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September 20, 2012

President Obama's Healthcare Reform Bill


President Obama's Healthcare Reform Bill

Introduction
            Regulation of healthcare in America continues to be a divisive topic. The regulatory process is complex, impacting healthcare payers, providers, and consumers. Polar views on market dynamics and the right to healthcare contribute to the quagmire. Healthcare regulations thus far have been made in piecemeal fashion. As the issues of cost, quality, and access to care grow with the aging of the U.S. citizenry, Federal change may be in store (Shi& Stevens, 2010).

Discussion
            Without a shadow of a doubt, America is the most advanced country in all the fields of sciences including medicine itself. Every now and then America is blessed with the breakthrough particularly in curing of new diseases. Despite of all these accolades nevertheless the issues of health still remain unresolved. Despite of all the money spent on the issues of health, the working class is still deprived from its right of health insurance. Therefore because of this, more people are vulnerable to the risks and problems of health (Shi& Stevens, 2010).
Inequalities in health care have resulted in disparities in health status. The impact is particularly evident amongst social class V who suffer from lower life expectancies. There is consistent evidence that those in social class V are more likely to be exposed to multiple, environmental risks that portend adverse health consequences. They are more likely to encounter pollution, noise, substandard quality housing and crowding. Typically, lower class working conditions leave laborers open to greater physical danger.
The middle class quintessentially solely affords private health care. Private patients will have choice concerning the date of admission, receive care immediately regardless of urgency, and have greater attention paid to medical tests and from their consultant. Private patients admitted to an NHS hospital exacerbate the inferiority already experienced by NHS patients with depreciating access to hospital facilities and consultants. Operations can be delayed or canceled as private patients or more urgent cases are placed ahead of the list. Pre-eminent medication with increased effectiveness and less side effects is predominantly offered only to private patients due to cost issues  (Swift, 2002).
The Democrat Party wants families without insurance to get coverage at an affordable price. President Obama’s goal is to make a public health plan available nationwide for the uninsured, self-employed and small businesses, giving them access to benefits similar to those available to members of Congress. He wants families with insurance to pay less and get more security and choices, and businesses and other employers to find it cheaper and easier to cover their workers. Obama also wants to provide affordable, complete and portable health coverage for every American, modernizing the U.S. health care system to contain rising health care costs and improve the quality of patient care, and strengthening public health to prevent disease and protect against natural and man-made disasters.
The elderly believes the rising health care costs, constant gaps in the use of recommended services, and the threat of Medicare bankruptcy all weaken the health care that the program’s beneficiary need and deserve. They want guaranteeing access to affordable coverage for Americans who are of age 50 to 64. Senior citizens want access to generic versions of biologic drugs used to treat cancer and other serious diseases to reduce the price of the costly treatments. They also want to prevent costly hospital readmissions by creating a follow-up care benefit in Medicare to help people safely transition home after a hospital stay. Senior citizens would also like improving programs that help low income Americans in Medicare afford the health care and prescription drugs they need.
Although doctors don’t have a lot of say in the issue, they do want to keep a few things. The American Medical Association (AMA) is the largest medical association of physicians in the nation and they represent physicians from every state and specialty. The AMA wants to protect the sacred relationship between patients and physicians without interference by insurance companies or the government. Physicians also want affordable health insurance for everybody through a choice of plans and eliminate denials for pre-existing conditions. They want to give individuals choices so they can select the appropriate coverage for themselves and their families, and promote fair rules that include protections for high-risk patients and greater individual responsibility, and to those who need it most should receive financial assistance to help purchase health insurance (Sultz & Young, 2010).
Since we don’t know yet what will be in the health reform bill, we do not know for sure how the bill will affect the economy. If they do pass Obama’s proposed health care plan, then there are several downsides on how it will affect the economy. One is that health reform will put money, in the form of premium financial support, in the hands of lower-income Americans who are more likely to spend than save. In a study by Jonathon Gruber, it shows that when families who are already hurting economically no longer have to worry about the effect of a tragic medical event they are more likely to spend money, rather than save it.
I think there should be accessibility to health care for everyone - it's the humane thing to do. But, I also think that attention should be focused on preventative health care. A very large percentage of health problems are self-induced. For example, it makes me really sad to see children who are obese and headed towards grown up health problems. The parents should to be held accountable through mandatory education and commitment towards helping their children. As for the adults, there should be mandatory physicals every year in order to continue the "free" medical insurance. In fact this should apply even to those who have private insurance  (Furrow, Greaney& Johnson, 2010).
Although the United States spend more money on health care than any other country, 47 million people have no health insurance coverage. Furthermore the American health care system is facing problems in the areas of access, quality and cost. When it comes to our health care system, most of us agree that America is ready for a change. A system is needed that delivers accessible, high quality care, but we can’t achieve this goal with government policies that attack the foundation of our current health care system that is employer-sponsored health insurance.
The Obama administration and members of congress are pushing legislation to set up a government run health care system. This government runs system would operate in competition with private health insurance that is commonly provided by many employers to employees and their families. Employer sponsored health insurance is the backbone of our nation’s health care system and if this health insurance is banished this would affect 160 million Americans. Do you want the future of health care be in the hands of a few politicians, the same politicians that are making themselves exempt from their own policies  (Furrow, Greaney& Johnson, 2010)?
Both candidates of the 2008 presidential election presented their conceptions of how the situation could change to the good. Barack Obama aims to implement a public health plan with stronger governmental regulation of the health care market. It would be the realization of the idea of organized solidarity. It would help the millions of poor to receive health care in a quality that is suitable an American citizen deserves (Cleverley, Cleverley & Song, 2010).
            This new health care reform will cover fewer medical procedures and each American will have long waiting periods before they can get the medical care they seriously need. Under this plan if you need surgery or a transplant it may take so long for the government to O.K. the medical procedure you need that you may die before your treatment is approved. Other countries with this same government run plan has put price tags on the lives of their citizens. This health plan oversees your care and it makes the ill patients wait for the critical care they need to survive.  

Inability to Choose Contents of A Plan
To clarify, the definition of underinsured is one who has insurance all year but inadequate financial protection”. Their study provides a guideline for the conditions that would indicate a person is underinsured if “1) annual out-of-pocket is 10 percent or more of income; 2) low income adults whose out-of- pocket is five percent or more of income; or 3) health plan deductibles equal or exceed five percent of income”. Uninsured, is much simpler to define. It means someone who has no health care. Being uninsured is not synonymous with being poor or unemployed. There are many underlying issues and reasons people are uninsured or underinsured, which will be addressed later.
          Statistics for the under and uninsured are sobering. According to The Factcheck (2009) website the “Census Bureau estimates that 45.7 million lacked health insurance at any given time. Twenty percent of the uninsured Problems of the Health Care System In the last 8 years health insurance premiums have doubled which means they rose eight times faster than the average wage. This led to a number of 45 Mio. Americans, mostly with a working-family background, being uninsured. To lot of employers especially in small enterprises it became more difficult to provide health care assurance to their employees. Studies found out that more than half of all bankruptcies today are due to unpaid medical bills  (Leon-Guerrero, 2010).
Furthermore the quality is still under standards that are set in industrialized nations. About 100.000 Americans die from medical errors in hospitals every year while they don‘t even have free access to a doctor or hospital of their choice  (Donahue& Zeckhauser, 2011). The presidential candidates rate health care reform as one of the top three concerns Americans want to hear addressed. Why has this rocketed to the top of everyone’s list? The answer is simply because more than 47 million Americans are uninsured.   This number has grown by 3.5 million over the last ten years. The problems do not stop with the issues surrounding the uninsured  (Donahue& Zeckhauser, 2011).
President Obama envisioned a better healthcare system, yet opposing viewpoints have seemed to create hesitation among the American people. According to a New York Times editorial, the health care reform bill, which was passed on March 21, 2010, was a “triumph for countless Americans who have been victimized or neglected by their dysfunctional health care system” (Leon-Guerrero, 2010). This editorial supports President Obama’s decision on the health care reform and explains why it was the right move; especially for the Americans in need of health insurance. For individuals and small businesses, health care reform will allow the insurance companies to provide them with more accessible insurance. On the other hand, a Washington Times editorial claims that the health care reform bill is “full of hidden time bombs” (Jacobs & Skocpol, 2010).
On top of the huge debt America faces today, passing this bill poses as a major financial threat for the future. The contexts of the editorials illustrate the benefits and consequences of the health care reform bill. Both arguments present persuading opinions, but because of the evidence that is provided, one argument stands out while the other lacks in evidence to support it.
 
Conclusion
            “Health Care Reform, at Last” is written with an effective reasoning as to why the reform bill is beneficial to America. The argument begins with the health care reform being a “triumph for countless Americans”, stating that almost all Americans feel the same way the author does. The author is swaying his opinion one way, stressing the fact that this is the popular route to take.

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