The Changing Landscape of the U.S Health Care System through the ACA Essay
The healthcare system in the U.S. is arguably one of the most complex in the world. The complexity demands the implementation of policies and programs to cater to the ever-changing needs. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is an example of such a policy that was primarily enacted to cater to the uninsured to ensure they have access to affordable health care. Other key features of the policy include provision of quality and efficient health care, reduced cost of care, and consumer protection. Crowley et al. (2020) estimate that since its inception in 2010, ACA has helped over 20 million people to become newly insured and over 24 million people have gained access to free or subsidized care through Medicaid expansion and marketplace tax credits. ACA can thus be said to have achieved most of its goals.
Several initiatives have been implemented through ACA to ensure its success. One of the most prominent initiatives is the expansion of the Medicaid program. The program seeks to provide insurance cover to all adults earning less than 138% of the federal poverty level (Yabroff et al, 2020). ACA invested by coming up with the Center for Medicare and Medical Innovation, a program designed to establish ways to lower the cost of healthcare and improve quality of care. The other initiative by ACA is the increased access to prescription drugs. ACA achieved this by compelling marketplace plans to cater for at least one drug for each drug class.
Additionally, ACA stretched the 340B drug discount to be inclusive of more providers, including rural referral centers and critical access hospitals (Yabroff et al, 2020). Finally, ACA has reduced barriers and discrimination in healthcare. For instance, ACA condemned gender ratings and prevented insurers from discriminating against patients with preexisting conditions. Overall, ACA has not only helped millions of Americans have access to an insurance cover, but it has also strengthened and improved the U.S. healthcare system.
The Changing Landscape of the U.S Health Care System through the ACA Essay References
Crowley, R., Daniel, H., Cooney, T. G., & Engel, L. S. (2020). Envisioning a better US health care system for all: coverage and cost of care. Annals of Internal Medicine, 172(2_Supplement), S7-S32. https://www.acpjournals.org/doi/full/10.7326/M19-2415
Yabroff, K. R., Valdez, S., Jacobson, M., Han, X., & Fendrick, A. M. (2020). The Changing Health Insurance Coverage Landscape in the United States. American Society of Clinical Oncology Educational Book, 40, e264-e274. https://ascopubs.org/doi/full/10.1200/EDBK_279951