Health Policy - USA Essay Example

In this summary, I have highlighted some issues on the uninsured in the United States - Health Policy introduction. In today’s health care there are lots of Americans that are uninsured. This is a hot topic, being the president of the U.S. is trying to approve the health care plan he wants to put in place. “In 2011, 48 million nonelderly Americans were uninsured. Nearly all of the elderly are insured by Medicare, yet nearly 690,000 of the elderly were uninsured in 2011. A majority of the nonelderly receive their health insurance as a job benefit, but not everyone has access to or can afford this type of coverage. Few people can afford to purchase coverage on their own through the non-group market. Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) fill in gaps in the availability of coverage for millions of people, in particular, children. More than one in six (18%) of the nonelderly was uninsured” (Kaiser, 2012).

“Being uninsured affects people’s access to needed medical care and their financial security. The access barriers facing uninsured people mean they are less likely to receive preventive care, are more likely to be hospitalized for conditions that could have been prevented, and are more likely to die in the hospital than those with insurance. The financial impact can also be severe. Uninsured families struggle financially to meet basic needs and medical bills can quickly lead to medical debt. Over the next five years, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010 is expected to reduce the uninsured rate by more than half. The ACA will fill existing gaps in coverage by providing for an expansion of Medicaid for adults with incomes at or below 138% of poverty, building on employer-based coverage, and providing premium subsidies to make private insurance more affordable for many with incomes less than 400% of poverty” (Kaiser, 2012). “As a result of these provisions, experts predict that the uninsured rate will fall to 8% of the nonelderly, versus the 20% it is expected to be without reform. Those who remain uninsured after health reform implementation include individuals who many not qualify for assistance, such as those who are not in the United States legally, as well as other individuals who may be exempt from the law’s requirement that all individuals get coverage. These individuals will still need to rely on the nation’s health care safety net of public hospitals and clinics that provide care to the uninsured”( Kaiser, 2012).

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References:
Hadley J, J. Holahan, T. Coughlin, and D. Miller. (2008). Covering the Uninsured in 2008: Current Costs, Sources of Payment, And Incremental Costs Health Affairs 27(5): 399.
Congressional Budget Office. March 2012. “Updated Estimates for Insurance Coverage Provisions of the Affordable Care Act.” Available at: http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/03-13-Coverage%20Estimates.pdf

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