The Affordable Care Act Assignment Paper

Introduction

The central aim of the healthcare system is to ensure healthcare services are accessible to the entire population, which is why healthcare policies are established. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is a healthcare policy that was endorsed into law in 2010. It was formerly identified as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (French et al., 2016). The policy was created to address the challenges associated with the health care network of America and make it better and accessible. The ACA expanded the eligibility for Medicaid and also developed health insurance exchanges. The development and enactment of ACA are considered beneficial to the healthcare system since many people have benefited from its presence. ACA considers and enhances quality, safety standards, and improves health care outcomes, making health care desirable to many, so it is useful.

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Significant Contributions of the Policy

The Obamacare policy does an excellent job in ensuring that healthcare issues are addressed. For example, it has made healthcare services much more readily available to many people, including those who could previously not acquire health care services such as those with chronic illnesses. The policy has also been effective in including those suffering from mental illnesses, which was not allowed in the previous health policy before Obamacare (Reisman, 2015). The cases related to mental illnesses have also reduced significantly because people can access healthcare services such as therapy. Accountability has been enhanced, which has subsequently increased patient satisfaction due to better outcomes when they visit hospitals. Before the development of the Affordable Care Act, people relied on Medicaid, which had locked out a significant number of people from accessing healthcare services. The development of Obamacare saw about 2.3 million youth registered as part of health insurance. So far, at least 20 million individuals have had access to healthcare because of the ACA. The number of deaths from chronic illnesses has also reduced substantially because people suffering from these disorders have managed to acquire medical help before their cases worsen. The Affordable Care Act Assignment Paper

The ACA made it possible for those who could not receive insurance to obtain health insurance at an affordable cost. Additionally, it made it mandatory for everyone to have a health insurance policy, which consequently meant that everyone, including the poor, can receive medical services (Hamel et al., 2014). Notably, with the previous law, people with preexisting conditions such as cancer could not receive medical services. This is because many health insurance companies rejected the treatment or instead denied people coverage for the treatment of preexisting conditions. The insurance companies then rejected such covers because they claimed that the patients develop the requirements before they received cover from their respective insurance plans. Notwithstanding, the development of this law made treatment accessible to people with preexisting conditions such as cancer, which consequently reduced the deaths resulting from such conditions, thus, increasing positive health outcomes.

Health outcomes have increased, and healthcare services, have enhanced since Obamacare has made care organizations accountable. Accountability has been enhanced by providing Medicaid with the ability to change how the doctors, as well as hospitals, are paid. Instead of paying the hospitals based on the tests and procedures that a patient gets, ACA has changed all this by basing their payments on how well a patient receives. Consequently, this has forced hospitals and their medical practitioners to collaborate and develop a comprehensive approach. Accountability has also been enhanced in the healthcare sector through the introduction of accountable care organizations. The responsible care organizations were established to oversee the healthcare services not only in medical facilities, but also in the cost-saving share. ACOs have shifted the focus from the healthcare facilities and medical workers to the patient making care patient-oriented. Notably, this has seen the level of accountability, increase and the quality of care enhanced. The increased level of accountability has also reduced the cost of healthcare paid by Medicare to the health facilities. Over the period, Obamacare has been in operation, the health outcomes of patients visiting various hospitals have increased, and many have reported patient satisfaction. The Affordable Care Act Assignment Paper

Safety has also been enhanced through the use of computerized medical records. The records of the patients can now be stored electronically, which is much safer since it cannot get lost or land in the wrong hands easily, as noted by BD & Mbah (2020). Storing medical records electronically will enhance healthcare outcomes since doctors can share the information and determine the best treatment for a particular patient. Additionally, a patient can be treated from different states without having trouble acquiring medical records since they can be easily accessed using the electronic health record. The implementation of electronic health records has seen the cost of healthcare lower substantially, making healthcare affordable to many people. The ACA has been a driving force to the changes and reforms within the healthcare sector, some of which could have taken a lot of time before being implemented. The presence of electronic records has enhanced care through saving time when patients visit hospitals since their information is easily accessible to the nurses as well as doctors.

The ACA has also affected the nursing profession positively. Nurses play a critical role in the link between health policy and accessibility to health care. Accordingly, nurses are the individuals responsible for delivering healthcare services after the doctors have given their instructions. To address the quality standards within Obamacare, nurses have been trained to be more accountable in their respective areas of operations. Steaban (2016) remarks that nurses dispense their services in the best way possible by creating a positive relationship with the patients and providing them with appropriate information and medication, which is one of the goals of Obamacare. Consequently, this results in the development of quality health care services and increased accountability. Moreover, nurses can offer preventive care to the patients, which expands and enhances safety standards within the health care network. Nurses are the pillars of the policy, and ACA provides them with a better chance to offer their services in the best way possible. They improve patient communication as well as communication with the families of the patients, keeping them updated on the wellbeing of their patients. Nurses are also responsible for follow-up services, which help the patient get better, not only inpatient but also outpatient.

Opposing Opinion

The main drawback of the ACA is the increase in taxes. Notably, the ACA is funded by the state and federal government. The money used for this program is acquired from the taxpayer. To ensure that everyone receives access to healthcare services at an affordable cost, more funds are required, which means that the taxpayer basket has to be expanded. The only way to do this is by finding new avenues to tax the people. Some new taxes have been passed into law, such as the tax on medical equipment and pharmaceutical sales. The people who receive the higher income have also had to suffer for the same since their taxes have increased. Those that are wealthy have had to pay higher taxes to subsidize the process for the low-income earners. A particular portion of the population has been the main target, which seems unfair to them, resulting in them calling for more reforms to the ACA to reduce the taxes. The Medicare payments have not been spared either since some of the funding for the ACA has been acquired from its savings basket.The Affordable Care Act Assignment Paper

Position on the Policy

Based on the reasons provided above, it is safe to say that Obamacare has been beneficial to the healthcare system and the Americans. Considerably, many people have had access to healthcare services in the history of the US more than before, which is a good sign since the primary goal of the healthcare system is to provide healthcare services to as many people as possible, as noted by Yabroff et al. (2019). Many people have been added to healthcare insurance and especially those suffering from chronic illnesses and mental disorders. Mental disorders have increased tremendously (Bodenheimer, 2016). Accessibility to healthcare services has reduced this increase since the implementation of the ACA since people suffering from such illnesses can access therapeutic services efficiently and at an affordable rate. Additionally, it has enhanced accountability and shifted the focus of the care services from the hospital and healthcare workers to the patients. Patient-oriented services improve patient outcomes since the main focus is on ensuring that the patient gets better and is consequently satisfied (Sacristán, 2013). A lot of disorders have developed, some of which are life-threatening. The presence of Obamacare has made it possible to cater for such disorders and consequently reduce the death rates. The Affordable Care Act Assignment Paper

Conclusion

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) considers and enhances quality, safety standards and improves health care outcomes, making health care desirable to many, which means it is useful.  Obamacare is an effective policy and should be considered not only in the present, but also in the future. Considerably, this is because it has made it possible for many Americans to ingress healthcare. Making health insurance affordable to everyone irrespective of their socioeconomic background should be the goal of every healthcare system. Through the ACA policy, this is slowly being accomplished since at least 20 million Americans have been beneficiaries of the policy.

References

BD, C. M. M., & Mbah, R. E. (2020). The Affordable Care Act (ACA) in the Past Decade. The system, 51.

Bodenheimer, G. A. (2016). The Forgotten Illnesses: The Mental Health Movements in Modern America. Inquiries Journal, 8(07).

French, M. T., Homer, J., Gumus, G., & Hickling, L. (2016). Key provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA): a systematic review and presentation of early research findings. Health services research, 51(5), 1735-1771.The Affordable Care Act Assignment Paper

Hamel, M. B., Blumenthal, D., & Collins, S. R. (2014). Health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act—a progress report. The New England journal of medicine, 371(3), 275-81.

Reisman, M. (2015). The Affordable Care Act, five years later: policies, progress, and politics. Pharmacy and Therapeutics, 40(9), 575.

Sacristán, J. A. (2013). Patient-centered medicine and patient-oriented research: improving health outcomes for individual patients. BMC medical informatics and decision making, 13(1), 1-8.

Steaban, R. L. (2016). Health care reform, care coordination, and transformational leadership. Nursing administration quarterly, 40(2), 153-163.

Yabroff, K. R., Gansler, T., Wender, R. C., Cullen, K. J., & Brawley, O. W. (2019). Minimizing the burden of cancer in the United States: Goals for a high‐performing health care system. CA: a cancer journal for clinicians, 69(3), 166-183. The Affordable Care Act Assignment Paper

 

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