Analyzing Healthcare Policies – Obamacare

The United States has recorded tremendous changes in health care policies over the recent past. The Affordable Care Act or the ObamaCare is one of the best known aspects of Health Care Reforms in the United States. The ObamaCare was signed into law on March 23, 2010 (The American Occupational Therapy Association, 2014). The goal of ObamaCare legislation was to expand access to health insurance coverage for many uninsured American citizens through expansion of eligibility for Medicaid and creation of affordable subsidies for uninsured persons. The Affordable Care Act also intended to change the heath care delivery system to improve patient outcomes at reduced costs. Since its implementation in 2010, the Affordable Care Act or the ObamaCare has brought new changes to the American Healthcare System (The American Occupational Therapy Association, 2014). Other people are worried about the negative impacts of taxes recently added to the Affordable Care Act particularly on employees and employers.

ObamaCare has contributed greatly to Medicaid Expansion across different states of the United States. The most significant expansion of Medicaid in the United States took place in 2012 when it was ruled by the Supreme Court that expansion of Medicaid should now be left to the states (Tanner, 2014). Following the Court’s decision, approximately 50 percent of states have expanded their Medicaid programs. Those states that have expanded Medicaid have reaped positive fruits out of the program. For instance, Medicaid has boosted the economic standards of the poorest residents, which has encouraged other states that had negative attitudes about Medicaid to begin expanding the program (Eibner, 2015).

The Affordable Care Act has affected individual decisions to use health care and obtain insurance. Since its implementation, ObamaCare has resulted into an increase number of insured employees. For this reason, more workers are now able to get access to quality care than before. The ObamaCare addresses several issues beyond expansion of health insurance including reduction of health care costs for the United States citizens and improvement of health care delivery across various states (Tanner, 2014).

In order to increase the number of available options for health insurance coverage, the ObamaCare has created new health insurance marketplaces that allow citizens to make private health care plans. For instance the individual insurance marketplaces are online systems where eligible citizens can purchase coverage. These may be operated either by states or by federal government through state invitation. Small business insurance marketplaces are online systems that help organizations with 50 workers or less to cover their employees (Eibner, 2015).

The ObamaCare or the Affordable Care Act allows consumers to take charge of their own health care. Through this legislation, American citizens attain the flexibility and the stability they need to make personal decisions about the type and quality of care they need. Many American people support the ObamaCare due to the nature of coverage it offers (Tanner, 2014). Since its implementation in 2010, the ObamaCare has ensured maximum inclusion for children in the health care plans. Health care plans in the United States now extend benefits to children below 19 years old due to pre-existing condition. In addition, the ObamaCare now make young adults aged below 26 to be covered under their parent’s health care plans. In addition, insurers can no longer cancel clients’ coverage due to minor mistakes. The ObamaCare guarantees clients’ rights to appeal in order for denial of payment to be reconsidered (Tanner, 2014).

Since the Affordable Care Act became law, American citizens have had the freedom of choosing the quality of care that they may need depending on their health conditions (Tanner, 2014). For instance, ObamaCare covers preventive care at no cost to clients. In addition, the law allows the American people to choose the primary care doctor that they want from their plan’s network. The American citizens can also seek emergency care at health care institutions outside their health plan’s network due to the presence of the Affordable Care Act (Eibner, 2015).

Over the recent past, the Affordable Care Act or the ObamaCare decided to include the Cadillac Tax as a way of controlling the escalating health care costs. The Tax was meant to put pressure on employers to offer cheaper health insurance plans than they have been offering. The main idea here is that, if people compare the direct costs on their health care to that of insurance, they will be encouraged to stick to their insurance. The Cadillac Tax will start operating in 2018 and it is expected to pose a levy of 40 percent on the costs of family health plans greater than 27, 500 dollars and 10, 200 dollars for individual coverage. Each dollar above these thresholds will be taxed at a rate of 40 percent (Mangan, 2014).

The United State health care system analyzed the anticipated impact of the Cadillac Tax that is yet to be exercised by the ObamaCare on employer-sponsored health plans. According to Mangan (2014), large companies are likely to spend huge dollars starting 2018 when the Cadillac Tax is expected to become operational. The looming ObamaCare excise tax might make employees stuck with much costs if their employers ignore the tax bill. The American Health Policy Institute states that, big companies will be compelled to pay approximately 2.1 million dollars each year between 2018 and 2024. This is equivalent to 2, 700 dollars per worker. Suppose companies choose to adjust employees’ wages as a result of the tax, more than 10 million workers are likely to have their wages increased, which translates into higher taxes (Mangan, 2014).

Ideally, the Cadillac Tax will impose real costs on both employers and employees in the United States. For this reason, many companies are making efforts to avoid the impacts of the tax, an issue that may prevent the federal government from collecting dollars as per its budget projections. Companies are trying to avoid the Cadillac Tax because they feel that it is not a good policy. If companies succeed in limiting their exposure to the tax, many employees will find their health plans less affordable. As Mangan (2014) states, taxes that are designed to attack employers will automatically harm employees.

The main reasons for health care reforms in the United State were to ensure that all Americans had health insurance coverage, ensure reduced insurance costs for the government, businesses, and individuals, and to increase the quality of health care received (Tanner, 2014). However, with more than four years after the implementation of the Act, it can be concluded that ObamaCare has struggled to achieve the goals for which it was created, though by putting more burden on American citizens. Ability to get access to insurance coverage, meet health care costs and obtain quality care depends on the economic status of citizens (Tanner, 2014).

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