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Affordable Care Act - Essay Example

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Summary
Attempts to restructure the health care system to necessitate accessibility and affordability of health care services through enactment of all inclusive policies in the United States date back to the early 20th century…
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Affordable Care Act

Download file to see previous pages... The Medicare and Medicaid programs were enacted under, president Johnsons administration, in 1965. Medicare provides health care services for people above the age of 65 years, those with disabilities and those suffering from terminal illness2. On the other hand, Medicaid is funded by the state government to necessitate the provision of medical services to low income earners. In the history of the United States, efforts to implement universal health care policy have been stalled by both political factors from 1912 until the achievement of an Affordable Security Act that is aimed at providing affordable care to low income earners. Medicare and Medicaid programs have their roots in medical programs introduced in Germany and Britain in 1883 and 1911 respectively3. In 1916, the American Association of Labor Legislation organized a movement in an effort to enact a compulsory health insurance policy for all workers. The objective of the program was to cover for medical bills for sick workers as well as take care of cash compensations4. Upon the defeat of Theodore Roosevelt who was in support of the health card reforms in 1912, the decentralized government and American Medical Association opposition pushed the rejection of the bill5. The bill was defeated in different states under the argument it had costly social consequences and that Americans had efficient medical cover from their own savings and private insurers. Following several publications on the high cost of health care between the 1920s and 1930, and seeing the need for a national insurance program, president Franklin Roosevelt incorporated a national health program in the Social Security law in 1935. The program was developed during the period of great depression because poverty levels among the citizens was more than 50%. The aim of the Act was to alleviate the difficulties faced by Americans namely: old age, unemployment, poverty and orphans6. President Harry Truman endorsed the enactment of a National Health Care program in 1946. However, the issue was discussed and failed because of opposition from private insurance companies and a strong opposition by the congress. In 1951, most people in the United States were enrolled in the private insurance companies and used the coverage for their health care needs7. To garner support for the federal health care bill, its policies were addressed to meet the needs of the elderly because they were the high risk population and in some way were derailing the profitability of the private sector8. The private insurers felt that insuring the elderly population was not as profitable as insuring the young generation. Moreover, the elderly felt that the government proposition was much better and beneficial to them. However, there were strong opposition from private insurers and the post war climate was not good enough to support social reforms in the country. The Kerr-Mills bill was adopted and enacted in different states in 1960 to enable the government to channel funds towards helping the elderly who were considered needy according to the state evaluations. However, the bill could not cater to all the health care needs of the elderly and as a result president Kennedy initiated the creation of the Medicare bill. The bill was meant to cover for the health care costs of the elderly but because of a lack of support by the congress and economic recession, enactment of the bill was postponed9. In 1964, president Johnson prioritized the need for health care reforms and following the increase in medical expenses and economic recession, the bill received overwhelming support from the public10. Congress came up with three options to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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