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Abstract

This research looks into the Affordable Care Act of 2010 signed into law by President Obama. It is also commonly known as the healthcare reform act of 2010. This study identifies and discusses the major components that comprise the health care act. Moreover, it discusses both arguments in support of and against the law. This is an important area of research because it will be informative to the public on what the healthcare act is all about. How is it beneficial to the public in general? What is the public attitude and opinion towards the act? There have been various other researches carried out by individuals and institutions on this topic. The scholars have more or less agreed about my topic, and my paper argues for a better interpretation. In the conclusion, the study takes a look into my personal opinion on the healthcare act.

Methodology

This study has utilized the comparative case study as a methodology. It utilizes the benefits of using comparative case studies in the topic of discussion; the Affordable care act of 2010, better known as the healthcare reform act of 2010. Information dealing with the research topic is in abundance. By looking into previous researches and studies, this research ascertains various arguments put forward in favor or opposition of the healthcare act.

Research findings

The act, passed by the Obama administration into law, places emphasis on reform of the private health insurance market, improves prescription drug coverage in Medicare, offers better coverage to those with pre-existing conditions, and also extends the life of the Medicare Trust fund by twelve years (Jones, 5-10). The act has many provisions related to health that takes effect over a four year period. Primary provisions include a guaranteed community and issue rating to be implemented on a national level. This is aimed at ensuring that insurers give the same premium to all applicants of the same sex, age and location despite pre-existing conditions. Moreover, medical eligibility has been extended to all with income level of up to 133 percent. Health insurance exchange will then begin in each state, which will offer a market where small businesses and individuals can compare premiums and policies, as well as, buy insurance.

The research has found out that, those firms that employ fifty or more people, but do not offer health insurance, have to pay a shared responsibility payment if the federal government subsidizes any employee's healthcare (in addition to those who will be fined are non exempt individuals that have not secured minimum essential health insurance coverage). However, being un-insured will not be a crime, and non payment of the fine has no criminal penalty. The fine aims at encouraging people to contribute into an insurance pool, in addition to preventing individuals from purchasing insurance when they fall sick only (Peterson & Chaikind, 3).

In the 2010 healthcare act, there will be implementation of improved benefits towards Medicare prescription drug coverage, and changes that will allow a restructure of Medicare reimbursement to bundled payments. It establishes a national voluntary insurance program that support and purchases community living assistance services. Families and individuals with low income (above the medical level and up to four hundred percent of poverty level) will gain subsidies if they decide on purchasing insurance through an exchange. Moreover, small businesses can receive subsidies if they buy insurance via an exchange.

The study has also established that, there will be additional support extended towards the National Institute of Health and medical research, and an improvement to Medicaid and CHIP, as enrolment into them becoming simplified. The law also introduces minimum standards for health insurance policies as it deals away with yearly and lifetime coverage gaps. The act also requires that some of healthcare insurance benefits have essential coverage with no co-pays.

There have been a lot of debates and arguments concerning the healthcare reform act of 2010. The arguments have been split, with some in favor of the act, while the rest oppose it. The House Republican leadership, for example, has been opposing it claiming that it would lead to a loss of slightly more that half a million jobs (Farley & Angie, 2). There were other lawmakers and organizations that opposed the act. They threatened to take legal action if it ever passed (Lavoie, 5-13). They were opposed to the fining of individuals for not buying insurance, claiming that it was not within scope of Congress powers to tax. The study has identified that, about twenty eight states filed lawsuits aimed at overturning the individual part of the act. Their claims were that, all citizens had qualifying health care coverage, so the law posts huge financial restrains on the states.

Some insurance companies threatened to end the insurance of new child-only policies if the law came into effect. Another finding of the study is that, most people supported the act terming it as a good thing by the Obama administration (Blendon, & Benson, 55). However, others have opposed it for being too liberal. They were also concerned with the welfare of those who will be uninsured. On the government side, estimates by the Congressional Budget Office are that, there will be a drop of uninsured residents by thirty two million individuals. Those in this group include illegal immigrants (they are ineligible for Medicaid and insurance subsidies). There are also those who fail to enroll in Medicaid despite their being eligible in this group. Finally, those whose insurance cover costs are above eight percent of household income do not have to pay the yearly penalty.

The study has established that, there have been concerns on the rise in health costs, which will increase pressure on the federal budget in the years to come (Peterson & Chaikind, 3). Reports point to the fact that, there would be an increase in spending by about one percent over coming ten years; however, the number of Americans with healthcare coverage would increase tremendously. This is because Medicare cuts in the act are unsustainable and unrealistic. Hospitals and other institutions will enter into debt, and hence the bill has been described as affecting economic inequality. There was major support for subsidies to those who could not afford insurance. However, there was displeasure with penalties.

Conclusion

The healthcare reform act of 2010 that came into existence through the Obama presidency has been a contentious issue for a long time. This study has identified and discussed the major components of the health care act. It has looked into both arguments in support of and against the healthcare act. It is important to note that, the act places emphasis on reform of the private health insurance market, improve prescription drug coverage in Medicare, offer better coverage to those with pre-existing conditions, and also extend the life of the Medicare Trust fund by twelve years. The act has many provisions related to health that takes effect over a four year time.

In my view, I support the act because it will extend coverage of healthcare to a number of other Americans. I believe that the number of those who will lose their jobs will be very minimal. While there are positive and negative parts of the act, the advantages seem to be more than the disadvantages. The most important thing is that there is an addition to the number of those being covered by health care, despite the overall cost. I believe that the government is supposed to take care of the health of its citizens, even if it means paying more.

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