Bad Medicine: A Guide to the Real Costs and Consequences of the New Health Care Law
President Obama introduced the new health care law. It is an important shift in the health sector, which brings about changes in insurance and health care. The law started out as reforms under the affordable care act in 2009. It seeks to give the Americans new privileges and benefits. It involves helping more children obtain health insurance, ending the yearly restrictions on health care and providing admission to preventive health care services. It consists of several acts categorized as the patient protection and affordable care act, and the class act. Other provisions include programs like medical homes, global payments, a new center for innovation and accountable-care organizations. Before this health care bill became a law, it passed through numerous debates. It was tremendously covered by the media. These debates developed more contention instead of shading light to the issues involved. As a result, there has been a lot of confusing regarding the impact of this law to the public and the general economy. This paper reviews the costs and consequences of the new health care law on the taxpayers, doctors, insurance companies, business and health care providers.
The law requires every American to purchase a government–designed insurance package. This was designed to allow the government to subside the insurance rates. The costs of insurance will be shifted between different groups making it more affordable. Individuals who are not able to fit into the government programs receive coverage from their employers or buy it on their own. However, having insurance is not the only requirement. The insurance has to cover numerous services. For example, maternity, mental health, hospitalization, prescription drugs, laboratory services and ambulatory services. Most insurance companies were infuriated by this idea because it brought about a re-ordering in the market. Insurance companies now bear a resemblance to public utilizes. Although they are privately owned, their operations are dictated and synchronized by Washington.
The new law introduces a national long-term program labeled the community living assistance and support act (CLASS Act). This program seeks to help the senior individuals and the disabled to pay for services such as adult day and in-home caretakers. The act is designed in a manner that makes it self-financed. All the workers are automatically enrolled but they have the privilege of opting out when they desire. To be a member, one has to contribute a monthly premium that is yet to be determined. Members are required to participate in the program for a period of five years before they can enjoy the benefits. These benefits will only be enjoyed five years after the program is implemented. For individuals aged fifty five and above who wish to participate, the law requires them to not only contribute for five years but also work for three consecutive years after the implementation of the program. Health underwriting of premium is prohibited.
The new health care law was planned to achieve three major objectives. The first objective was to offer and improve health insurance. The second objective was to reduce the cost of insurance for all people, companies and the government. Lastly, to improve the quality of health care provided. Nevertheless, these objectives are far from being met. Some insurance companies have increased the rates of insurance in anticipation to the implementation of the law. Introduction of most provisions is slow thus; most of the reforms and subsidies will not embark until 2014 or soon after. The Bright side of this law is the duration before implementation. The legislators will have time to remove undesirable polices and make major changes to make it more favorable to the American people.