The Affordable Care Act
The Affordable Care Act, also known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, was put into law by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010. The focus of the Act is a health care law geared towards improving the health care system of the United States by broadening medical coverage to more Americans, as well as protecting the existing health insurance policy holders.
The Obama Administration, states that those people that already have health insurance will benefit from the legislation in many different ways. One particular way is that, insurance companies will no longer be able to cancel a person’s coverage if gets get sick, out-of-pocket costs will be covered for proven preventive and screening services, such as mammograms and colonoscopies. The purpose is to diagnose potential chronic and serious diseases quicker, when treatments can do the most good.
Persons with jobs but have no health coverage, as well people with pre-existing conditions, such as asthma or cancer should find it a lot easier to have reliable health care coverage as a result of this legislation put into effect. The US government states, that by 2014 far more Americans will have access to the health benefits that they need. This Act is also supposed to help small businesses make it affordable to give their employees access to health coverage and increase the number of primary care physicians, nurses, physician assistants and other health care workers. But at what cost will this new health plan take on to our economy, taxpayers, and business as of today. (Medical News Today, What Is The Affordable Care Act? What Is Obamacare?, 30 Jun 2012)
Today, The Affordable Care Act seems to be viewed in extreme terms as either a big economic boost or a huge disaster in the makings. Could there be other issues, as well? Time can only tell on this. One group that this health plan is supposed to appeal to is the Senior citizens. But no group is probably more skeptical than this group of people about this Act. Most seniors have Medicare as their current health coverage. Small slices of this Act are created to appeal to senior citizens but with Obamacare as a whole the financing over the initial 10 years is drawn off from an estimated $575 billion in projected savings to the Medicare program. Unless Medicare savings are netted and put right back into the Medicare program, if it is not put back into the program the wealth of the Medicare program will continue to deteriorate. The law does not provide for that. The Medicare program is already troubled by an unfunded liability of $38 trillion U.S. dollars.
Medicare Advantage plans currently pulls twenty-five percent of all American seniors, the enrollment will be cut in half over the next decade. Seniors will have no choice but to be more dependent on traditional Medicare than they are today and will have a lot less health care choices they can make.
The Medicare Modernization Act of 2003, Congress intentionally created a gap in Medicare drug coverage (“donut hole”) in which senior citizens would have to one-hundred percent of drug costs up to a specified amount. The Affordable Care Act will provide a two-hundred and fifty dollar rebate for senior citizens that fall into this “donut hole” and will require prescription companies to provide a fifty percent discount on all brand name scripts filled in this hole.
In 2011, The Affordable Care Act will put a fee (“tax”) on the sale of the brand name drugs in Medicare and other government health programs. It will be from $2.5 billion starting in 2011 to $4.1 billion in 2018. In the meantime, this law will freeze payments to Medicare Advantage plans and limits doctors from referring senior citizens on Medicare to specialty hospitals where other physicians have an ownership interest. Recently in 2013, the government eliminated the tax deductibility of the generous federal subsidy for...
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