The Affordable Care Act Sample Paper
The Social Problem
The cost of accessing health care has been relatively high for poor people living in the USA to access. The expensive access to health care services is a severe social problem affecting most people in the country. It is expected that things like insurance would help in covering the cost of accessing health care services. However, still, some people are not able to get the help of the insurance programs. When these poor people are lucky enough to get access to health care services, the services are not of good quality. These challenges compromise the delivery of services by the social workers under the health care system. The main aim of the health care system and the social workers in the system is to deliver sustainable health care services to everyone. Nevertheless, the social workers must do this at a fee which helps in the acquisition of items used to incur the costs of operation. The call for quality and affordable access to health care services lead to the development of the Affordable Care Act, which has helped to mitigate the challenge of expensive health care service that is also of low quality.
History of Affordable Care Act
President Obama made a fascinating observation about the difficulty in accessing affordable health care services by most people in the USA. Afterwards, he came up with the idea that would address this issue. The idea was to bring change to the Medicaid and Medicare policies of 1965. He brought change by introducing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in the year 2010 (Goodrich & Conway, 2013). The affordable care act has helped to increase the number of people who are insured to receive health care services. This way, the services have been made to be cheaply available to the impoverished community in the USA (Goodrich & Conway, 2013). At the same time, the act has led to the improvement of the services and service delivery under the health care system. Therefore, the affordable care act was enacted at a very crucial historical period, and it has brought significant changes to the health care system as a whole.
The quality of health care services in the USA before the enactment of the affordable care act was highly criticized. The criticism was due to the low quality of health care services that were expensive for the vulnerable population to access. Initially, people used to dig deep into their pockets to receive health services. There was also very minimal participation of people in the insurance services. Both of these aspects made the accessibility of health care services difficult and expensive. The Affordable Care Act brought a turnabout of all these. Ever since President Obama introduced the act, there have been over 20 million new people put under health care insurance (Saper, 2015). The increase in insurance has made the accessibility of health care services cheaper and affordable to many people. The quality of health care service has improved from this period. Therefore, it would be correct to say that the turnabout brought by the Affordable Care Act has positively impacted the delivery of cheaper health care services in the USA.
Policies Related to Affordable Care Act
The inability to access adequate healthcare is attributed to several policies, including a poor healthcare system contributed to by factors like corruption amongst officials in the health department. There is also the issue of funds allocated to better the health system in the United States of America (“The Affordable Care Act (ACA) in the Past Decade”, 2020). These challenges compromise the delivery of services by social workers under the health care system. Racism itself contributes to damaging the healthcare system in the country (Goodrich & Conway, 2013).
The corruption factor narrows down to poverty; the wealthier and more prosperous are the faster and better delivery of services. In the United States of America, the division between the rich and poor is incredibly noticeable. There is a huge gap between social classes. The rich are less affected by the high cost of accessing basic healthcare, whereas the latter have difficulties doing so. Those that are rich access quality healthcare with no difficulties whereas the poor find it difficult to access these services and if they get access to the services, they are of low quality.
Inability to access adequate healthcare is a national problem since the government is entitled to provide affordable and quality healthcare services to its citizens. However, the health systems itself is expensive (Rovner, 2019). The government’s failure to provide a national insurance policy for healthcare has denied the poor a chance to access adequate healthcare services. The insurance is meant to cover all persons who are under it anytime, anywhere. All large employers in America also have to offer group health insurance to their employees. This leaves out the large unemployed masses uncovered hence such cant access good healthcare services.
Target Group for Affordable Care Act
Poverty is the major problem attributing to the inability to access adequate healthcare services as the healthcare system is expensive in the nation. Poverty is the reason why some individuals are covered, whereas others are not. The rich can afford to cover themselves with or without insurance (Saper, 2015). The doctors and hospitals in the United States charge more than in other countries, with hospital costs increasing much faster than professional salaries (Rovner, 2019). The employed enjoy insurance provided by their employers. The big problem comes in with the majority of individuals who are unemployed and yet poor. This group remains uncovered, and hence it is difficult for such to access good healthcare services.
The expensive, unaffordable healthcare system in the United States of America is a problem that has existed in the country for an extended period. Between 1960 and 1965, health care spending increased by an average of 8.9% a year (US public considers healthcare exceptionally expensive, 2004). The rise was a result of health insurance expansion; as it covered more people, the demand for health care services increased. By 1965, households paid out of pocket for 44% of all medical services (US healthcare system – expensive and inadequate, 1999). The United States government supports this expensive health care system as it pays for programs like Medicare and Medicaid. In as much as the health care system is good, it is expensive, and the government needs to find ways to reduce the cost by paying for at least 40%-50% of the expenses spent on health by individuals using an insurance policy where only citizens qualify for the cover (US public considers healthcare exceptionally expensive, 2004).
The unaffordable health care system is suitable for medical staff as they benefit heavily from the large sums of money offered (US healthcare system – expensive and inadequate, 1999). The major problem comes in when it comes to the patients as those who cannot afford the bills are forced to extend their stay in the hospitals unwillingly to clear the bills. To balance this situation to create a win-win situation, the government needs to fund the system by paying for at most half of the charges incurred in the administration of good health care services.
- Goodrich, K., & Conway, P. (2013). Affordable care act implementation: Implications for hospital medicine. Journal of Hospital Medicine, 8(3), 159-161. https://doi.org/10.1002/jhm.2015
- Rovner, J. (2019). The complicated, political, expensive, seemingly eternal US healthcare debate explained. BMJ, l5885. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.l5885
- Saper, C. (2015). The Affordable Care Act…or Is It?. Annals of Neurology, 78(2), 155-157. https://doi.org/10.1002/ana.24467
- The Affordable Care Act (Aca) in the Past Decade. (2020). https://doi.org/10.7176/hrl/51-03
- US public considers healthcare exceptionally expensive. (2004), 462(1), 7-7. https://doi.org/10.2165/00151234-200404620-00015