Concern for health care delivery is of great importance for many Americans. This concern has driven some key reforms which were echoed in the new health care reform bill that was passed by president Obama in 2010. This paper will discuss the significant issue that led to the passage of the bill, its pros and cons and future implications.
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A major driver for the reform bill were uninsured Americans. The unfortunate but fast growing number of Americans who lack health coverage has been soaring in the recent past. This was coupled by the great recession which increased the unemployment rate and downgraded work for employed Americans such that the number of Americans lacking healthcare has reached an all time high of 50 million. While the number of Americans without any healthcare coverage grew by 4 million in 2009. Thus the concern for the ordinary American is to extend coverage through insurance mandate, make insurance more effective, reduce deficit and eliminate overpayment in Medicare advantage which prompted the leaders to act. (Lee A. 2010).
Pros and cons of the bill
The above issues led to the passage of the healthcare reform bill 2010. Although the historic healthcare reform bill was passed was a landmark piece of legislation, it has its own share of pros and cons.
- More coverage. Passage of the bill means that over 95 percent of legal US citizens will be covered, this will most likely increase the lifespan of patients without health insurance.
- A competitive insurance industry. With increased regulation, insurance companies' will stop increasing prices and embark on competition.
- Acceptance. Insurance companies are now required to accept everyone as there are no more pre-existing conditions on coverage limits.
- Cheaper drug prescriptions for seniors.
- Medicare cuts. The benefits for the elderly will change dramatically as 72 million baby boomers become eligible for the program
- Increasing costs. The bill will add another $940 billion deficit to the US economy.
- More taxes. The government has to chip in and pay for healthcare somehow. This means they will most likely tax businesses while employers will be fined $3,000 per employee if they do not provide them with medical coverage. (Drea 2010).
Implications of the bill
Although more Americans will be covered by the new law, sorting out the implications of the bill for business owners and individuals will be overwhelming although most provisions will start in 2014. Companies will be required to endure several taxes to offsets the government's increased role in health care. Individuals will also be required to maintain a health insurance or attract a $695 per year. Thus it will be expensive to maintain. (Downey J. 2010).