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The health care sector is one of the most vital industries in the United States with services such as provision of health care services and health insurance schemes (Kolata, 2009). Major reforms are required to streamline the health care sector in the United States; as a result, the alternative health care act was adopted under the President Barrack Obama administration.
Analysis and explanation of the various opposing and proposing view points on the new health care law is a difficult task. In order to assess the effectiveness of proposed new health care law, a critical analysis from the various, conflicting viewpoints is required. It can not be inferred that the new health insurance plan is unconstitutional, at the expense of the American citizens' health (Kolata, 2009). This research study attempts to investigate whether the new health care law is beneficiary to the citizens of the United States.
The overall purpose of this research study is to have a deeper understanding of the impacts of the new health care law, and the way the US citizens appreciate its effectiveness in terms of improving the health care sector in the US. More specifically, the study will examine the perceptions of key players in the health care sector, laying emphasis on a critical analysis of both the opposing and proposing stances.
This research will not focus on the entire health care sector. It will be limited to the health care insurance sector. The views of the citizens will be gathered from selected states basing on political affiliations. That is either Republican or Democrats.
Health care has been a controversial subject in the United States for a long time. Government administrations can attest to that fact through the various reforms witnessed. The Federal law is lacking adequate provisions towards the health care sector (Jill & Nolen, 2010). One of the most recent reforms in the health care sector was the Health care reform of the 2010; which was fundamentally divided into: the Patient protection Act and the Affordable care Act. The two bills were the incorporated into the Federal law and subsequently underwent amendments through the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (Reuters, 2010).
President Lyndon Johnson started the first health care plan through the enactment of the law which resulted to the Medicare (Kolata, 2009). The Federal Employment Tax Scheme paid for Medicare health provisions for hospital and the medical insurance plan for senior American citizens. The Medicare plan though, was restricted to government employees. In 1985, there were amendments to the Employee Retirement Income security Act to allow employees to continue with the health insurance plan even after retirement. During 1997, the Federal government established the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), in order to provide health insurance plan to children in families below the Federal poverty line (Kolata, 2009). Recently, President Barrack Obama enacted the Patient protection and Affordable care Act, which aims at elimination of malpractices of the health insurance companies. The driving factor behind the recent reforms was to increase the effectiveness of health care insurance plans.
The overall structure of the health care sector required key reforms due to Federal law less provisions for the health care sector. The starting point of these reforms was through the enactment of the new health care law by President Barrack Obama. One of the significant driving factors for the health care reform in the United States was the need to monitor the health care insurance industry (Brown, 2010). The new health care law aimed at extending coverage to the health care insurance mandate. In addition, it has provisions which are to be implemented in the next four years (Reuters, 2010). The provisions in the new healthcare plan include a reduction of the insurance premiums for individuals, provision of incentives for business organizations to cater for health care insurance schemes for its employees, restricting health care insurance firms from setting up annual insurance caps and providing adequate support in the field of medical research. The new health law also aims to regulate the health insurance industry through the establishment of the health insurance exchanges (Brown, 2010).
The new health law aims at providing subsidies to small-scale businesses so that they can be able to provide health care insurance plans for their workers. This will be achieved through making it easier to have access to the Medicaid plan. For the US citizens who are not under government health care plan, there will be direct subsidies for those earning a low income. This will be implemented in the proposed on-line insurance exchange plan. This is aimed at ensuring competition among the health care insurance companies (Brown, 2010). The major goal of the new health law is to improve the health of the United States through extensively increasing insurance coverage affordability. Recent studies have reported that most of the reported deaths in the United States are due to lack of health care insurance plans (Kolata, 2009).
Another important factor behind the implementation of the new health plan was to create an effective health insurance scheme. This will be through forcing the insurance companies to cater for most of the health care costs through the exclusion of annual caps (Kolata, 2009). The new health care plan also ensures that the insurance companies do not take more than 15 per cent of the insurance premiums on the basis of insurance overheads. Another driving factor for the health care reforms was the need to reduce deficits; it was projected that the budget will be reduced by approximately $ 143 Billion in duration of about ten years after its implementation. Elimination of the overpayment in terms of the Medicare advantage was also another driving factor behind the health care reforms (Brown, 2010).
Despite the high costs associated with the implementation of the new law, it is projected that after the reforms are put into effect during 2014, approximately 32 million United States will have access to medical insurance schemes. The health care law aims at benefiting the average American citizen particular through the elimination of the bad insurance practices (Jill & Nolen, 2010). The insurance exchange program which is run by the state will be used to cater for the medical needs of the US citizens living below the Federal poverty level (Jill & Nolen, 2010). Additionally, the new health law has a provision for insurance subsidies for families whose income range between 133 % and 140 % of the federal poverty level; currently, this represents the majority of the uninsured families in the United States (Reuters, 2010). Another added merit of the new healthcare bill is that families and individuals whose income falls below in threshold for income tax will have their insurance plans catered for. Generally, a significant merit of the new healthcare is that it will increase medical insurance coverage among the citizens of US (Reuters, 2010).
The constitutionality of the health care reform is a key legal challenge in its implementation. The health insurance mandate requires that everyone in the United States should purchase an insurance plans; this is unconstitutional and has no provisions under the Federal law. Many law experts in the United States view this act as an unparalleled extension of the federal power and have no justification under the authority of the congress in terms of regulation of commerce (Brown, 2010).
The new health care law is a challenge for many individuals who are running small-scale businesses. According to the new health law, employers are required to sponsor health care insurance plans for their workers, this is not financially welcoming for individuals who are running small scale businesses due to the accompanying financial burden (Reuters, 2010).
Research approaches are principally determined by the structure of the research topic or question. When carrying out a research, there are essentially two approaches; the qualitative and the quantitative approach (Holiday, 2002). Qualitative method usually entails the collection of large amounts of information through the use of few assessments units such as interviews and in some cases observation so as to infer a viable conclusion. Quantitative approach usually involves the use of many assessment units which provide little information such as questionnaires (Holiday, 2002). Since the overall purpose of the research study is to gain an in depth understanding of the perceptions of the opposing viewpoints on the new healthcare plan, the qualitative method will be applied. Therefore, the use of a semi structured interview as a primary method for data collection will be appropriate (Saks & Allsop, 2007).
The research will begin by an overview of the new health care plans, analysis of the projected impacts of the new health care plan, both at the individual level and industry level, and finally an analysis of the opposing viewpoints to the new health care law. The findings will be evaluated according to theory (Holiday, 2002). This therefore, implies an inductive approach will be used in the evaluation of the data that will be collected. An inductive approach begins with the collection of data during the research after which general conclusions and ideas are developed concerning the research.
Primary research involves the data acquisition based on first-hand information by the researcher. This will be carried out through the use of semi-structured interviews, which will be, based on a one-on-one approach with the respondent. The semi structured interviews will be based on a planned approach; which means that appointments will have to be made with the prospective respondents prior to the actual interview session.
The analysis of data will primarily use descriptive and inferential statistical methods. Descriptive statistical method will be deployed to exemplify the fundamental characteristics of data and summary of analysis on the data (Holiday, 2002). The presentation of information will use graphical methods such as graphs, tables and charts. In addition, inferential statistical approach will be used to derive at the conclusion of the research study after data analysis and evaluation.
Basing on the findings of the research study, it will be determined if the implementation of the new health care law is a justified cause. It can not be argued yet that the new health care law will benefit the citizens of the United States, until a critical analysis of both the view points is established.
The findings of this research can be used to evaluate the viability of the implementation of future health care laws. The research will also provide a framework for evaluation of other federal government projects and implementation of laws.
It will be of my view that various government bodies and nongovernmental organizations take key interest in the findings of this research and other similar research.