Health care reforms can be defined as those general changes in policy by the government in the health sector to improve efficiency and quality of medical care. It has been along-term vision of the American people to have an affordable and quality system of medical delivery. Various policies have been put up from time to time to achieve that dream but have not been effective. The policies that the government now seeks to adopt and implement have the aim of increasing the number of people who have access to medical insurance cover by both the public and private companies. The reforms further target at reducing the cost of medical care incurred by the citizens while increasing the access of the specialists with the know how in treating various diseases and ailments (Rossa, 2010). Improving the accessibility of medical services will certainly bring about numerous options for medical care seeker the encouraging improvement of the quality of medical care by all providers. The reforms have several pros and cons which have been highlighted especially by hospitals as a result of being key stakeholder in the medical care arena. They argue that despite being advantageous on the fact that more medical practitioners will be employed to cater for more patients, will cut the amount of money paid to the hospitals as private companies will take advantage of this and widen their base of operation. In this essay, I am going to look at the pros and cons from the public hospitals' perspective.
Many Americans admitted to being confused about the whole healthcare reforms in regard to its benefits, the negative side as well as the implications that follow with the implementation of the policies. The hospitals are quick to point out various advantages that follow with the implementation. Being in the middle and lower class most people can't afford medical care. Insurance companies are reluctant to cover such lowly paid citizens as they have a high defaulting rate, as a result they can only access substandard since the cost of quality medical care is beyond their reach. The governments move to subsidize that cost of medical care will certainly be beneficial to hospital as thy look to keep up with private practice. This is a reform very much welcome by the hospital (Rossa, 2010).
Nurses too stand to benefit greatly from the reforms which require the government to provide advance payments and grants for their education as well as trainings and various in-house seminars to deal with primary healthcare and other fundamental activities. This mainly seeks to improve the nurses' skills in preparation for future changes. Furthermore, major hospital buyouts that will be conducted (Rossa, 2010). This means larger and more equipped hospitals will acquire smaller hospitals and increase their resources translating to increased job permanency for the nurses and other medical employees (Stokowski, 2010).
Ford (2010) notes that the reforms will require every insurance company to accept all patients regardless of their payments or salaries. Previously, these would not be achieved since insurance companies set specific rules that stipulated strict conditions for admission. 95% of all United States legal citizens will be covered, and in addition preventative care will be free. As a result the disparities that had been experienced before will diminish. For instance, previously the uninsured people had a shorter life spans compared to those that are properly insured because of poor health and frequent ailments that are not attended to properly. Consequently, this translates to poor productivity in the general economy as fewer employees will work with full efficiency at their respective workplaces.
The hospitals however highlight other serious implications that may be met when the laws are adopted. First, there is fear of influx of the patients and those in need of medical attention to public hospitals. As Stokowski (2010) notes the ratio of the medical attendants to the patients is not on the required level. The recruitment and employment of the nurses can't be done overnight since requires further legislation on how the money for salaries and other benefits should be achieved. It's a big concern that the rate at which the patients will come in will be higher than that which nurses are recruited, trained, and eventually adopted to practice.
There are also other immediate challenging issues that arise in the process. All these will require an additional spending of about 940 billion dollars. The Federal bank has not explained on how the amount will be raised. The spending aspect has a long-term effect on the general economy and the medical practitioner associations have been concerned and have raised questions on the issue (Ford, 2010). There is a future threat that the government may be forced to cut back the jobs that it may have intended to create. With such amount of money to be spent there must be additional taxes that must be paid by citizens. For instance families that bring home about 250,000 dollars per annum will be required by law to pay a higher rate of taxes. In addition there will be more monetary fines and actions that will be introduced to people especially those who fail to comply, for instance, a 3000 dollar fine may be slapped on employees who fail to provide proper medical coverage but have the ability to do so.
On the other hand, it has been argued that the reforms offer a little incentive to primary medical caregivers. In fact there is a risk of increased workloads, longer working hours and eventual burnout by the nurses and other basic attendants in hospitals. This is because doctors and other physicians may turn to private practice for profit leaving a larger duty to those below them. The rule in the medical practice gives the doctors the power to practice privately with few restrictions (Stokowski, 2010).
The general hospital fraternity welcomes the idea of healthcare reforms. The benefits driven from these reforms have the potential of improving the lives of every American irrespective of their financial capabilities. There are massive expectations by the general public that fruits will be reaped immediately by all. However the criticism that has been raised by the hospitals is real and it's necessary all this criticism is addressed by the lawmakers as they could result into a bigger challenge in future. The medical practice industry has the position that the reforms should be adopted as the advantages overweight the possible disadvantages. The sector brings in a large percentage of tax to the economy and thus deserves to be fully involved in every step of decision-making.
Finally, the government may be visionary in bringing on board laws that are of benefit to all the stakeholders in the public. It should be in a position to include experts on the major decision-making processes like the healthcare reforms currently in debate. Physicians, doctors, nurses with other primary and secondary health care providers support this idea, but, also stress that contentious should be addressed.