The Health Care Reform: What's Best for America

Topics: Health economics, Health care, Healthcare reform Pages: 6 (2296 words) Published: June 9, 2013
Marika Dominguez
U.S. History 2
The Health Care Reform: What’s Best For America

According to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, healthcare is defined as any care, service, or supply related to the mental or physical health of an individual. This includes the treatment, management and prevention of illness and the maintenance of the physical and mental wellbeing of a person with the aid of medical health professionals. This being so broadly defined, one may think that provided healthcare would be an absolute must, a necessity of life, especially for individuals living in America, the “land of the free.” However, 44 million Americans are not able to afford healthcare, the lack of which being the cause of 18,000 preventable deaths a year. The Affordable Care Act, signed into law by President Obama in March 2010, is currently being strongly supported and opposed by U.S. citizens. Which healthcare plan is right for America, whether it be ObamaCare or not, is a controversial debate regarding quality, coverage, and government involvement. Although there are many valid health care systems, because the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) offers assistance to those who cannot afford or are not provided health insurance through employee benefits, and gives tens of millions of low-income and middle-income Americans access to higher quality health care by providing discounts on state or federal run health insurance exchanges, the U.S. is on the right track to resolving the health care crisis in fully enacting the Affordable Care Act into law. Although the U.S. Constitution does not guarantee the right to health care, universal healthcare advocates argue this should be revised in order to maintain the values the nation of America was built off of. According to Thomas C. Kelly, a Roman Catholic bishop in Kentucky, “Access to basic health care is a fundamental human right, necessary for the development and maintenance of life and for the ability of human beings to realize the fullness of their dignity.” In 2004, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences called upon U.S. political leaders to provide universal health coverage for everyone by 2010. Despite this and the many supporters of universal health care, the U.S. government has still failed to provide this as a basic right to citizens. Universal health care is supported by AARP, the Alzheimer’s Association, the American Heart Association, the American Diabetes Association, and the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. These organizations and other supporters of the Affordable Care Act make the argument that “our country needs everybody to chip in on the cost of health insurance,” while opponents of this new system make the argument that “the individual mandate violates the original meaning of the constitution.” When the individual mandate is enacted, our country will have more of a whole feeling- healthy people will assist in paying the cost of the people who are ill or injured and will in turn be covered if they become ill or injured. Although many citizens argue against this, claiming that it is unfair, it is a large step up from the crisis we are currently facing with insurance. In modern times, if a patient is unable to pay for services they receive at a hospital, the hospital raises the bills of patients who are able to pay in order to maintain their balance. Insurance companies are then required to pay these bills, therefore raising their rates, decreasing the amount of Americans covered by health insurance. Not only are insured citizens required to pay more, but uninsured citizens who are able to pay can also be billed higher amounts because the healthcare companies are able to negotiate prices, unlike an individual. Those who are part of the uninsured population are less likely to see a physician, have a regular source of care, use preventive medical services or get treated for chronic conditions, all because of the...

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