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Health care reform is a general term that is used for analyzing and discussing major health care changes and provisions. Most health care reforms are typically served with the responsibility of broadening the population so that they can receive adequate health care coverage through private or public insurance companies. Also they improve quality of existing health care system and decrease the cost (Weiner & Robert, 2009). The health care reform legislation act of 2009 is a bill that was enacted in USA to direct the health care insurance providers to draft and develop regulations in implementing a comprehensive policy aimed at providing effective and cheap insurance cover to all American citizens. Though beneficial to the public, since the bill was signed into law the implementation of the act has faced numerous economic, social and political challenges.
In addition, the political climate is such that real challenges appear to be emerging, including legal challenges at the state level (Farber & Blustein, 2007). Finally, polls are showing that voters are not yet on board. In fact, some voters are unaware that a health care reform bill had been passed. Therefore this paper Identifies and describes the major challenges to health care reform implementation and gives an analysis of how these challenges can be resolved.
Reasons and Recommendations for Health Care Reforms
There is minimal question regarding the need to restructure the America's health care system. Debate on health care reform in US generally includes the question of privileges to health care, fairness, quality, sustainability and amount of money spent by the federal government. Every year majority of people spend large sums of national proceeds on health care and the number of people lacking this health coverage is also increasing, regardless of the immense sums of money being supplied by government as subsidies for health programs. United States health care system is the most expensive in world, with health care and insurance coverage costing more per individual person than in any other state.
Majority of American citizens obtain their health care insurance coverage from a variety of providers, and include the cover provided through employment or acquired on their own, and public insurance programs that are provided by the government such as Medicaid and Medicare. Slightly over 150 million non-elderly Americans are insured via their employer-sponsored health programs and about 10 million obtain insurance directly from an insurer of their choice. The cost of premiums for individuals under private insurance have increased significantly in recent years, with double rate increase in price in the first four years since the year 2000 (Sockett, 2005). At the same time, the country has seen insurance coverage declining, only benefiting People with stable job coverage, and thus forgetting people suffering from high unemployment rate and weak economy. Issues on cost and Coverage then led to a very strong debate on how to control such disparities in health care, and laws to provide the uninsured with effective health care. This led to the enactment of the health care reform legislation act of 2009.
Analysis of the Recommendations
After increasing cases of high insurance prices, increased insurance abuses, and decreased coverage, a move to curb this problem was mandatory. This saw a bill proposed whereby all insurance and health care providers would have to execute a number of operations in the control of the vice (Parker, 2007). This new bill was aimed at bringing changes in health care system. Before enactment ,the major provisions of the bill included: provision of affordable health care to all citizens; making sure that insurance coverage is done in open and humane manner; undertake comprehensive health care system for all; provide confidential management and insurance coverage on any medical situations and by so doing prevent health care related issues (Weiner & Robert, 2009).
Other things provided in the bill include protection of members of public from the abuses and inhumane treatment from insurance companies and ensure confidentiality of their information. Other key provisions in the legislation include the element of reforms that would bar insurance companies from excluding members of public with pre -existing condition from obtaining insurance policies (Sockett, 2005). Members of the public would be required to obtain health insurance and individuals who fail to do so would face penalties up to 3% of individual income.Another key provision in the bill is that it calls for increases in payroll taxes for Medicare programs.
Pros and Cons of President Obama Health-Care Reforms
One of the major advantages of the enacted health care reform legislation act of 2009 is that it will increase health insurance coverage to nearly 96 % of the legal United States residents. Increased federal regulation will prevent insurance companies from rigging premium prices thus making the industry more competitive with provisions of effective and cheap health care.Every member of the public will be in position to get any health insurance he /she want without discrimination (Farber & Blustein, 2007). Insurance companies will not be position to apply any pre-existing provision exclusions thus members of the public who are sick and poor will be eligible for any health care. Despite many foreseeable challenges, in the long run these reforms will automatically reduce medical costs considerably. Another advantage for the health care reforms is that it will eliminate the coverage gap enshrined in Medicare Program that deals with Voluntary Prescription Drug Benefit Program.
Major cons include the capability of federal government to increase current tax rates to pay for healthcare reforms. High tax rates instead of making the process cost effective, it will lay the burden to same members of the public it's protecting since they are the ones who are going to pay those taxes. In the first ten years, the reforms will cost about $100 billion a year.
This figure is very high and it would affect the federal government budget. Individuals holding high insurance covers will find their benefits cut by more than half, once the 37-40% excise tax is charged (Farber & Blustein, 2007). Despite the benefits, the bill in the long run will increase the cost of health insurance. This will chiefly depend on gains obtained from increased business which will be outweighed by the conditions and cost of offering additional benefits.
Many opponents of the reforms claim that many health practitioners in the end might quit their medical practices rather than agree to receive reduced reimbursements from the government Medicare programs (Drane, 2004). Other critics argue that employers might face public pressure that will make them drop insurance plans for their employees. Similarly, this will make employees opt for state insurance exchanges.
Discussion on Health Care Reforms
After years of failed chances by a sequence of Democratic leaders and a year of harsh partisan contest, President Obama signed the legislation on the 23rd March, 2010, causing total overhaul of the state's health care system (Parker, 2007). The Public opinion regarding the issue of health care reform in the United States is very much varied. Majority of Americans articulate an aspiration for the enacted health care reforms because they see it as very expensive and because they view that most insurance companies fail to meet health costs through unwarranted coverage exclusions and caps. Many people support the idea of creation of public insurance platform that would compete with public insurers, which they claim will reduce coverage costs.
A lot of individuals who vote for Republican are very bitter right now and they feel they have just suffered an embarrassing defeat to the democrats. To many these health care reforms are far from a completed deal (Drane, 2004). Technically there are so many aspects that still require to be done. Many promises are being done in relation to how it will be funded and all of them require political will. The political climate is such that real challenges appear to be emerging, including legal challenges at the state level (Primer, 2007). Finally, polls are showing that voters are not yet on board. In fact, some voters are unaware that a health care reform bill had been passed.
Has of now, the health care system of the country is in tartars. There are several issues that need to be addressed to improve the system. One healthcare issue faced is the current shortage of medical staff and nurses in private hospitals. Different healthcare organizations have been affected by hospital staff turnover resulting from claims that in future jobs will be lost. Many have transferred to public practice where they see that reduced reimbursements from Medicare programs won't affect their operations (Parker, 2007).
Many insurance companies on their part view this as an end of throat cutting profits which they have enjoyed for the last four decades. They see these developments to have caused destruction of a free economy where market prices are controlled by market force of supply and demand. Despite other market conditions, the price of insurance premiums always depends on the concepts of demand and supply. If demand for specific premiums exceeds the supply on offer, the price on the other hand increases to a level where supply and demand is equal. Another impact of health reforms is that it will increase taxes for high income earners, especially on income set to investment (Primer, 2007). More broadly, to many the legislation will increase the demand for healthcare devoid of much exertion to rein in costs. Small businesses will get tax credits hence job market getting a modest development and push forward. In relation to sate governments, health care reforms are planned to be "deficit neutral" for the, whereby they are anticipated to bring down health budgets to a modest amount.
Health is something important for a given nation, and the entire globe for that matter. This means that it would be necessary that a proper method for financing healthcare should be formulated towards ensuring there is a proper health structure for the entire world. This is the main reason why innovative finance comes in as a very good approach towards global health care (Drane, 2004). Innovative financing is a modern approach that has been noted to come with a number of possibilities towards increasing overall economic development while bringing in positive possibilities which can effectively accelerate all the measures and processes put in place towards poverty reduction.
After analyzing all the above quality issues about health care provision and implementation, I am contented that this health care reform needs the support of the people because they are the ones' who pay taxes and should be effectively addressed by providing them with good health care.