The Impact of ACA on Healthcare
On March 23, 2010, President Barack Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) into law. This comprehensive health care reform legislation sought to expand health care coverage to millions of Americans, control health care costs, and improve the overall quality of the health care system (Wolfe, 2016).
The Affordable Care Act has advantages such as, allowing individuals to have insurance coverage, which makes it possible for them to get preventative healthcare free. This is important because, preventative care evades the mostly unnecessary mountainous cost of healthcare in our society today. The United States is the only profit-motivated healthcare system in the world, and perhaps it is no coincidence that this country also has the most expensive healthcare of any nation. Americans spent $3.2 trillion on healthcare (almost $10,000 per person on average) in 2015, accounting for 17.8% of the country's gross domestic product (GDP) (Gary Branning, 2016).
Although not everyone can afford health insurance even with ACA, it still has a positive impact because many who can now afford insurance, can now get the necessary healthcare needed. Having healthcare coverage have been at times life changing for some Americans. People who were ill with preexisting conditions could not be turned down by insurance coverages, which was something in the past that would probably not happen. Many Americans were suffering from serious illnesses and desperately needed treatment. With ACA, they could now afford to get those treatments.
ACA in a sense bridged the gap between the wealthy and middle class in our society. On one hand you had the already wealthy members in society that can afford any healthcare coverage they wished. In the meantime, the middle class and low-income individuals had to choose between affording the basic necessities of daily living or buying health insurance coverage that probably did not even give good coverage either.
According to Healthaffairs.org, there were positive feedbacks for Americans without insurance coverage. Uninsured people gaining coverage, this change was associated with a 41-percentage-point increase in having a usual source of care, a $337 reduction in annual out-of-pocket spending, significant increases in preventive health visits and glucose testing, and a 23-percentage-point increase in “excellent” self-reported health. Among adults with chronic conditions, we found improvements in affordability of care, regular care for those conditions, medication adherence, and self-reported health (Benjamin D. Sommers, 2017).
Even though there are many negative outcomes or effects on healthcare due to the implementation of ACA, it has been proven to have many positive outcomes in the healthcare industry today as well. As with any new law or policy being implemented for the first time, one can expect that there will be certain flaws founded among the positive outcomes as well. ACA in my opinion, still needs to be revised in some areas, so that many more Americans and others living within our society can afford to have healthcare coverage. Having healthcare coverage is a right and not a privilege. It sometimes makes the difference in whether a person live or die.
Benjamin D. Sommers, B. M. (2017, June). Three-Year Impacts Of The Affordable Care Act: Improved Medical Care And Health Among Low-Income Adults. Retrieved from https://www.healthaffairs.org/doi/full/10.1377/hlthaff.2017.0293
Gary Branning, M. a. (2016, November). Healthcare Spending: Plenty of Blame to Go Around. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5394555/
Wolfe, M. S. (2016, May 31). The ACA: Impacts on Health, Access, and Employment. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6097713/