The recent healthcare system that was passed into law is the largest overhaul in the US health care system. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act aims at reducing of Americans who are not uninsured and is intended at reducing the federal costs on health care. The federal statute contains several mechanisms through which the law is supposed to be implemented including the mandates, subsidies and tax credits to both the employer and the employee as a way of reducing federal spending to health care. However, the Act came under great opposition from both political and social circles with some claiming that it was likely going to cut off the a great number of Americans from medical insurance. This paper discusses the weaknesses that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act present to both the patients, service providers and other medical stakeholders in the US.
The healthcare system that the US has been using to provide medical insurance and other services in health was legislated in more than forty years. There have been claims from within the medical circle in the county that the health care system failed behind other healthcare systems in the developed countries like Britain and Canada, whose health care system were looked up to as the beacon of good management in health care (Rodwin, 2010). President Barack Obama promised to come up with reforms in the health care that were going to change the way health care services were provided to the American people. However, when the law was passed in the house of Congress it received unprecedented opposition from both social workers in the health care and politicians in the same measure. The law was only saved by the Supreme Court which decided to uphold most of its provisions while doing away with some that were seen as too controversial. This paper discusses the weaknesses that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care present to healthcare providers and the patients.
Weaknesses to the Health Care Provider
The health care system that was repealed by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act provided healthcare providers with an opportunity to share the costs of health care by the federal funding through Medicaid and Medicare programs (Rodwin, 2010). Under these programs, the federal government provided a subsidy to the health service providers besides the requirement that the patients have the medical insurance from their employers.
Further weakness of the Statute on the side of the service providers is that the law does not provide any tort reforms in the industry. That is, the law does not define the boundary between personal injury and personal injury as a malpractice on the part of the patient (Kongstvedt, 2012). Health care providers argue that without tort reforms, the cost of malpractice insurance will keep on going up even as they have been spending thousands of dollars in cash resulting from malpractice in the insurance. Service providers view the current provisions in the Act as providing more loopholes for people to engage in malpractices in insurance. Service providers in the healthcare, like doctors, have argued that the tort situation makes it difficult for them to find insurance services thus making the health care service unwelcome environment for such practitioners to practice in the city centers.
Another weakness that health providers view in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is that it is going to kill many jobs for health practitioners. A statement from some Republican politicians has claimed that the law will lead to losing of over 650,000 jobs. As such, the law is likely to force doctors from the medical practice because they will not be able to get money to support themselves (Kongstvedt, 2012). In the same manner, they will not be able to cater for the increased number of people who will be looking for medical services in public healthcare institutions. What the new healthcare system does is simply to use divide and rule approach by the government that ensures that the negotiation for the cost of healthcare services are in tandem with the services that are provided.
The law is seen by the healthcare providers and practitioners as a much intrusion in the management of health care as it gives the government majority control in the provision of medical services. Invariably, the law requires private institutions to computerize their systems to provide efficient and efficient service. However, medical practitioners view this as extra cost of between $15000 and $20000. Health care providers have no option but to comply with the provision because it is already signed into law (Kongstvedt, 2012).
Weaknesses to Patients
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act received a wide support from the public in 2008. This was before the inclusion of the individual mandate requirement that purchase their insurance plans (Feynberg, 2011). However, the requirement does not help to safeguard more than 20 million people in the country who will remain uncovered by the proposals in the statute. Since the Statute that was signed into law cauterizes how individual should plan for their insurance programs. This is because those who are not employed or do not have a stable income will be left without any medical cover and exposing them to risks when it comes to acquiring medical services.
Similarly, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has empowered more the insurance companies and the pharmaceuticals. This is because the Act requires every person who is in position to purchase insurance regardless of whether that insurance is going to be beneficial to them or not (Kongstvedt, 2012). In addition, the patient is exposed to much more medications than is necessary, which increases the amount of money that an individual is likely going to spent on medical than before. As such, patients look at the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as a lobby from insurance companies and the pharmaceuticals who likely going to make a kill out of the patient.
Kongstvedt (2012) argues that the public is also wary about the source of the money that the federal government is proposing to spend on the medical insurance. In particular, the law proposes a cut in the social security as one way of raising money to fund the deficit in the health care plans. A number of challenges arise from this including diminishing an already under funded social security in the country. In addition, the using of funds from social security will diminish the checks of retirees whose only source of income is their social security savings. The program also allows for distant relatives of the president like the mother-in-law to access social security at the expense of the taxpayer. The public views this as a weakness because it might form precedence where the taxpayer is shouldered more burdens to carry in future in the name of federal statutes.
Another weakness in the law is that it does not provide any subsidies to people who have alternative means of healthy living other than going for regular medical checks (CCH Incorporated, 2012). Inasmuch as the country’s health care services are overburdened by the high cases of obesity among children, the government does not provide subsidies to people who have decided to incur costs in maintaining themselves fit through other alternatives like physical fitness and gym but instead requires such people to buy the same insurance with those who are not attending any physical fitness exercises.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has several strongholds that are promising to bring reforms in the US healthcare system. However, some provisions present challenges to the health care sector in the country to the point of receiving resistance from both within and without the health care sector. The implementation of this statute has a long timeline, but even so, some short term provisions in the laws must be made. The implementation of these short-term provisions will go a long way in determining how the law is finally going to influence the provision of medical services in the US in the long run. It is important that there are already attempts by opponents to repeal the law even before it is rolled out in the country.