Good Research Paper On The Healthcare Reform Debate
Healthcare reform or Obamacare has emerged as one of the most debated issues in the US Congress. The debate has equally split the American public and leadership into two with one side backing the plan fully while the other opposed to it. The issue aroused much debate after the election of Barrack Obama as the president. The Healthcare reform being one of the agendas that saw him take over the power and pushing for the accomplishment of these reforms. Much of the debate has been based on the quality, cost and coverage of the plan. This is in light of the fact that America has the highest healthcare costs globally in comparison to its economy size. This fact is further backed by the population statistics that is estimated to be 318 million. Many pundits, further, note that the reforms may impact on the quality of healthcare in America dependent on how these reforms are implemented. Obamacare is ideal in addressing the needs in the American health sector.
The proponents of the Obamacare cite that the program can be effectively rolled out in a cost-effective manner. The Democrats downplay the cost issue by citing the impact of the policy in making healthcare affordable to all Americans. The Obamacare makes healthcare universal making it accessible to a large populace that would have not afforded it. Through subsidies, the Democrats, argue that the operational costs will be met. The Washington Post in TRANSCRIPT: Sen. Ted Cruz's filibuster against Obamacare notes ACA also will oversee the implementation of the 80/20 rule that states health insurance companies must invest in quality improvement and patient care by spending 80% of the premium funds while the 20% goes to other miscellaneous costs. The Obamacare plan is also supported for the fact that it is cost-effective. It saves the citizens money through limitation of annual premium increases by using a review program.
The Obamacare has seen the expansion of the Medicaid which has been integral in seeing may uninsured Americans become insured. Medicaid being a brainchild of the federally and state funded health care program has effectively been transformed. Through the Obamacare, the Medicaid has managed to tap its full potential by effectively expanding its cover to uninsured adults with incomes below 138% of the set federal poverty levels. The Medicaid if fully supported as postulated by the Obamacare will see to it an average of 15 million uninsured individuals fall within its coverage (Atlas 46). The states opting out of the Medicaid are as a result of poor fiscal decisions which will ultimately be reversed with time.
The Obamacare has managed to incorporate the children into the insurance by ensuring that they are covered till they reach 26 years (Pipes 66). The Obamacare understands that many youthful individuals form the greatest number of disproportionate populace that happens to be uninsured. By making the children and cumulatively the youth as key cogs of the health plan, the Obamacare will translate to future healthy generations. Through universal healthcare, the child mortality rates will drop as well as the appreciation of the value of health insurance. This will ultimately lead to a fruitful generation that is cognizant to the fact that health is a fundamental right both on paper and reality as enshrined in the constitution.
The last argument in support of the Obamacare is centered on the plans focus on preventive care. Cannon (41) notes that the plan covers different aspects of preventive care at a zero cost. Screenings for various ailments such as Diabetes, certain cancers and blood pressure are provided for free. For the female populace, womanly visits that are carried out annually including lab work and gynecological screenings are fully covered by the Obama care. As for child care, the plan covers immunization, behavioral screenings, autism and obesity screening as well as counseling as a preventive measure.
Those in opposition of Obamacare raise a number of valid reasons regarding their opposition to the plan. The Republicans, the fiercest critics of this plan, cite that cost of the Obamacare will lead to increased implementation costs. This will ultimately translate to increased taxes mostly on high earners. The tax burden will have a negative domino effect on various sectors of the economy. The federal budget will also be greatly strained with much of funds in other sectors being diverted into the Obamacare. According to Ross (91) and many opponents, the plan will see many hardworking Americans bearing financial burden at the expense of the unemployed. Many states are also expected to go bankrupt once it is fully implemented. States such as Tennessee will suffer heavily as it has one of the greatest populations of the uninsured. This the Republican members in the congress posited would translate to a financial fiasco on the part of individual states and the federal government as a whole.
The next argument held by the opposition is that the Obamacare plan is complicated by the fact many states are doing away with the ACA Medicaid extension. This is in light with the Supreme Court ruling in 2012 that gave leeway to the states making it non-compulsory to be part of the Medicaid. Only the District of Columbia and 27 states have been established to be part of the expansion of the ACA Medicaid. The rest of the states have found themselves in a quagmire with the high insurance rates within the American market. The subsidies to these states have also been established to be advanced to be availed by the Federal government on the basis of poverty incidence levels. The funds are only extended to the states falling in the 100%-400% of the federal poverty levels (Barnett, Adler, Bernstein, Kerr, Kopel, Somin, and In Burrus 112). Ultimately, this means that the non-expansion states are left without any federal assistance.
The third issue posited by the Republicans is that the Obamacare does not focus on the long-term care. With an approximate of 70% of the US citizenry turning 65, there will be need for long-term care in form of assisted living facility or nursing. These facts are well captured by the Department of Health and Human services The Obamacare has not factored this element in its operational mandate through the Medicare or the traditional health insurance. This care is estimated to cost $42,000-$84,000 annually (United States 31). A senior citizen can only qualify for coverage only when he or she is ascertained to be poor enough but still this proposal leaves many more seniors un-catered for. It is prudent to note that the Community Living Assistance Services under the Affordable Care Act was done away with due to the costs. The Community Living Assistance Services would have effectively managed the long-term care plans.
Additionally, the Obamacare critics point out that penalties levied on the uninsured kills the spirit of the reforms in the health sector. The reforms cite that on will be subjected to a fee if he or she is uninsured and yet does not fall on the exemption category. Many Americans may be uninsured due to lack of information or other valid reasons which should not attract fines. The fine levied on the citizens that fail to comply with the directive is assessed on the taxes which ultimately may be punitive rather than proactive. The opposition argues that the Obamacare ought to foster a conducive environment that will ensure it garners support from all quarters being a governmental policy.
The Obamacare as illustrated by the two sides has been portrayed as a policy that has its fair share of positive and negative attributes. The arguments presented by the opposition serve to point out the shortcomings of the plan which can ultimately be corrected through evaluation of the policy. The cost of implementation of the program is incomparable to the cost of managing an uninsured and sickly population. The cost of treatment is higher when there is lack of an effective universal healthcare program. The participation of states in the expansion of the Medicaid can be reviewed to ensure that the disparities in terms of resources are factored in the Obamacare (Pipes 72). As for long-term care, the plan can also incorporate new measures to factor in the senior citizens who require specialized care. Resuscitation of policies such as Community Living Assistance Services may ensure that the senior citizens are well catered for in the plan. The penalties levied by the act on those that are insured and do not fall in the exemption category serve to enhance compliance.
It is prudent that those opposed to the levies understand that for the policy effective, there must be full support from various segments of the greater American citizenry. The positive attributes of the plan such as affordability of healthcare, enhanced preventive care, and incorporation of individuals under 26 years in their parents’ insurance covers make the Obamacare plan feasible. The plan will do much better though through the factoring in of the opposition concerns which are valid and easily manageable.
Atlas, S. W. Reforming America's health care system: The flawed vision of Obamacare. Stanford, CA: Hoover Institution Press, 2010. Print.
Barnett, R. E., J. H. Adler, D. E. Bernstein, O. S. Kerr, D. B. Kopel, I. Somin, and T. In Burrus. A conspiracy against Obamacare: The Volokh conspiracy and the health care case. N.p., 2013. Print.
Cannon, M. F. Replacing Obamacare: The Cato Institute on Health Care Reform. Lanham: Cato Institute, 2012. Print.
Pipes, S. The truth about Obamacare. Washington, DC: Regnery Pub, 2010. Print.
Ross, B. M. Beating Obamacare 2014: Avoid the landmines and protect your health, income, and freedom. Washington, DC: Regnery Publishing, 2014. Print.
Tate, N. J. Obamacare survival guide. New York, NY: Humanix Books, 2013. Print.
United States. The consequences of Obamacare: Impact on Medicaid and state health care reform : hearing before the Committee on Energy and Commerce, House of Representatives, One Hundred Twelfth Congress, first session, March 1, 2011. Washington: U.S. G.P.O, 2011. Print.
Washington Post Staff. "TRANSCRIPT: Sen. Ted Cruz's filibuster against Obamacare | The Washington Post." Washington Post, 2013. Web. <http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/national/2013/09/25/transcript-sen-ted-cruzs-filibuster-against-obamacare/>.
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