Healthcare Reform Essay

Healthcare Reform Essay

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The healthcare climate in the United States was grim. Per capita spending was amongst the highest in the world, and while more than four out of every five Americans had health insurance of some kind, spending on healthcare continued to increase and services continued to decline. Insurance companies had the ability to deny coverage when people became ill, and they limited their responsibility towards those who were insured by enforcing both annual and lifetime limits. Those who had pre-existing conditions had great difficulty getting insurance. Profit margins for insurance companies became steeper, but the health of Americans suffered.
The number of individuals who were uninsured or underinsured due to the expense of insurance was rising, and debt due to medical bills was mounting and crippling the American people. Approximately 20% of all bankruptcies were linked to medical costs, and hospitals spent well over $1 billion dollars annually on uninsured patients and uncompensated bills. (Stephens and Ludlow 98, 101)
The costs of this healthcare crisis went beyond the mere monetary. Those without health insurance were less likely to have regular physical exams and preventative care. An illness allowed to progress may become not only more expensive but also more difficult to treat. (Stephens and Ludlow 100, 101)
Society bore the burden of inadequate healthcare as well, as the uninsured spent more time out of work with lengthier illnesses or injuries they may not have been able to afford to treat. Business productivity had the potential to decrease, and the nation as a whole can be affected.
In March of 2010, President Barack Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, stating, "The United States Congress finally...


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... Bill Philips, and Terry L. Schmidt. "The Intended and Unintended Consequences of Healthcare Reform." Healthcare Financial Management 64.10 (2010): 50-55. Academic Search Premier. Web. 23 Feb. 2014.

Holguin, Jaime. "America The Unhealthy - CBS News." Breaking News Headlines: Business, Entertainment & World News - CBS News. CBS News, 26 Feb. 2013. Web. 01 Mar. 2014. .

"Physical Activity Fundamental To Preventing Disease." Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, HHS. US Department of Health and Human Services, 20 June 2012. Web. 06 Mar. 2014. .

Stephens, James H., and Gerald R. Ledlow. "Real Healthcare Reform: Focus on Primary Care Access." Hospital Topics 88.4 (2010): 98-106. Academic Search Premier. Web. 23 Feb. 2014.

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