Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA)

One of the main aims that every developed and civilized country tends to pursue is providing its citizens with an effective healthcare system. In the United States, the primary legal source that regulates relations and dictates policy in the mentioned sphere is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). Two other healthcare policies of the US are Medicare and Medicaid. The said policies aim to solve such issues as providing affordable medical care, developing healthcare plans that cover citizens with prior conditions (heart problems, for instance), and officials’ contradictions about healthcare approaches (Health reform, n.d.). So, the US medical care system is facing many challenges today.

Before the passing of the Act, healthcare insurance in the US was considerably expensive. To reduce the costs, the Affordable Care Act obliges American insurance companies to give some profits back through rebates (Kaiser Family Foundation, 2010). Citizens now can choose their appropriate insurance via “virtual insurance mega-mall” called “the exchange” (Kaiser Family Foundation, 2010). It is one of the examples of how my family and I are affected by healthcare policies in the US as we chose our medical insurance in this way. So, the main strength of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is a decrease in the number of people who have no health insurance.

One of the limitations might be the absence of detailed provisions of hospitals’ charity care. It leads to the situation when “not-for-profit hospitals sometimes behave more like economic entities … instead of charity operations” (Valdovinos, Le, & Hsia, 2015, p. 1302). However, ACA is “a result of compromise and pragmatism, attempts to improve the system by filling in existing gaps” (Theodoulou, & Kofinis, 2012, p. 375). Thus, the Act still might be an effective medical care mechanism.

Before this week’s readings, I thought that US medical care might be too decentralized, fragmented, and need a unified policy. The central assumption that I made after this week’s studies on the US healthcare system is that the focus of the medical policies is on mechanisms providing compensated care. It reinforced my vision of the theme discussed, and I am still sure that the system has to pay more attention to preventing Americans’ diseases and developing a harmonized healthcare system.

The effectiveness of healthcare might be measured not by the accessible advanced technologies or specialists, but rather by how rarely we need them (Onie, 2012). Thus, the government and citizens should develop an understanding of the issues and find appropriate solutions.

References

Kaiser Family Foundation. (2010). Health reform hits the main street [Video file]. Web.

Valdovinos, E., Le, S., & Hsia, R. Y. (2015). In California, not-for-profit hospitals spent more operating expenses on charity care than for-profit hospitals spent. Health Affairs, 34(8), 1296–1303.

Onie, R. (2012). What if our healthcare system kept us healthy? [Video file]. Web.

Theodoulou, S. Z., & Kofinis, C. (2012). The policy game: Understanding U.S. public policy making. Web.

Health reform. (n.d.). Web.