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Topics: Health insurance, Health economics, Health care Pages: 8 (1641 words) Published: January 14, 2015


The Impact of the Affordable Care Act

Tiffany E. Snowden

Walden University

NURS 5050/6050 Section 06, Policy and Advocacy for Improving Population Health

January 4, 2015

The Impact of the Affordable Care Act
“Three important concepts that form the framework for health policy discussions are quality/safety of care, access to care and the cost of care” (Milstead, 2013). In March of 2010 the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed. The focus of this paper is to explain the ethical, financial, and quality of care aspects surrounding the ACA. Impacts of the Affordable Care Act on the Affected Population The many aspects of the ACA are intended to expand insurance coverage to uninsured Americans highlighting prevention and wellness while reducing the continuously rising health care costs (The Affordable Care Act: A Brief Summary, 2011). With a steadily evolving population, steadily changing healthcare is inevitable. Consequently, in 2009 50.7 million Americans were uninsured, accounting for 16.7% of the total U.S. population (Kovner & Knickman, 2011). The ACA is expected to increase the number of those with insurance coverage. It is projected that 30 to 34 million will gain insurance coverage as a result of the act being implemented (Anderson, 2014).

The ACA is making strides in ensuring that all Americans are provided the ability to obtain health insurance. The ACA has implemented a requirement that allows individuals to apply for Medicaid in multiple ways including: online, by phone, by mail and in-person (The Uninsured, 2014). As a result of the act, Medicaid will be expanded. As of January 1, 2014, Americans with an income of less than 133% of the poverty level were eligible to enroll in Medicaid (Key Features of the Affordable Care Act By Year). For those that earn between 133% and 400%, a grant will be given to enable the attainment of a healthcare insurance policy (Kovner & Knickman, 2011). In the end, eligibility levels in 18 states will be increased for parents and in 23 states for childless adults (Medicaid Eligibility, 2013). Economic Impact of Providing Care to Patients

“The new law does not change the overall structure of the health care financing system; Instead, it builds on the existing system” (Kovner & Knickman, 2011). There are many economic benefits from the Affordable Care Act being put into place. Allowing families to obtain health insurance at affordable rates increases their access to health care. “As of January 1, more than 2 million people had selected a plan in the health insurance marketplace, and nearly 80 percent of those people will – thanks to the ACA – benefit from tax credits to help pay their premiums” (Furman, 2014). Along with those that have selected an insurance plan in the marketplace, many more will have the ability to afford health insurance from Medicaid. “The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has estimated that over fiscal years 2013 through 2022, the ACA will reduce the deficit by $109 billion” (Furman, 2014). With this lowering of the deficit, our nation’s income will be increased as well as living standards. Financial burdens from healthcare services seem to be inevitable. Whether it is the government, employers or individuals paying the costs, the financial aspect of healthcare seems to be on a steady rise. “The (health reform) legislation has no immediate effect on the underlying structural factors that drive health care costs” (Kovner & Knickman, 2011). With the Affordable Care Act in place there has to be an implementation to cover the economic aspect of the act. “Key provisions of the ACA that intend to address rising health costs include providing more oversight of health insurance premiums and practices; emphasizing prevention, primary care and effective treatments; reducing health care fraud and abuse; reducing uncompensated care to prevent a shift onto insurance premium costs;...

References: Milstead, J. A. (2013). Health Policy & Politics: a Nurses Guide (4th Ed.). Burlington: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Anderson, A
Kovner, A. R., & Knickman, J. R. (2011). Health Care Deliver in the United States (10th Ed.). New York: Springer Publishing Company.
The Affordable Care Act: A Brief Summary. (2011, March 1). Retrieved December 28, 2014, from http://www.ncsl.org/portals/1/documents/health/hraca.pdf
Key Features of the Affordable Care Act By Year
“Medicaid Eligibility for Adults as of January 1, 2014.” 2013. Kaiser Family Foundation. Available at: http://www.kff.org/medicaid/fact-sheet/medicaid-eligibility-for-adults-as- of-january-1-2014/
Sebelius, K
Doctor Choice & Emergency Room Access. (n.d.). Retrieved December 31, 2014, from http://www.healthcare.gov/health-care-law-protections/doctor-choice-emergency- room-access/
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