Health care is an issue that all Americans will have to face at some point in their lives. In this paper I will talk about how some ideas affect the outcome of this system and its associated costs. In reviewing literature on Obamacare, I will show that is was effective and saved cost for the American people, while helping appease ultimately what is at stake, the healthcare and wellbeing of the American people. Currently in our health system we have two major ways to have hospital, pharmaceutical, surgery’s, etc. payed for. The first way for these expenses to be payed for is a type of private insurance that can be provided or bought through a company or some other organization that has an association to the private insurance companies.
The second way is a little more complicated and that is through the US government. Through the government a person can qualify for two types of health insurance. The first insurance a person can qualify for is Medicare, this is an insurance that all Americans pay a tax for, a citizen can qualify for it when the reach the age of 65 it general pays for 80% of hospital bills and depending on what plan a person gets it will have different coverage for pharmaceuticals. The second type of insurance person can qualify for is Medicaid this is an insurance that has changed a lot more recently but the jist is it is meant for the very poor or disabled Americans or for children of those who qualify.
The US healthcare programs are not perfect, and neither Is its counter part the private insurance industry. These insurances target the wealthy and higher middle class, to the ultra-poor and older members of society leaving a major gap in middle class America. Which leaves the highest copays and deductibles being forced on the Americans that drive the economy. This effect can lead to a slippery slope with more middle-class American becoming economical unstable from this issue and switch sides from giving tax dollars for others in need, to receiving them. This issue of cost doesn’t only affect the ones with insurance, but it hits the ones with out insurance the hardest. In the current state the healthcare system is at, it is organized around insurance company’s haggling prices and percentages of procedures or visits. So, healthcare institutions raise the prices extremely high knowing that insurance companies will only pay a fraction of the price. This leaves the uninsured no choice but to go to the emergency room and rack up huge bill for the tax payers to pay off.
One other group that is being hit hard is the US military and their form of insurance Tricare. This is a governmental insurance that is for active members of the military and their family’s it pays for everything with no copay. It is also available after retiring from the military which keep in mind is usually when the retiree is in the young 40’s. The retiree will have to pay an amount of 460$ a year for a family to receive coverage. The average American will pay 4,000$ a year for family coverage. Keep in mind the average Americans issuance does not usually nearly pay as well as Tricare does. This amount of benefits is draining the US militaries budget. This creates a major problem for the government while they would like to take care of the vets and their families it is starting to cost to much and create a threat to the program as a whole.
These are healthcare insurance problems that effect almost every American. The root of the problem does not lie in a single person’s doing. Unfortunately, there is no evil mastermind that we can hunt down and make them change the system to benefit the majority of Americans and help the economy grow. The truth of the mater Is the current health care system is like a block of clay being sculpted its always changing and being revised. It started with Henry Ford creating healthcare benefits to settle the union placing the cost of healthcare on business(Summers and Laurence page 12). To where we are today with a good split of health issuance between the private sector and the government. The major powers that shape the health care system can be split into to groups that are ultimately controlled by the people and the tax payer.
The first is the power of the dollar, what I mean by this is the power of money can often influence business to change to create a better environment to collect that money. Therefor the consumer can have some wager in the service they receive. The other major factor in healthcare is the government, local and federally. They have the power to change regulation of private insurance and to create insurance programs themselves. The good news is that these forces are both controlled by the people, which means change can happen.
One man who believed in the people to make change is former president Obama during his legislation he created the Affordable care act also known more popular as Obamacare. Obamacare is an act that would supplement money to private insurances companies to allow them to provide affordable insurance to all including people with preexisting conditions. The amount of money that was supplemented is staggering if we look at the article the Affordable Care Act by Greenbrach, Sofija Rak, Janois Coffin state “The congressional Budget Office has determined that 94% of Americans will have healthcare coverage while staying under the $900 billion limit that president Barak Obama established” (Greenbrach, Sofija Rak, Janois Coffin Page 317). The $900 billion dollars is a lot of money and should not be understated but I often feel that it scares people from paying attention to the second piece of information. That information being that under this act 94% of Americans will be able to afford and have healthcare insurance even if they have a preexisting condition.
This amount of coverage makes the initial price of this act not so bad and here is why. The goal for Obamacare was to find a middle ground between private insurance and governmental insurance, and to allow as previously mentioned by (Greenbrach, Sofija Rak, Janois Coffin) 94% of Americans to be insured by the supplemental money the government would provide. When such a large amount of people are insured theoretically the risk should be diminished by the people that don’t get sick that term. Effectively lowering the price for all, allowing insurance company to insure people with preexisting conditions. This is a big deal, this allows people that where born into not so great situation or got bad luck on the genetics to have another chance at the American dream and have insurance even if not previously qualified. This also gives the middle class a more affordable option to have healthcare coverage. Which is very important, as mentioned above the middle class play a huge role in the economy. With the middle class not spending all their money on healthcare the money can move to other sectors of the economy like small business and create a less polarized economy.
Obamacare also didn’t force Americans to have health insurance it left that freedom to the people what it did was have an associated tax. If a citizen chooses not to have health insurance, they would then have to pay a tax. That tax’s purpose was to supplement the cost of an uninsured citizen ending up in the ER and racking up a big bill that they cannot afford which then gets pushed to the tax payers.
While on the topic of money one author Anthony I. Igiede stated and interesting fact in his article Health Care Reform: Sociopolitical Perspectives “Current literatures suggest that forty-seven million including non-citizens are uninsured. That is, 16% of the total United States population has no health care.” (Anthony I. Igiede page 1). As previously stated the when talking about the Obamacare act tax, I mentioned it being used to supplement the cost of the uninsured. This quote by Igiede shows that is not a small amount of people. What is also stated in Igiede’ quote is this population does not have health care. What was meant by that is this population is far less likely to seek preventative care A.K.A go see a doctor on a regular basis. What is far more likely to happen is an uninsured person will go to the ER for their issues if serious enough and not be able to pay for it. This cost will then be passed onto the tax payers. An ER bill is far more money than preventative care. This idea is also shared in the article Rates of Avoidable Hospitalization by Insurance Status in Massachusetts and Maryland by Joel S. Weissman, PhD; Constantine Gatsonis, PhD; Arnold M. Epstein, MD. This idea is one major economical reason to make sure Obamacare is supported so Americans can get the affordable preventative care they need.
The future of Obamacare is at stake with the recent election of president Trump, a Republican, he promised during the election how he was going to stop making the payments of the $900 billion to the insurance companies. What ended up happing is that a bunch of corporations and people banded together and told him they were going to sue him because he did not have the right to stop making the payments. So, president Trump listened and agreed to make the payments, but in tern the insurance companies that where receiving the Obamacare money stopped accepting it because of the uneasiness of Trumps threats to stop the making payments. So now the private insurance companies won’t insure anyone anymore, except larger businesses with lots of people. What this means for the future of Obamacare is uncertain but in Jonathan Oberland’s article The Future of Obamacare he talks about how this money will start to move to the states, and the states will use it to feed there Medicaid system to allow a larger margin of people to be insured under it. He then goes to talk about what the states are doing in this quote “The Supreme Court effectively made the ACA’s Medicaid expansion optional, and some governors are refusing to extend their programs even though the federal government will initially pay 100% and eventually 90% of the costs for newly eligible enrollees” (Jonathan Oberland page 2).
What can be taking away from this quote is that this is no longer a federal issue a but a state issue as well with economics and politics in play for reference this article was written in 2012. In Edmund Haislmaier and Brain Blasé article Obamacare: Impact on States he states an interesting piece of legislation “Starting in 2014, the legislation requires states to extend Medicaid eligibility to all non-elderly individuals with family incomes below 133 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL).” (Edmund Haislmaier and Brain Blasé Page 1). This is very significant for impoverished people that are under the 133% income poverty level, it gives them insurance. The problem that is emerging from these political and economic acts is a separation from the very poor that can be insured under this legislation, the high middle class to rich that can get insurance through work to the low income, or middle class that don’t fall into the 133% poverty income line and can’t get insurance through their work. This is leaving many people uninsured since individual a person can not buy private insurance anymore because the insecurity Trump created. This is creating a lot of problems for people that are driving the American economy as mentioned before it is devastated family’s economically and preventing people from getting the health care they deserve.
This is very important for Americans to figure out leaving a family without insurance, or a poor form insurance can change everything. If a family member every needs serious treatment it can strain the family economically. Some families can’t handle the strain often leading to high rates of divorce (Amato and Rogers Page 619). Health insurance also has effects on the wellbeing of children in Increased Rates of Morbidity, Mortality, and Charges for Hospitalized Children with Public or No Health Insurance as Compared with Children with Private Insurance in Colorado and the United State by James Todd, Carl Armon, Anne Griggs, Steven Poole, Stephen Berman. In this article they talk about how having or not having insurance can affect the rate of morbidly and mortality of a child. In this article there is a chart that states the mortality rates of an uninsured/publicly insured child vs a privately insured child.
Out of 100,000 child patients the uninsured/publicly insured child on average died 14.1 times, compared to the privately insured child that on average died only 7.1 times out of 100,000. That Is a staggering amount of change, if a person has private insurance their kid is twice as likely to live. In the article they attribute these results to a lack of preventative care, Todd, Carl Armon, Anne Griggs, Steven Poole, Stephen Berman state “children enrolled in the Colorado unassigned fee-for-service Medicaid program were less likely to have a usual source of primary care resulting in decreased primary care visits”( Todd, Carl Armon, Anne Griggs, Steven Poole, Stephen Berman page 6). The theme not receiving preventable care is very prevalent in this section not only does preventable care save money it saves lives.
With all this knowledge of why Obamacare is important for the health and wellbeing of America. The question still stands what can I do to help. As previously stated the best thing to do is to change the minds of people in power. That can be done in the two strategies already mentioned. Use your physical vote electing individuals that believe in this issue and believe that healthcare is a right not a privilege. One other very important thing is to write letters to the local legislation, expressing your ideas or thoughts on the issue and what you would like to see the elected induvial do. The elected individual’s job is to represent the people and their shared beliefs.
Now with Obamacare being included into the states. Your state politicians have more power over healthcare than ever and their decisions could impact many lives. The other strategy would be see what company you or your company is paying for health coverage. Do the research and if you don’t agree with the policy or the ideas of the company take your dollar away from them if you have the power or express your feelings to the member of your company that makes those decisions. In the end Obamacare is just another press in the clay furthering the sculpture of healthcare. It is ever changing with every new elected president stating that they are going to change the system to improve it for the people. It is important to show support to this idea of making healthcare more excisable for all even if Obamacare ends up failing. It has already done its job with starting the conversation in the political sphere of what the US should do for the health care of their people.
- Amato, Paul R., and Stacy J. Rogers. “A Longitudinal Study of Marital Problems and Subsequent Divorce.” Journal of Marriage and Family, vol. 59, no. 3, 1997, pp. 612–24. JSTOR, doi:10.2307/353949.
- Haislmaier, Edmund. “Obamacare: Impact on States.” The Heritage Foundation, /health-care-reform/report/obamacare-impact-states. Accessed 21 Feb. 2018.
- Igiede, Anthony I. “Health Care Reform: Sociopolitical Perspectives.” Race, Gender & Class, vol. 17, no. 3/4, 2010, pp. 288–97.
- Oberlander, Jonathan. “The Future of Obamacare.” New England Journal of Medicine, vol. 367, no. 23, Dec. 2012, pp. 2165–67. Taylor and Francis+NEJM, doi:10.1056/NEJMp1213674.
- Rak, Sofija, and Janis Coffin. “Affordable Care Act.” The Journal Of Medical Practice Management: MPM, vol. 28, no. 5, Apr. 2013, pp. 317–19. 23767130.
- Summers, Lawrence H. “Did Henry Ford Pay Efficiency Wages?” Journal of Labor Economics, vol. 5, no. 4, Part 2, Oct. 1987, pp. S57–86. journals.uchicago.edu (Atypon), doi:10.1086/298165.
- Todd, James, et al. “Increased Rates of Morbidity, Mortality, and Charges for Hospitalized Children With Public or No Health Insurance as Compared With Children With Private Insurance in Colorado and the United States.” Pediatrics, vol. 118, no. 2, Aug. 2006, pp. 577–85. pediatrics.aappublications.org, doi:10.1542/peds.2006-0162.
- Weissman, Joel S., et al. “Rates of Avoidable Hospitalization by Insurance Status in Massachusetts and Maryland.” JAMA, vol. 268, no. 17, Nov. 1992, pp. 2388–94. jamanetwork.com, doi:10.1001/jama.1992.03490170060026.