The democrats and President Barrack Obama worked extremely hard to pass a Healthcare Reform Bill which aimed at improving the U.S healthcare industry by two and a half trillion U.S dollars. As a result of this bill, two separate legislation were enacted namely the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Affordable Health Care for America Act.
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This paper explores some of the similarities and differences which emerged in the provisions of the two Acts and some of the reasons advanced from both sides.
Both the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and Affordable Health Care for America Act were a product of the campaign pledges made by President Barrack Obama before the 2008 general elections. In his assertions, he stated that he wanted the new healthcare plan to promote subsidy to all Americans but not to make it a mandatory requirement. Additionally, a healthcare plan deal would be one of his four main priority areas upon assuming office. His main target was to work towards lowering medical premiums by giving subsidies (American Hospital Association (2010).
Increasing eligibility in medical access to all U.S citizens is yet another key agenda on both Acts. After realizing that there was inequity in terms of insurance health coverage schemes, both the U.S House of Representatives (2009) and Senate (One Hundred and Eleventh Congress of the United States of America 2010) opted to create a level ground in the medical schemes available. Besides, both Acts permit the exemption of small businesses from undergoing the due process of taking medical coverage for their employees. This is mainly due to their low capital base.
Moreover, both Acts admit that there will be a need to introduce new tax regimes to fund the program. Finally, the reform agenda on the operation of insurance firms is to be in check with the proper definition of who qualifies for the healthcare benefit program.
One of the different standing points on the two healthcare Acts is on abortion coverage. The House of Representatives disagrees on the above coverage from the public option but the senate approves of it arguing that it should be treated as a separate payment without the inclusion of subsidies. Besides, the two Acts differ on the tax equity for local operators. The Senate proposes a general tax regime whereby all the similar levels like businesses, individuals, corporate organizations will have to incur the same tax amounts towards healthcare coverage. In this case, small businesses will receive credits on tax.
This is a different position taken by the House of Representatives which suggests varying tax amounts within each category. Lowering medical premiums by giving subsidies is a provision within the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act although the Affordable Health Care for America Act is silent on this clause. Another difference emerged in the tax equity for domestic partners whereby the House of Representatives propose that clause while the Senate disagrees with the same. This provision seeks to normalize all taxes which are levied from all medical coverage from employers who are operating at a local level.
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Besides, the House version stipulates a budget of 1052 billion dollars for a period of ten years, the Senate estimates a total of 848 billion dollars spent over the same period of time (One Hundred and Eleventh Congress of the United States of America 2010). Finally, the House of Representatives gives a nod for the public option whereby the government suggests the creation of a separate health insurance agency that can effectively compete with other insurers in healthcare. This is argued will improve the essential services. The Senate disagrees with this option based on cost.
After the healthcare plan was assented into law; there are those who criticized it arguing that implementing this health care plan would only work towards increasing tax levels because the program requires huge spending. One of the provisions in this new law is an amendment seeking new ways on how the federal education financial grants will be exercised. This, according to the proponents, will in one way or the other lead to the generation of revenues. Although revenues have no direct correlation to federal education, the overall CBO budgetary approximations include the federal education grant.
This is aimed at improving the manner in which funds are usually channeled to these institutions. The proposals in the new law project that this healthcare reform law associated with the public option is affirmed that it will generate revenue. Much of the savings courtesy of this alternative will be derived from reducing subsidies or hiking the existing tax levels altogether (American Hospital Association 2010).
When the tax levels are increased, the United States citizens will have to feel the pinch by digging deeper into their pockets. Moreover, once more tax is imposed, it’s more likely that the cost of living for both ordinary and high-class U.S citizens will go up. However, there is still the other end of the benefit of this new law. Usually, the government operates on minimal costs in the running of its affairs. This feature will enable it to negotiate with the public healthcare providers to reduce their rates based on the various subsidies which the government will be injecting into the healthcare plan.
Those individuals who are not insured as well as small business enterprises fall into the huge category of U.S citizens who have not been gaining any significant benefit in the healthcare sector because they cannot afford the high costs associated with private healthcare insurance (American Hospital Association 2010).
This enactment will see this group of people and more access to healthcare packages through the public option which will be heavily funded and morally supported by the federal government. The adoption of the public option, according to financial analysts, will lead to the generation of more income for the government due to savings. Much of the savings will come from the extra tax imposed as a result of adopting the new healthcare reform plan. Salaries and wages are usually taxed but insurance premiums do not undergo any taxation. This will equally lead to improved government income due to taxation. Besides, the restructuring of the public option will imply dramatic economic and financial effects.
American Hospital Association (2010). Summary of Health Reform Legislation. Web.
One Hundred and Eleventh Congress of the United States of America (2010). An Act: At the Second Session. Web.
U.S House of Representatives (2009). Affordable Health Care for America Act.. Web.