According to the U.S. Census Bureau (2018), as of 2017, the health insurance coverage constitutes 91.2 percent. The two core initiatives that helped achieve such rates were the Affordable Care Act (ACA), introduced in 2013. Before the intervention, in 2010, the rates of uninsured citizens reached 18%, which appears to characterize the reform as a success (Rice et al., 2014). The main goal of the ACA was to expand Medicare and Medicaid and protect vulnerable groups of the population from health hazards.
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The reform presupposed large-scale subsidies for those who are below the poverty level including families, individuals, elderly people, covered drug prescriptions, and other issues. It also forced major employers to provide their employees with insurance and taxed high-income families heavily to finance ACA.
While presently the rate of uninsured is indeed decreased, the ACA became a burden for the U.S. economy and did not fully address the health care problems of the country. As such, it partly failed to provide universal access to health care as it did not concentrate enough on the issue of primary care providers and the presence of doctors and nurses remains insufficient (Rice et al., 2014). In addition, accountable service providers, which are supposed to be formed under the ACA, pose a challenge of monopolization and price control. This factor appears to be contrary to affordable and cost-effective health care provision.
Nonetheless, the initiative is argued to bring the U.S. closer to the Sixty-Sixth Session of the United Nations General Assembly which urged countries to strive towards universal insurance coverage. Taking into consideration strenuous conditions as well as a large number of the undocumented workforce (approximately 33 million), the ACA increased adherence to health insurance by 10%, which is a significant achievement (Rice et al., 2014). Thus, this initiative, although flawed in certain instances, became a critical step towards decreasing the percentage of uninsured citizens in the U.S.
Rice, T., Unruh, L. Y., Rosenau, P., Barnes, A. J., Saltman, R. B., & van Ginneken, E. (2014). Challenges facing the United States of America in implementing universal coverage. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 92(12), 894-902.
U.S. Census Bureau. (2018). Health insurance coverage in the United States: 2017. Web.