The US healthcare system is currently undergoing what is arguably its biggest change since its enactment in 1935 with the Social Security Act. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was signed into law on March 23, 2010 by President Barack Obama in an attempt to bring cost free preventative care to all American citizens. And while this may sound like good news since it will help take care of the 54 million Americans that were uninsured in 2010 when this Act was signed (Kocher 2010) not all of these changes to the healthcare system are beneficial. Many citizens will find themselves penalized by the fees and requirements of the ACA, along with many others that will find themselves the victims of budget cuts and layoffs. Although healthcare reform is something that the US needs currently, the implications that will result from the Affordable Care Act will not benefit the country in the long run.
Before understanding why the ACA is not in the current best interest for the country, it should be explained why healthcare reform is even necessary at all in this point in time. The main reason is due to the massive amount of waste that occurs either through fraud or improper payments. The National Healthcare Anti-Fraud Agency estimates that roughly $60 billion are lost to healthcare fraud every year, which amounts to 3% of total annual health care spending for the nation. This number however is considered very conservative by many experts seeing as over $72 billion are lost through improper payments, with 50% of this money being reimbursements to providers, medical suppliers, and other Medicare vendors (Cohen 2008). In an attempt to combat the amount of mo...
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...ing? The CBO as well as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) project that the Act will increase Medicaid spending by the federal government by between $75 to $100 Billion annually (Weinstein 2010). This increase in spending will only further increase the federal budget deficit that is crippling our nation’s already fragile economy. What Medicaid needs currently is not expansion, but instead reform and that is not what the PPACA is going to do to this program.
A particular aspect of the PPACA that many actuarial specialists take issue with is section 8002 which amends the Public Health Service Act and establishes the Community Living Assistance Services and Support (a.k.a. CLASS) Program. What the CLASS program does is, provide assistance through the use of long term care services for individuals that have difficulty with daily living activities.
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