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For a long time now, the polarizing debate concerning the healthcare systems of the United States of America has never ceased. Some people have argued that the Americans receive the best health care in the world with reference to the freely available medical technology as well as the system’s highly emblematic state-of-the-art facilities.
On the contrast, others have pointed out that it is the most inefficient in the world with the government spending very much on healthcare yet the citizens are prone to inequality, uninsurance and administrative waste. As a result, the government of USA initiated reforms to be made in the health care systems in a bid to perfect it to becoming one of the best in the world.
If implemented, the reforms will lead to the biggest expansion of the Medicare to have existed in the last 45 years (Reid 21). This paper is therefore a discussion and identification of the health care reforms that have been implemented in the past 2-3 years.
The provisions of health care reforms
It is during his tenure that President Obama became the signatory of the health care reform legislation into law in March 2010 (Bunce 4). He did this by signing two federal statutes that were enacted in the same year.
These are Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010. According to the new law, the health care system is bound to improve such that more people become insured and ensure that quality services are offered among other stipulated reforms.
The reform was planned to take part in two phases with the first phase taking place between 2010 and 2013. This has provisions for expanding the insurance option such that more people obtain medical covers. In the second phase Organizations will be forced to make sure that they obtain insurance for their employees.
Since the enactment of the provisions into law, most of the reforms have already taken place some of which include the following;
- There has been an extension on the coverage for young adults such that they can continue being on the plans of their parents until they are 26 years of age. This has ensured that the young adults continue to receive proper healthcare until the time when they get jobs and are now able to pay for their own insurance (Reid 34).
- The lifetime limit that was before imposed is no longer in place as insurance companies have been banned from enforcing the lifetime dollar limits they initially placed o services such as the stay in hospitals.
- At the present, there are about 4 million businesses that have been authorized to get credit to cater for the employer’s contribution with regard to the health insurance plans for employees. This therefore ensures that the small businesses afford the expected contribution to the health insurance firms.
- The new plans have free preventive procedures on health care. For instance mammograms and colonoscopies are provided free on charge without being deducted on the employees pay slips.
- The consumers are protected such that they can make appeals on issue concerning their insurance.
- The reforms have seen that the primary care medical doctors are encouraged through incentives such as having their number increased, being allocated assistants to help them among others (Network 1). On the same matter, those healthcare providers working in the rural areas are offered increased support to ensure that they increase their efficiency in those areas. As a result the whole population has access to proper health care.
- The reforms have also seen the implementation of funding for projects that are aimed at preventing disease through the health fund. This is done through the Public Health Fund that was begun in the year 2010 (Network 1).
- Other of the reforms that have been implemented and are already in action up to no include; Increased home options for the disabled people, aid for the seniors once they leave the hospital on stays, discounted costs on Medicare, improved accountability and creation for a center of Medicare and Medicare innovation just to mention but a few.
From the above discussion it can be clearly seen that the signing of the bills by President Obama was a big step towards the beginning of attainment of proper health care for the American citizens.
Despite the many challenges such as political influences and legal challenges, some of the reforms have been already implanted. The fact that these reforms are many number means that they cannot be all implanted at once hence the reason for the phases put in place to ensure the implementations occur sequentially.
However, at the time when all the documented reforms are implemented, then Americans will be enjoying the best health care system in the whole world. This is because the better part of the population will be insured and all having access to proper health care.
Bunce, V. and Matthews, M. The 2008 presidential candidates on health care reform. Web.
Network. What is changing already as the healthcare reform law is implemented? Web.
Reid, T. The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper and Fairer Health Care. 2009. Penquin Books.