Health Law and Policy

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Health Law, Regulation, and Policy have become the means of health protection and prevention for the American people. The government highly regulates these laws improving the health of the public by developing programs, resources, and tools, aiding in accessing health care. Obama Care (ACA) is one of the healthcare reforms being implemented in efforts to make health services affordable in the nation. This law aims at ensuring that consumers take charge of their health status, allowing for more cost friendly care options at the federal, state, and local level. Typically, Since America attained its independence in 1776; it has made different tremendous steps towards becoming one of the most potent nations globally. These steps can be seen through their leaders who introduce new measures and policies to ensure that the lives of Americans are improved on the economic and social sphere. By doing so, America has become one of the most attractive places on the globe where anyone around the world would love to visit or stay. One such policy is the Obama care Act also called Affordable Care Act that was adopted by President Obama in March 2010. Obama care has transformed America’s health care system by creating affordable health care and improving the quality of healthcare for every American citizen, through the provision of more rights and protection to citizens and a reduction on the expenses of health care for both government employees and ordinary citizens. The essay highlights the changes and implication of the Affordable Healthcare Act in University Behavioral Health of Denton (UBH of Denton).

Problem Statement and definition

The current health care system in America did not allow Americans from needy families to receive quality health care and insurance coverage regardless of their financial background or status. However, Obama care has transformed America’s health care system by creating affordable health care and improving the quality of healthcare for every American citizen, through the provision of more rights and protection to citizens and a reduction on the expenses of health care for both government employees and ordinary citizens. Therefore, Obama care ensures that everybody in America receives quality health care and insurance.

Historical Analysis

Before the affordable health care was adopted in the United States a lot of Americans did not have adequate health cover. According to (the Washington Post, 2014), “about one out of four Americans lacked health insurance”. The crisis was not only subjected to the low class as the middle class also suffered from the same health uncertainties. Additionally, there were variations between states of health insurance, and therefore there was a need to develop a universal system that that favour every American. However, healthcare acts before the Obama care were not useful because insurance costs in America increased as average wage in America decreased (The Washington Post, 2014)

Source:  (The Washington Post, 2014)

Social workers in America have ensured that every American citizen is mandated by the PPACA to get health insurance coverage or pay tax. This obligation is in most cases quite costly for most American citizens living below a dollar a day. However, Obama care provides cost reductions which moderate low-income earners and small ventures through imposing a tax on health care financiers and high-income earners. Obama affirms that “depending on an individual’s level of income, one is expected to have a monthly health plan, which cans either be platinum, having the highest premium rate or gold, silver and bronze” (Obama, 2016). The lowest premium rate has at least ten healthcare protection rights. Therefore, the healthcare operates under the principle that, “the higher an individual’s premium rate, the lesser the expenses and the more health care providers and doctors a person can utilise” (Obama, 2016). This new law ensures that every American citizen can afford health care regardless of their financial status. Therefore, the move is good for American citizens especially the elderly who need attention and don't have insurance or any financial assistance. 

Roles of social workers and Interest Groups

Many stakeholders occupy a position within the healthcare continuum. Providers, patients, insurance companies, and lobbyist all take part in the process of healthcare laws and health care regulations. Roles differ and include providing guidance on program implementation with efforts to maximise opportunities. Stakeholders and interest groups also provide critical research information gaps for practice and procedural implementation. Primary stakeholders are internal to the organisation, meaning their efforts affect the daily operations of medical facilities among providers and patients. Key stakeholders are directly responsible for passing regulations and laws that impact healthcare organisations. Healthcare for-profit companies such as the manufacturers of pharmaceutical drugs sell its products and are very involved and are considered a vested stakeholder. Interest groups at the national level find that consumers and employers obtain health insurance through state-sponsored programs. However, social workers have to follow ethical principles stated in the NASW codes of ethics to ensure that they show professionalism at all times.

The Obama care was highly objected to by the republican, but the democrats in congress and the bill was passed into Law. The law was approved because of its advantages that favour American citizens and other government officials. First and foremost, from a general point of view, Obama care ensures that health care service is universal in America. According to Williams, (2016) “it’s important policy that ensures that health care providers cover at least ten health care benefits and rights provide that millions of American patients who are not insured can receive low-cost health care plans or free health care in some cases”. On the other hand, the system also allows guardians to cover their children health expenses up to the age of twenty-six years, and this means more profits for insurance firms. Therefore, “the Act is there to stay as a result of the impacts that it has on the lives of every American citizen without being bias on gender, age, colour or race” (Obama, 2016). Obama's plan covers all the loopholes that are currently faced in the healthcare industry where only the elite in the community can access quality health care. 

Recipients and benefits of ACA

Obama enacted the Affordable Care Act in the year 2010, to improve the quality of care and lower health care costs, provide access to health services, and patient protection. The law was initially called the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act abbreviated as (PPACA). The ACA requires all individuals in America to acquire health insurance and health care services regardless of social, economic class. The reform has an enormous impact on the healthcare industry by improving health care access and delivery outcomes.  Millions of people, who could not afford health insurance prior, are now covered by ACA.  The ACA also extends coverage to the nation's most impoverished, women's health, and improves better care for seniors. This effort ensures treatment when necessary, and consumer protection from insurance and other healthcare companies out to make a profit. In agreeance, Golden (2015) states that ACA has different purposes focusing on patient protection, improving access to care, lowering cost, and increasing the quality of care.

Impact on UBH of Denton Policies

The ACA includes many provisions to assist in reducing health care costs throughout the healthcare system. These measures include offering tax credits to UBH of Denton as tax relief from high health care costs. Besides, the Affordable Care Act enables UBH of Denton to maintain their current plans as an option, as long as there are no significant changes in coverage. These plans are grandfathered plans giving UBH of Denton a choice to make necessary and favourable health coverage suited for the company. The ACA limits discrimination and encourages UBH of Denton to take measures in promoting equality in the delivery of healthcare. Martin (2015) also pointed out that the ACA prevents insurers from going against insurance to American citizens regardless of former existing requirements and requires insurance companies to issue similar premium to all patients based on their age and geographical location (para. 3). Employers cannot discriminate against employees, and health care providers cannot discriminate against lower class patients. The ACA also created a competitive health insurance by enabling the access of group insurance purchasing, creating comparisons, and cost-assistance regarding insurance issues which create a stable economic surrounding. Health policy affects health care providers' care delivery and patient's access to care in many different ways. Moreover, there is no question that the Affordable Care Act employs means to extend affordable, high-quality medical insurance coverage to millions of people in America. They are no comparisons or substitutes to the Affordable Care Act's framework that would significantly achieve the goal of lowering the costs of healthcare. Increasing health care coverage at a lower price requires subsidies and rules similar to ACA. The enactment of ACA has changed policy in the industry by expanding Medicaid coverage, promoting a new health insurance marketplace, and offering premium subsidies as never seen before. These new subsidies are paid for, by taxpayers, and the ACA becomes a way of raising taxes to achieve quality health care for Americans.

Legislative versus UBH of Denton Policies

Congressional laws are statutory rules meaning governmental. A statue in the sense of law is a requirement and purposeful action. Such language as "providers must" or "providers are required" leaves no room for a bill to be misinterpreted. Altogether, legislative laws are of executive action, and standard rules are of the land and its people. The ACA originated at the executive level and had since become common law after being signed in 2010 by the President of the United States. National level action regarding health care laws affect the healthcare industry and impose that health care providers and employers comply and provide care within federal guidelines. The ACA legislative rules form requirements for states and sectors such as the health organisations to follow in compliance.

UBH of Denton policies falls within the realm of accepted practices or a traditional way of conducting an organised procedural function in a regulatory environment. Institutional policies can be and are typically more restrictive than legislative laws. Statutory regulations identify requirements and UBH of Denton policies outline a particular procedural method of performing in conditions of legal bills. Legislative rules inform the healthcare industry of statue laws and institutional policy, spells out a course of action or best practice. The ACA is now part of an institutional system among organisations and even small business owners impacting the bottom line requiring employers to provide health care coverage to all employees even part-time workers.

At UBH of Denton, the only criteria used to make a patient eligible for the health care Act is American citizenship. This is because politics in health care can affect care within two schools of thought conservative or liberal. Conservative ideology operates with fewer restrictions and acts upon supply and demand. The radical method focuses on state and federal regulations. The liberal line of thinking also motions, without state or federal intervention a particular industry would fail or become lopsided. The supply and demand model has elevated the price of health care costs in America. Liberals have occupied the majority vote at the national level, and legislative actions enacted the ACA. Politics has created a polarising way of viewing access to health care in America. The political leaders were voicing their voter's concerns at the national level influenced and supported the ACA into law. The ACA now affects laws at the federal, state, and local levels changing health care in America. One aspect to mention here is the price of healthcare was the driving factor to the ACA. The political arena was the vehicle enabling the ACA to become legislative action and law.

Role of social workers, governmental and Non-governmental Agencies on ACA Policy

The purpose of social workers, government and non-governmental agencies like UBH of Denton in health care is to ensure regulation and cost of services provided to patients does not become so expensive that health care is being outsourced to other countries reducing the American gross domestic product. Also, governmental and non-governmental regulatory agencies all work toward the same goal, which is to implement and enforce laws. Roles in non-governmental organisations are different because of adequate health care for all communities; the non-governmental clinics operate without profit to provide care to the rest of the nation. The public's benefit is essential when assessing how regulatory agencies in health care can affect services provided to society. The ACA affects many non-governmental organisations due to the expansion of the private insurance industry. Expanding the national reach on delivering health care, more regulations are created under the ACA. Medicaid has grown, and eligibility for the Medicaid is available to more states after the signing of the ACA. 

Impact of ACA Policy on Resources Allocation in the Health Care Industry

A legislative policy provides guidance and information regarding how the ACA affects resources organic to the healthcare industry. Affordable health care in America was becoming limited because the demand exceeded the supply of affordable care available. Material capital whether it be clinics, hospitals or speciality care and human capital meaning nurses and doctors have become the limiting factors driving legislative policy. The ACA has affected resource allocation in many ways by allowing more patients to have access to care at any medical facilities of their choosing. The federal budget has allocated more financial capital within the healthcare industry because the ACA requires all Americans to have access to care. Also, the impact of the ACA and legislative policy has changed the business model in health care. Organizations operating in health-oriented direction and not a profit making business contributes to more care available for the masses of society but could reduce the quality of care possible. The ACA may, in fact, increase the profit of medical and insurance entities because legislative action now requires everyone to have health insurance. A primary business model is based on supply and demand. The ACA has changed legal action and now affects the amount of medical capital due to the constraints and restraints in resource allocation.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it is very evident that ACA has a significant effect on health care in expanding health care coverage to millions of people in United States. This plan also discourages discrimination against individuals without insurance and offers them different options to qualify for health insurance. A health care reform was necessary to help lower health care costs that continue to rise. Government and non-government regulatory agencies engage in a network of medical professionals promoting standardisation, access, and a safe environment for patients to receive care and better outcomes.

The new health care plan has devastating consequences on insurance firms and American citizens. The health care system highly competes with the insurance market, since its principal mandate is to ensure the provision of high-quality health care at the lowest possible cost. Furthermore, the “Obama care Act increases the cost of insurance for every American citizen since it covers the cost for sick patients” (Williams, 2015). Lastly, the penalties on the Obama care act affect those people who don’t want to purchase health insurance through their plan. It is very crucial for the government to ensure that some of these demerits of the Act are put into consideration to ensure that the rights of every American are taken into account. These demerits of the Act are crucial things that affect the society negatively, and most of the people in support of the motion fail to take consideration of their impacts. 

In addition to that, the move will increase the doctor to patient ratio in hospitals. This is because since health care will be accessible to everyone in the society, most hospitals and healthcare facilities will be congested with patients. Therefore, the government needs to come up with a contingency plan that ensures that the rise in the number of patients does not affect service delivery and quality in hospitals. Having a contingency plan increase the government's budget in health care and this leads to a reduction of the budget in basic government units like the military. The transition of the healthcare Act should also be drastic to ensure that all the hospitals are equipped to handle the expected increase in the number of patients.

References

Golden, A. (2015). Shaping policy, improving practice. The Journal for Nurse Practitioners, 11(1), 151-152. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nurpra.2014.10.021

Hill, S. C., Abdus, S., Hudson, J. L., & Selden, T. M. (2014). Adults in the income range for the affordable care act's Medicaid expansion are healthier than pre-ACA enrollees. Health Affairs, 33(4), 691-9. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1517929992?accountid=35812

Kalinic, P., & Vuletic, A. (2015). Impact of stakeholders on organisational identity - a case from Croatia. Paper presented at the 717-721. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1717432545?accountid=35812

Martin, E. J. (2015). HEALTHCARE POLICY LEGISLATION AND ADMINISTRATION: PATIENT PROTECTION AND AFFORDABLE CARE ACT OF 2010. Journal of Health and Human Services Administration, 37(4), 407-411. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1667636235?accountid=35812

NASW. (2017). Code of Ethics: English. Retrieved from https://www.socialworkers.org/About/Ethics/Code-of-Ethics/Code-of-Ethics-English

Obama, B. (2016). The United States health care reform: progress to date and next steps. Jama, 316(5), 525-532.

The impact of healthcare reform (PPACA) on the U.S. IVD industry. (2014, Jun 06). M2 Presswire Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1532965725?accountid=35812

The Washington Post. (2014, March 26). Historians take note: What America looked like before Obamacare. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/govbeat/wp/2014/03/26/historians-take-note-what-america-looked-like-before-obamacare/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.516741e881dc

Williams, J. C. (2015). Systems thinking the approach to the analysis of the patient protection and affordable care act. Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, 21(1), 6-11.

August 14, 2023
Category:

Health

Subcategory:

Politics

Subject area:

Health Insurance Policy

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