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Policy Analysis: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act - Research Paper Example

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Policy Analysis: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Health insurance is a major health issue in the US, as the nation’s fragmented health care system depends largely on voluntary health insurance, obtained primarily through employers and government funded programs (Medicare, Medicaid, and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program) that act as medical safety net for the poor, elderly, disabled and some of those uninsured (Mills & Ranson, 2005, p…
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Policy Analysis: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
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Download file to see previous pages The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act The new health care reform law, the White House (2010) claims, will give the American people better health security as it “makes health care more affordable, holds insurers more accountable, expands coverage to all Americans and makes our health system sustainable” (par. 1). The Act is to be implemented on a staggered basis, effecting immediately the provisions on a new Patient’s Bill of Rights, which the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (2010), explains, aims to put an end on the manipulative practices of insurance companies that often compromise patients’ health, and to bring back to American consumers the control of their health coverage and care. To this effect, insurance companies are prohibited to limit the care patients can get and to impede patients from choosing and relating with their doctors. (sec. 2) Some of the Act’s features, which Perry and Krantz (2011) find most relevant to individuals and businesses are: Compulsory insurance: By 2013, everyone should be insured or be penalized; by 2014, employers with 50 employees and more should offer their eligible full-time employees at least a minimum health care insurance or be penalized; employers with less than 25 employees can reimburse from the federal government some or all of their employees’ healthcare cost. Tax deduction for medical expenses: By 2013, only medical expenses exceeding 10% of adjusted gross income shall be allowed tax deductions. Taxpayers who are more than 65 years old will still enjoy an itemized tax deductions for medical expenses exceeding 7.5% adjusted gross income until 2017, when the law comes into full force. Health insurance coverage: Effective September 24, 2010, for policy holders covering dependent children, health insurance plan years shall cover even adult children up to age 26; by 2018, preventive care and checkups must be included in all health insurance plans without copayment. HSA Funds: By 2011, a 20% increase on the penalty for nonqualified medical use of HSA funds shall be imposed; by 2013 the largest contribution an employee can make to a flexible spending account is $2,500 annually. (Perry and Krantz, 2011, p. 181) Obamacare: Public Enemy No. 1 If there is a law that has been criticized and opposed so strongly, it is the Obamacare, as it is being attacked from all fronts – in Congress by the Republicans, in the Federal Court, and in media. In fact, a search on Obamacare in the Internet would surprisingly bring you to a wide array of news, articles, and books that have nothing good to say about the Act. Yet, as Pipes (2010) says: Just like what the Act claims to fulfill, an ‘affordable, accessible, high quality care for all’ should be the common concern of everyone in reforming the US health care system (p. 23). Whether Obamacare is leading the nation to this direction is the heart of the controversy. Expectedly, the opposition says Obamacare is misleading the nation (Pipes, 2010, p. 23). Miller (2010) even described it “a shibboletlh of Marxism” (p. 31); while Boehner (2011) accused it of budget-busting and job-killing (p. 1). Among the many feared consequences of Obamacare as Miller (2010) has expressed are: There will be a ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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