Health Care Utilization
October 30, 2012
Health Care Utilization
The Affordable Care Act was signed into law March 23, 2010 by President Barack Obama; however, the constitutionality of the law remained in question. In a controversial 5-to-4 ruling, The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the law on June 28, 2012. The ACA is thought by some as the United States health care rescue, and as its downfall by others.
It is estimated that the ACA will provide new services to 64 million Americans, providing health care coverage to 32 million previously uninsured. In addition to providing new health insurance coverage, the ACA implemented several components that can expand access to health care. One policy change will allow single adults, who are in school to remain on their parents’ insurance until they are 26. Another policy prevents denying children health insurance due to pre-existing conditions, this same protection will be provided to adults beginning in 2014. Rural communities are now expected to have greater access to health care as a result of increased payments for physicians willing to relocate. Additionally, the National Health Service Corps expanded to provide more health care providers to underserved areas. Community health centers are also expanding to provide care to those with little or no income. As an incentive the government is also offering tax credits to small business owners in order to make health coverage more affordable for their employees. One aspect of the ACA covers preventative care services without out-of pocket expenses through co-payment, co-insurance, or deductibles. The aim is to decrease health care cost through prevention, early treatment, and detection. Examples include mammograms, colonoscopies, cervical cancer screening, HIV testing, well woman visits, obesity screening and counseling, and immunizations (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2010). If the American public has... [continues]
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