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The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and Its Impact

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) was signed by Barack Obama on March 23, 2010. This federal statute is aimed at reforming the existing health care and insurance systems of the United States within four years to improve the quality of the health care services and make them more affordable for American citizens. Covering only separate issues of health care system and not offering concrete procedures for controlling it, PPACA did not change the delivery of services significantly.

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Ensuring better quality of care, the enactment of PPACA is expected to “improve health outcomes through the implementation of activities such as quality reporting, effective case management, care coordination, chronic disease management, and medication and care compliance initiatives, including through the use of the medical homes model” as well as “reduce medical errors through the appropriate use of best clinical practices, evidence based medicine, and health information technology” (The patient protection and affordable care act).

The main focus of the bill is on enrollment of the uninsured categories of population into the insurance plans. At the same time, the issues of controlling procedures were not covered in the act and measures as to limiting the increases of prices of insurance programs were not offered. Expanding the insurance coverage, the current reform limited opportunities to refuse from insurance programs. Greenwald (2010) noted that “prohibition of denial due to pre-existing conditions was intended to enable the sick and disabled to buy policies or, if their income was sufficiently low, to obtain coverage through Medicaid” (p. 336). Another important issue of the act is prohibition of age limitations for the participants of the insurance programs.

The main interest groups include self-employed individuals, firms that did not offer insurance plans previously and private insurance companies. In my opinion, these are disabled, low-income and historically uninsured categories of population who can take advantages from the current reforms. However, citizens who were not involved into the insurance programs due to their personal views and will have to be penalized for it after the enactment of the law, would be against of the reform. The current health care bill would affect elderly people, people who are uninsured, firms which did not offer insurance programs for their employees, while those who have been insured would not observe any changes in the existing state of affairs. At the same time, expanding the insurance coverage, the bill is beneficial for the insurance coverage, increasing the number of their customers.

PPACA reflected the current level of the US political culture and prevailing health care philosophy. Modernizing the health care system and stimulating implementation of innovative technologies to prevent the medical errors, the current act expands the insurance coverage, sacrificing interests of particular categories of population and leaving gaps in the existing legislation which need to be filled in future. Sultz & Young (2010) noted that “passage of the PPCA of 2010 recognized that America’s health care investment is more of a moral than economic issue as US status indicators lag behind other developed countries that spend much less and provide universal health care coverage” (p. 259). Further development of concrete procedures is required for enactment of the law, making the services more affordable and the reform more consistent as well as shifting the public opinion concerning the insurance programs and their benefits.

Reference List

Greenwald, H.P. (2010). Health care in the United States: Organization, management and policy. San Francisco, CA: John Wiley and Sons.

Sultz, H. A. & Young, K.M. (2010). Health care USA: Understanding its organization and delivery. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Learning.

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The Library of Congress Thomas. The patient protection and affordable care act. (2010). Web.

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