Healthcare reform has always been a controversial topic and has divided the publicopinion immensely. It wasn’t until March 23, 2010 that one of the most historicpieces of legislation, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, was signedinto law. This new law would help bring healthcare into arms reach for millionsof Americans that were either ineligible or unable to afford it. Although thishas been a pivotal platform in almost every presidential election it wasn’tuntil now that so great of change has occurred and with it new confusion andfeeling of uncertainty. This paper will review and discuss the exact provisionsof the ACA, the progress of health care reform to date, and discussing medicalstudent’s perspectives on healthcare reform.
Each topic more important than thenext and vital to understand in hopes of bringing clarity to an otherwisecloudy subject. Thefirst step in understand health care reform progress is to first identify andunderstand the new provisions that make up this law. In the article publishedby the National Conference of State Legislators that summarized the new lawdivided it into six subgroups: “expand access to insurance, increase consumerprotections, emphasize prevention and wellness, improve quality and systemperformance, expand the health workforce, curb rising health care costs” (U.S.Government).
These new and improved specifications help save thousands forcitizens by slowing the extremely costly and exponentially growing health carecosts and by providing free preventive care which will lead to lowerhospitalizations and disease thus keeping care costs down. By “requiringinsurance plans to cover young adults on parents’ policies and prohibitinginsurance plans from excluding coverage for children with preexistingconditions” (U.S. Government), it becomes clear that the burden of health careis moving from the hands of patients to the healthcare providers.
Thisshift has long been a work in progress and after decades of different reforms theAffordable Care Act has gained huge ground in terms of updating and developinglong-standing difficulties confronting the health care system whether it be access,costliness, and nature of care given. An article published by the AmericanMedical Association states that “since the Affordable Care Act becoming law,the uninsured rate has declined by 43%, from 16.0% in 2010 to 9.1% in 2015”.The lack of resources allocated to health care prior to this led to declining qualityof care and waiting until patients became sick to treat them rather than tryingto keep them safe. The lack of attention payed into preventive care was yet anotherdevelopment since Medicare and Medicaid and one of the main reasons why health carehas become so costly.
However, all these negatives are what began this progressivemovement into providing “health care not as a privilege for a few, but right forall” (Obama). Following the new legislation many of these changes stated beforebegan toward a new movement of hope to those uninsured and plagued by intermittentand poor health screenings. In fact, in early research it was found that “expandedcoverage is improving access to treatment, financial security, and health for thenewly insured” (Obama).