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Healthcare in the United States is a crucial issue affecting the majority of its citizens. It determines the wellness of a country as well as its economic growth. The United States is densely populated with individuals clustered in various classes of income. This variation in salary between individuals makes healthcare an agenda that is often addressed by any future governance. It is an important facet in the citizens’ wellbeing. It is one of the countries in the world with a developed healthcare system guarding its citizens. Its healthcare system incorporating health insurance in service delivery dates back to the early 20th century; however, it is privately led and quite expensive in comparison to other developed countries (Field 607).
Introduction of the Obamacare through the Affordable Care Act has been meant to address health issues and disparities in health. These include health seeking behavior, quality services in healthcare, payment of health bills in hospitals, and choice of excellent medical service (Field 608). The Americans have found a solution that would cover their health problems. Although privatization has been meant to aid in problem solving and delivery of better services to citizens in the United States, individual benefit from this package is limited since the majority of people suffer from high hospital bills and other related expenses (Marcovici 20). Factors leading to ineffectiveness arise and underlie private institutions offering health coverage. In explaining circumstances leading to the government’s influence on individuals’ health, its control over the privatized healthcare system should be addressed to provide solutions to the shortcomings of the Obamacare.
- HEALTH REFORM
The health reform in the United States is a 150-year-old platform, whereby its citizens are at the mercy of the government (Field 607). It follows that the government knows the needs of its people; as a result, it provides the best coverage systems such as maternal and newborn coverage, retiree’s coverage, and coverage of children below the age of 26. According to Federal Health Care Reform Implementation in New York State, the health reform provides more access to health coverage by establishing legal protection to its consumers, as well as creating mechanisms for its citizens to shop knowledgeably, building upon their previous health insurance system (par. 1). It shows that the government is considerate of its citizens, protecting them from unfriendly and fraudulent agencies. Apart from ensuring the coverage of every person, it is an individual’s responsibility to choose a package that pleases him/her and provides fair coverage. However, the government may still subject its citizens to cruel terms and conditions.
- REASONS FOR THE GOVERNMENTAL LAWS
It is within the government’s jurisdiction to protect its people in all aspects through legislation (“Health Care and Social Law”). The United States has various laws that govern the health of its citizens. The majority of these laws are covered within the scope of the common law that guides the patient, physician, and the Insurance provider. It contains various departments and program agencies that issue guides on the safety of individuals’ health within the United States. For instance, the US Food and Drug Administration’s Code of Federal Regulations provides public security in the course of drug innovations besides the risks involved (par. 25). Another organization providing public safety is the Food Safety program that gives the public information concerning safety of food through social media (par. 17). It indicates that the government dictates what is at the disposal of every individual and that it takes care of every citizen’s health.
The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) also promotes health of all Americans regardless of their social differences, as well as providing all essential services. Emphasis is on those who cannot help themselves (par. 25). Besides, the National Health Law Program, a public domain law firm, also pursues a similar course to improve Americans’ healthcare for the unemployed, the working class, persons with physical inabilities, and the elderly. Dedication of the staff is significant in terms of ensuring healthcare safety for millions of Americans who are both uninsured and underinsured because of their low income (par. 23). The government imposes laws on these firms that promote equality in healthcare coverage among the financially weak. For this reason, the American government uses the law to protect its citizens from uncertainties involved in drug development, poor salaries, the elderly, and the abandoned in the society, therefore having control over their health.
Another reason the United States is in control of individuals’ health is the economic implication that is dependent on the health of its citizens. With the Obamacare being an issue in the county, politics opt to ruin the significance created by the Affordable Care Act for the economy. According to Marcovici, the majority of individuals who were in part-time employment are now fully employed to get employer insurance benefits in renown companies such as Wallmart (12). The high percentage of the uninsured has been declining because of this move by the government following the employer mandate in 2015. The government, in turn, caters for 400% of Americans below the Federal Poverty level to ensure that they receive quality care (Marcovici 12). Although the government is concerned about individuals’ health, it cares less for people who smoke, have large families, and choose discretion of the coverage choice. It is because of the impact created by the economy. Marcovici acknowledges that an affordable premium for a smoker may appear to be expensive (14). It proves that the government has a keen eye on controlling individuals that seemingly care less about their health.
- COMPLEXITY AND CONTEST IN HEALTH CARE REGULATION
A regulatory body governs over every aspect of healthcare in the United States. According to Field, some form of oversight needs to be available in important matters such as life and healthcare (607). Although a debate exists between the heavy-handed government bureaucracy and the existence of oversight structures, governance and external supervision belong to a public interest. Healthcare regulations are developed and enforced by all levels of government in the US. These include federal, state, and local governments and private organizations (Field 607). It is a regulatory structure without consistency and coordination, which is a reason of dispute on whether healthcare delivery should be within the public or private domain.
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Field argues that the contest between federal and state authorities enshrines the federalist structure of the American government and known disputes on political debates of today echo early wrangles over the kind of power that needs to be vested in each level (607). Field adds that the capacity to govern day-to-day activities is contained in states under the Constitution, but it is subject to prevention at the federal level when various concerns come into play such as defense, foreign relations, and interstate commerce (607). The major factor yielding these inconsistencies is the oversight of central players such as health agencies. For instance, institutions are controlled by the state and the federal authorities. In turn, other programs such as public health programs are overseen by the state and local regulators (608). Private regulators such as the American Medical Association supplement the government regulators in keeping high standards of care delivery to citizens through Medicaid programs that are aimed at physicians’ quality services. It is apparent that federal centers are an essential resource for the state at a higher level.
- FACTORS CAUSING THE FAILURE OF THE OBAMACARE
The economic setback in healthcare in the United States economy is a key to the failure of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Although the uninsured rates continue to subside from 14 percent to 11 percent of the population under the Medicaid, the whole program seems to be some sort of welfare for the medical-industrial complex that ignores support of the needy (Kessler par. 3). In 2011, healthcare costs increased three times with account for the rate of inflation (Aghai 81). The rise was a result of the ACA implementation whose cost was $115 billion. Aghai points out that insurers were required to offer greater benefits and spend more money on healthcare services to subsidize consumption of expensive packages (81). It is a model that overwhelms middle-income people and organizations offering employment. The ACA is an ineffective law in terms of tax increases as it creates a burden for job creators as seen in the rise of national deficits and unemployment rates (Aghai 83).
Another factor leading to the failure of the Obamacare is the government's control over doctor-patient decisions in healthcare. The government has been subsuming the power and ethics governing the doctor. Its mandates require “doctors to breach confidences, surrender private information to outsiders, and seek approval for treatment choices in order to be reimbursed” (Marcovici 121-124). These factors influence the care a patient receives from a healthcare provider. It is a major problem for individuals from countries like Canada and the UK with single-payer systems traveling to the United States to seek specialized care (Marcovici 123). Furthermore, the doctors’ payment structure of the Obamacare exacerbates the problem of medical decisions that pose a conflict of interest for patients with multiple needs.
- POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS FOR THE OBAMACARE
Following the prohibition of employer health plans exceeding 9.5 percent of an employee’s household income, the government should revisit the earlier proposed Free Choice Vouchers system that would allow employees to receive an employer contribution if they cannot afford the employer-based coverage (Ehley par. 9). Employees’ family needs will be catered for if such a course is taken in exchange for the policy.
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The government needs to expand the Medicaid services for individuals with the low income within the Federal Poverty level (par. 15). Either way, it should exempt people falling into this coverage group from paying individuals’ mandate penalty for not having health insurance coverage. It should also continue providing low-income children coverage in the children health insurance program to improve life expectancy rates despite the high rate of infant mortality (par. 18)
Another solution is the recoupment for people with varying incomes. Ehley states that under the law "some individuals can receive a refundable tax credit to make health care more affordable in advance of their annual income" (par. 23). However, subsidization should be based on an individual’s income from the previous year before giving credit (Pollock par. 6). In addition to the solutions, a simple faultless federal charter needs to be developed to omit some benefits that the Obamacare currently imposes on the state level insurance exchanges to free consumers from costly state insurance mandates.
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Understanding the Affordable Care Act is essential for making a choice on the best package. Since all plans provide better coverage systems, benefits outweigh disadvantages. Although it has caused an impact on the economy of the United States, a positive outcome in expectancy rates may soon be realized with solutions relating to the Obamacare Act. Scholars in various studies focus on health insurance coverage of people with low income, the socially abandoned, and the government’s economic status. Though not much is discussed in relation to high-income individuals, more studies need to be conducted to point out impending failures in the privatized healthcare with probable solutions for improvement in comparison to its abandonment. The essay has discussed the United States Health Reform, the contest in health delivery, factors that negatively impact the Obamacare, and accompanied improvements in order to explain the government’s control over the individuals’ health.
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