A Comprehensive Healthcare Reform
For years, many individuals in this country went without healthcare coverage for a variety of reasons. On March 23, 2010, President Obama signed into law the Affordable Care Act that will provide all Americans the opportunity to obtain health insurance benefits at an affordable cost. The Affordable Care Act made many changes to the way that healthcare coverage will be offered to all Americans. As part of the Act, individuals who did not carry healthcare coverage would be required to obtain that coverage by January 1, 2014. The Act also reformed eligibility requirements for Medicaid, making it available to more individuals who were previously not eligible. Simultaneously, Medicare costs were lowered for certain benefits or began to be covered in entirety. Another section of the Act allowed small businesses the ability to receive tax credits for assisting their employees with covering health insurance premiums. According to Sara Collins (2013), “People who are uninsured receive on average only half of the health care that people who are insured all year do”. This comprehensive healthcare reform is focused on providing affordable healthcare coverage benefits to all Americans, expanding the benefits for Medicaid and Medicare, and offering tax credits to small businesses.
Providing Affordable Health Insurance
First, the most significant change offered through this healthcare reform was the ability to offer Americans a chance to find and secure healthcare coverage through Marketplace beginning on October 1, 2013. Subsequently, individuals could seek this coverage in a variety of ways contingent upon their annual gross income. They could choose coverage through Marketplace an...
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...ic group to now have healthcare coverage. Likewise, Medicare recipients also received enhanced services after the enactment. Preventative care services and reduced medication costs are now covered. Small businesses also began receiving tax credits for providing their employees with help in covering their healthcare premiums. On the other hand, individuals who elected to not participate in coverage options offered under the Affordable Care Act will be penalized on their individual federal tax returns. Government funding at both the federal and state levels were required to fund this expansion. While there is still plenty of controversy over this plan, many individuals have benefited from the program. It will be interesting to see what the future holds as times change and how many alterations may be required to program to meet the growing needs of this country.
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