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Week 4 – The ACA & Public Health

Week 4 – The ACA & Public Health

What I found to be most surprising for me in President Obama’s JAMA article was the drastic change in the % of individuals without health insurance after the ACA took effect. The percentage dropped from around 14% down to 9%, which is a considerable change. This was surprising for me because I never knew the actual percentage of Americans who still lived without health insurance.

Looking at this upcoming election we have two very different candidates and two very different sets of health care policies. Although I am not entirely politically educated, I have a general understanding of what each candidate has proposed for their health care system. What worries me the most out of both plans comes from Trumps plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act. I think that his decision to repeal this is simply a decision made along party lines, and doesn’t necessarily weigh in the consequences of doing so. I do believe that there are many inherent flaws of the ACA, but I think that by repealing the ACA it would defeat many years of work. Considering our history with health care reform and all of the massive struggles we have had with it for decades, I find it unlikely that if the ACA were repealed, that a new reform would quickly follow.

Two improvements that I think would beneficial to the healthcare system would be lowering the cost of healthcare so that even the lowest earning families can afford it, and increasing the penalty in the individual mandate so that more Americans will have to have health insurance. In an ideal world, prices would need to be at a point where the difference in the penalties of not having insurance and the cost of having insurance are not so glaringly different that it makes paying the penalty seem ideal.

American Health Care after the ACA

American Health Care after the ACA

I think the main thing in Obama’s JAMA article that surprised me was how the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has had an impact in more areas than just health care costs and the number of people insured. With the ACA, more money has been put towards antifraud efforts, to make sure those that receive Medicare/Medicaid need it. In addition, the number of people that got additional illnesses in the hospital has gone down by 17% in the past four years. This has prevented roughly 87,000 deaths over the past 4 years, which is mind-boggling to me. Also, fewer Medicare patients are being readmitted to the hospital within 30 days of their discharge, going down from 19.1% to 17.8%. This meant about 565,000 fewer readmissions in the past five years.

I looked at Clinton and Trump’s health care plans side-by-side, and a few things definitely worried me. As a woman, the biggest thing is the fact that Trump wants to defund Planned Parenthood, an organization that helps millions of women receive health care. They do so much more than abortions, and he wants to shut them down. As someone who could very well need their services some day, it scares me to think that Planned Parenthood might not be there for me. In addition, Trump opposes abortion, especially late-term abortion. It’s been proven time and time again that legalizing abortions did not increase the amount of abortions women had, but decreased the amount of deaths and illnesses from getting an abortion. I adamantly believe that no one, especially not a man who has never, and will never, have to deal with a pregnancy and everything that goes along with it, has the right to tell me what I can and cannot do with my body. If abortions become illegal, or become harder to access, you can expect the number of complications due to unsafe abortions to increase.

The first thing that I think needs to be improved in the health care system is the cost of health insurance and health care. These costs have not decreased, rather just increased at a slower rate. There are still so many people without insurance, mainly because it is still so expensive. We need to find a way to make these services more affordable. The second thing that I think needs to be improved is the cost of drug prescriptions. There is little regulation on drug costs, which lead to the outrageous price hike of the life-saving epipen. Families should not have to worry about affording drugs and services that are essential to them leading a healthy and happy life

Week 4 The ACA & Public Health.

Week 4 The ACA & Public Health.

President Obama’s JAMA article was really interesting. One of the biggest things that surprised me was the amount the uninsured rate dropped, it also surprised me how large the uninsured rate was to begin with. According to the article, the uninsured rate was approximately 43%, it dropped to approximately 16% in 2010, and finally all the way down to approximately 9.1% in 2015. That’s a drop of almost 34%. That is very surprising to me. I knew the Affordable Care Act would have a large impact on the population, but I didn’t realize it was that big. I also never realized that before the Affordable Care Act 43% of our nation was uninsured. I never knew it was so common for people not to have health insurance.

This years election is very important. The candidates are obviously Donald Trump, and Hillary Clinton. They have very different plans for the direction of health care. Trump’s main plan is to repeal and replace the Affordable care act. This worries me a lot because of how much the Affordable Care Act has done for the American people. Plus his idea of just replacing it is very unlikely to happen. We’ve already seen how long it takes for something like this to pass. If we were to get rid of the one we have now who knows when the next one would come? On the other hand, Clinton’s plan involves keeping the Affordable Care Act. Her plan doesn’t worry me as much because she’s keeping what is already in place and she’s trying to expand it to make it better.

Two improvements that I believe need to be made to the health care system are, making health care plans affordable for everyone, and making health care plans accepted everywhere. We should make it possible for everyone to have health insurance, whether that means making lower costing plans, or providing help to make plans more affordable. And it shouldn’t matter what plan you have, as long as you have a plan you should be accepted everywhere.

The Affordable Healthcare Act and its Future

The Affordable Healthcare Act and its Future

Healthcare is a staple of human existence. In the United States, healthcare is a vital aspect of society which is reflected by the passage of legislation such as Deciare, Medicaid, and now the ACA. In particular, in the JAMA article written by President Obama himself, the known possible progress about the ACA and healthcare is analyzed. In particular, it is fascinating to read the though statistics as well as analysis that has been collected over these years on healthcare for American citizens. In a generic sense, the uninsured rate has declined vie nearly 43%, now down to 9.1% in 2015 (JAMA). While the specific stats can be discussed, there is no doubt that there has been an increase in the number of insured citizens. Furthermore, what sol surprises me is the “reorientation “of healthcare that is assumed by the by the article, even if 19 states have still not accepted the expansion of Medicaid. Furthermore, what also interest me is the new payment plan orientation, rather than the initial “fee-for-fee “service. The ACA, as indicated by the article, has striven to introduce alternative paying methods for healthcare. I was surprised that the system did not have that before, as federal college loans do. The JAMA article provided many different insights that were very surprising to their specifics and claims.  

Furthermore, the purpose of the ACA is to provide healthcare for US Citizens, a noble purpose. However, there is just cause to say that is implementation and passage were an unfair reflection of the United States legislative system. The Republican Presidential candidate, Donald J Trump, has already voiced his disdain for the Affordable Healthcare Act and would like to replace it with an alternate program. He would also like to fund the states with block grants in order to give them the freedom to choose the Medicaid programs that will serve them better. On the other hand, the Democratic Presidential Nominee Hillary Clinton’s position on healthcare is clear: she will defend the passage of the ACA and would like to protect its intent. I am worried about both of these candidate’s stances for different reasons. From the perspective of Trump, trying to destroy the Aca and replace it will only waste the time needed to protect American Citizens. As well, with the current political stance, it is possible that the same type of partisan politics, that was accused during the previous administration, can occur. On the democratic side, while I agree to defend and fox the ACA, continuing to support it can lead to the stalemate that has been happening as of recent. This is just my political opinion on the public health policy. On specific healthcare gridlines, it seems to be that both parties agree to lower the costs, introduce more affordable care coverage plans, and help the citizens. The specifics can be different but in a general sense, I abide by their long-term goals for the most part.

I believe that for the healthcare to be fully protective of the American society, Medicaid should be expanded to every state. Much of the uninsured part of the American demographic is the low-income Americans, people why can be covered by the Medicaid expansion. It will take some time to convince the 19 states that have not done so, but it should be essential in my opinion. On another note, another possible improvement could be the direct relationship between the insures ad their customers. Delegating it through business or other entities leads to a middle man that will change the system for its own benefit. The current high premiums and high deductibles can and should be lowered. To do so, it is necessary to remove many of the redundancies inside the system. Healthcare.gov was an opportunity to do so, yet it was not fully pragmatic. IF these two basic things are done, it can become easier to serve all American citizens the healthcare they deserve.

                                                                

The Affordable Care Act and Public Health

The Affordable Care Act and Public Health

 

After reading president Obama’s JAMA article I was surprised to read that the percentage of uninsured people in the United States dropped significantly from 16.0% in 2010 to 9.1% in 2015. More than likely, this occurred because of the individual mandate laws that came with the Affordable Care Act. Even though, these laws charge people penalties if they don’t purchase health care, I believe that the laws themselves aren’t as intrusive as they may seem. For example, people who belong to Native American tribes or people whose religion may have conflicts with the healthcare process are excluded from having to purchase healthcare. All in all, one can see the large scale change of the ACA through the statistics presented in the JAMA article.

Currently, my knowledge of politics and of the healthcare system are fairly weak, but I believe that even though Donald Trump is seen as a negative public figure, I will not let that cloud my judgment of his health care polices. Health care in general is a very complex subject but one thing that I have learned about Donald Trump’s healthcare plan is that he states that he will repeal and replace the ACA. Now I’m not against innovation but it seems to me that Mr. Trump is underestimating the complexity of the Healthcare system. The process to get to the affordable care act itself took several decades. I think that scraping the ACA would probably not be the right move. Instead, building on the ACA and working towards a more efficient heal care system would, in my opinion, be more practical for it would not simply trash an act that may not be perfect.

One improvement that I believe should be made is the expansion of Medicaid in every state to assure that low-income Americans are receiving the financial assistance to live healthy lives. Different opinions on that specific idea may exist but in general, I would prefer to know that every state gives its residents the opportunity to receive federal assistance with their health care needs. Secondly, I think that it is prudent that the United State create a program or organization to meet the health care needs for both undocumented adults and their children. This hits home for me, for I grew up knowing many people who were undocumented and as a result did not have the funds or assistance needed to get the health services they needed. This, I know, is a very political issue, however we need to think of the needs of our fellow human beings here in the US. The politics surrounding the issue of illegal immigration should not makes us ignore the pain and suffering that some undocumented families may go through as a result of not having access to some form of health care asistance.

The Affordable Care Act

The Affordable Care Act

After reading President Obama’s JAMA article one thing that resonated with me was the decrease in the percentage of workers without an annual limit on out of pocket spending after the Affordable Care Act was enacted. In my opinion just seeing a significant decrease in the course of five years showed me that there actually is an effect by the changes they are making and that they are not all negative. I did research on both candidates health care policies and for the most part they were talking about same thing such as high quality, cheaper health care but there was a significant difference with both policies. In Hillary Clinton’s policies she actually had a plan such as wanting to crack down on drug companies whose prices are too high, this showed me that she is serious about health care and is looking for the best solution. As for Donald Trump all he discussed is how his healthcare plan will be great and better and repealing Obamacare but he doesn’t necessarily have a plan, his statements are very broad and they seem like empty promises to me so I would say I’m more so worried about Donald Trump’s health care plan. Two improvements for U.S. health care would be making it more inexpensive and adjusting the individual mandate because I don’t think anyone should be forced to buy expensive health insurance if they don’t want to. I think these improvements would improve U.S. health care and people would actually want to buy it rather than feeling obligated too.

The ACA & Public Health

The ACA & Public Health

In President Obama’s JAMA article, I was particularly fascinated by all the details and statistics that he provided with regard to the progress of the Affordable Care Act and the effect that it has had on Americans. I was surprised that he himself wrote it (note author credentials – Barack Obama, JD); the extensive amount of information as well as the weight of critical thinking and analysis that many individuals, not only the President himself, have undergone to produce this report demonstrates that research has been productively dissected to explain the impact of the ACA. Without always agreeing with the President, I appreciate his goal of providing quality healthcare to all Americans as health and wellness is an important issue in our modern society.

This coming election season, I am worried about both candidates, to be honest. I understand their goals of improving the welfare of all Americans, and much of the time, the hyperpolarization in Congress or politics, for that matter, does not stem from a lack of a common goal, but rather a disconnect in the means through which a particular goal is accomplished. Secretary Clinton has made her support for the ACA and Medicaid expansion undeniably explicit; while I do agree with certain fundamental portions of the ACA, I regret to endorse the restrictions that it directly imposes on insurance industries and individual freedoms. Many pharmaceutical and insurance industries do manipulate the American populace. Our focus should not be directed in condemning these industries but rather in devising solutions to such manipulations, thinking about ways in which the American people can work together to allow private enterprises and the American public to coexist in a firm space from which to build toward a better future. Mr. Trump, on the contrary, has been an outspoken critic of the ACA. I do agree with his arguments as well regarding the overextension of government in state and private affairs; such ideas are linked to the Tenth Amendment in our Bill of Rights. It is a grave crime to leave millions of underprivileged Americans uninsured, but it is a grave crime to point fingers at parties and companies or force individuals or businesses to destroy their respective practices. In addition, consideration must be offered to the thousands of our Americans neighbors and friends who work in the healthcare industry such as nurses, physicians, public health officials, social workers, physical/occupational therapists, dentists, medical technicians, who will suffer losses in income due to the government’s underpaying of customer costs in comparison to payment of private insurance agencies. The ACA has mandated restrictions which show angelic and diabolical appearances; the job of all Americans is to work comprehensively and collaboratively to uphold charity, freedom, equity, and justice in our healthcare system.

Healthcare should be reformed to a simpler, more effective means that slashes overbearing governmental regulations and red tape and makes individual insurance accessible to every American. First, I think we should start to do away with the whole employer-based coverage and make the connection between insurers and individuals. Thus, the penalties should be eradicated for business who choose not to offer health care because they will not offer insurance – this change will protect the integrity of businesses. Next, the individual mandate should be done away with. Whoever wants to purchase insurance will contact an insurance company and determine what insurance works best for them. nevertheless, checks should be made on these companies to make sure that manipulation or inflation of insurance rates remains affordable for all Americans.

IMPROVING OUR HEALTHCARE SYSTEM

IMPROVING OUR HEALTHCARE SYSTEM

JAMA published an article written by President Barack Obama titled “United States Health Care Reform: Progress to Data and Next Steps.” In this summarized dissertation, President Obama outlines the ways in which the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has succeeded and additional progress that’s needed. What caught my attention the most from this article is the prevalence of political tensions regarding the ACA and our healthcare system. For example, Obama asserts that 19 out of 50 states, as of July 1st this year, have not agreed to broaden their Medicaid programs. Also, he releases that, although his administration succeeded in passing 19 bills in support of aspects of the ACA, it has fought over 60 bills threatening to remove the ACA. The Republican Party has been shown to oppose the ACA is numerous other ways as well. The conflicting views of our nation is a major impediment to advancement of health care in the United States.

President Obama specifically warns our nation to work to improve the ACA along with other aspects of our healthcare system. Donald Trump, supporting the Republican Party, advocates removing Obamacare and all of the progress the law has made since 2010. He attacks the aspects of our healthcare system that the ACA has failed to address, which are increasing premium costs and decreasing quality for patients during medical visits. His problem with the ACA seems to be that it hasn’t done enough, which Obama asserts that further improvements require an incremental approach. Trump simply proposes, for his health care reform, that citizens use Health-Savings Accounts, but HSAs have already been implemented. This and other inconsistencies involved with Trump’s health care reform platform is troublesome, eventually if he becomes president. I believe that Clinton has a more effective approach; she advocates Obama’s work in health care reform and proposes to further health care progress began by President Truman.

Two improvements that need to be made to the U.S health care system are expanding health care insurance to provide for people who can’t afford it, and improving the quality of care. Obama addresses the first of this issues by claiming that citizens may not be aware of the financial benefits involved with the ACA or simply need more financial assistance. The second issue is a direct product of the ACA. Because the ACA promotes more insured Americans, hospitals and clinics receive more patients. The huge increase in number of patients compared to a much slower increase in medical professionals is a problem.

 

One Giant Leap For Mankind

One Giant Leap For Mankind

The Journal of American Medical Association recently published an article with President Barack Obama as the author. In the Article, President Barack Obama discusses and reflects on his health care laws. Obama points out an interesting fact that since the Affordable Care Act the amount of non-insured people have declined by 43%, from 16.0% in 2010 to 9.1% in 2015. He also goes on to say that elderly men and women have gained access to health insurance through the expansion of Medicaid and this in turn reduced the debt by $600 to $1000. Obama states that there is still work to be done-which is true-and we should increase the competition in the marketplace and provide Medicare where there aren’t as many insurance providers to keep the costs low. Even though there is much debate on whether it was appropriate to let Obama publish his article on a medical journal, I thought it was very interesting and gave regular citizens like me a deeper look into the progress and impact of the Affordable Care Act.

Seventy years later we have seen such a huge amount of progress in Healthcare. What worries me is that if Donald Trump becomes president, he wants to take Obamacare and replace it with a Health Savings Account (HSA). What worries me with Donald Trump’s approach is that since it took us 70 years to progress in Healthcare, taking away Obamacare all together could push the country in the opposite direction. Right now we are still working on Healthcare, but if Donald Trump becomes President then we will be starting from square one. The country would have to start from the beginning and it might take another 70 years to get to where we are today. In my opinion we should keep working with Obamacare and except for repealing it all together, find solutions to the problems it has and improve it.

Two improvements that can be made in the healthcare system is first finding an easier way to access all the information on different insurance companies and finding a plan that fits best and second, find a way to keep people healthy rather than just treating them when sick. First we need to change our mind from seeing healthcare as a business, and looking at it as a basic human right that should be given to anyone. I believe that all political members need to put pride aside and find out the best plan for the good of the people and not their pockets.