Health Care Reform to Address Access
HEALTH CARE REFORM TO ADDRESS ACCESS 5
HealthCare Reform to Address Access
Thecomprehensive health reform act was signed into law by PresidentObama in March, 23rd,2010 (Miles, 2012). This law was aimed at expanding coverage,lowering costs of health care services and enhancing health caredelivery system. The reform was based on several aspects that make itfunctional in the current state of the economy. These aspects involvethe subjects at individual, family and institutional levels wherebyeveryone is expected to play a significant role in enabling thetransformations required for better access to quality health care.
Forinstance, this law requires U.S citizens to have an insurance cover.This is to be made possible by the creation of a state-basedAmerican Health Benefit Exchanges through which citizens can buycoverage, with premium and cost-sharing credits offered toindividuals or families having income ranging from 133% to 400% ofthe federal poverty level and develop separate Exchanges throughwhich small businesses can buy coverage. It also requires employersto pay penalties for employees that receive tax credits for healthinsurance through an Exchange, with exemptions for small employers.In addition, the state should develop new regulations on health plansin the Exchanges and in the individual and small group markets. Ontop of that, Medicaid should be increased to 133% of the federalpoverty level (Chirba et al, 2013).
Thisapproach is based strongly on the fact that everyone’s health istheir responsibility hence it requires that individuals seekmedical cover that takes care of both personal and family medicalneeds. This approach greatly takes into account the abilities of thedifferent citizens to pay for their health care. For example, highearning individuals who can comfortably afford Medicare are exemptedfrom state subsidies and grants, while low income earners areassisted to pay for the same. In addition, employers are expected tohelp low salaried employees to access medical services throughoffering medical cover. The state has a responsibility to availproper Medicare to its citizens this is depicted strongly in thisapproach where the state offers subsidies and health care grants toindividuals and small employers who would otherwise not afford therequired premiums for medical cover (Miles, 2012). The outlinedvalues on which the health reform is based are in line with politicalperspectives and views that have appeared in campaign manifestos overand over again. This is a clear indication that with propergovernance, health care needs not be a barrier to national growth anddevelopment of the United States (Miles, 2012).
Givena chance to influence policies, employers would be the main tool forensuring better access to medical care for employees. This is basedon the fact that, the same employees who run the economy of the stateby ensuring continuous production in different sectors of the economyare less considered health wise by their employers, who offer littleor no medical cover no matter how risky the working conditions are.As they say, health is wealth so ensuring proper medical care foreach employee would do more good than a pay rise in a time of greateconomic instability like we are experiencing all over the worldpresently. The health care plan to some extent features this, but atthe same time creates a great space for excuses from employers who donot cover their employees.
However,different life insurance packages offer varied coverage depending onthe health condition and probable risks to a client’s health. Forthis reason, employers who offer health allowances to employees mayneed to follow a set guideline other than letting the whole matter bein their hands. This is because any business is aimed at maximizingprofits and keeping losses at a minimal. If employers view the healthbenefit as a liability to their investment, they will do anything tokeep this at a minimal thus compromising the quality of healthinsurance an employee can access.
Increasingaccess, while promoting quality and safety and at the same timecontaining costs is possible through ensuring that the outlined rolesof each player at individual, institutions and state level arefollowed accordingly. This is well outlined in the 2010 health reformlegislation.
Chirba,M. A., Noble, A. A., & Maddigan, M. M. (2013). Healthcare reform: Law and practice.New York: Wiley & Sons.
Miles,T. P. (2012). Healthcare reform and disparities:History,hype, and hope.Santa Barbara, Calif: Praeger.