomes among Americans had an enormous potential to improve in the following decade.
In conclusion, the ACA is one of the most significant changes in the health and human services system in the United States. It was a far-reaching and complex law that involved many different aspects; thus, some problems arose in the process of its implementation. Notwithstanding them, it improved the delivery of care and the general state of citizens’ health. Its main goal was to increase the number of Americans under health insurance, which was successfully achieved. Moreover, it created numerous advantages for low-income individuals and the ones suffering from chronic conditions. Hence, it is reasonable to regard the ACA as a considerable change in the health and human services system.
Sommers, B. D., Maylone, B., Blendon, R. J., Orav E. J., & Epstein, A. M. (2017). Three-year impacts of the Affordable Care Act: Improved medical care and health among low-income adults. Health Affairs, 36(6), 1119-1128. Web.