Patient Protection and Affordability Act

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) is a US federal
statute that President Barack Obama’s administration enacted in 2010.
This act is also called “Obamacare” or Affordable Care Act (ACA).
The combination of this policy, with the Health Care and Education
Reconciliation and Health Care and Education Reconciliation Acts, is the
most crucial regulatory revamp of the United States’ healthcare system
since the introduction of the Medicaid and Medicare programs in 1965.
The objective of Obamacare was to improve affordability and quality of
health insurance, through reducing uninsured rate via intensifying
private and public insurance coverage. Moreover, it aims at making
healthcare for individuals more affordable through bringing down
healthcare costs for both the government and individuals. The
policymakers designed various mechanisms to achieve this goal, including
insurance exchanges, mandates, and subsidies. Unlike in the past when
insurance companies only covered healthy people, and the premiums
(regular payments) varied depending on age, sex, and pre-existing
conditions, ACA demands that everyone should get a fixed insurance
cover. Moreover, some reforms in the policy seek to lower costs and
enhance healthcare results through directing the scheme towards
superiority over measure through amplified regulation, incentives and
competition to rationalize healthcare delivery. Researchers and think
tanks in the healthcare industry claim that patients will gain diverse
benefits from this policy. Among these provisions, include subsidizing
general healthcare expenses, people with lower incomes can purchase
insurance plans, allows parents to include their children in their
health insurance plans until they reach 26 years, it will provide tax
credits to people who cannot manage to purchase health insurance, etc.
(CCH Incorporated. & Wolters Kluwer, 2010 United States, 2010
Elmendorf, 2011). In the present essay, it will investigate whether the
intention of the Patient Protection and Affordability Act is to assure
that all patients get equal, quality, and affordable healthcare, they
deserve. Its hypothesis will also feature evaluation of the pros and
cons of the Obamacare. Healthcare cost is the independent variable in
this analysis while patients’ protection represents the dependent
variable. Similarly, affordability, quality, and equal care will
represent the moderating variables.
Literature Review
Significance of Obamacare
Since the introduction of the Obamacare, many people are skeptic on the
significance of this policy. Fortunately, the Washington Post Company
(2010) is an indispensable guide for all the Americans in order to
understand the reasons they should embrace ACA. In the “Landmark,”
The Washington Post” national reporting staff penetrates through the
bewilderment, evaluating new regulations that will probably influence
all Americans: insurers, hospitals, doctors, healthcare providers, etc.
The study is a critical analysis, of the compromises and adjustments
President Obama’s administration made, in order to accomplish a
mission that had previously eluded the effort of its predecessors for
more than seventy-five years. In this report, the authors claim that
people with health insurance will get better treatment than their
counterparts with no cover. This is because the program helps in making
healthcare cost affordable and readily available to everyone. This
invaluable guide elaborates that healthcare for the Americans will
improve because it has created new regulations protecting all the people
seeking medical treatment. The “Landmark” also claims that Americans
need this policy because it has introduced rules that will prevent
healthcare professionals from restricting preferential treatment to the
few well off individuals.
ACA influence on physicians
In the essay, Act Entitled the Patient Protection and Affordable Care
Act, the authors examine the most essential influences that ACA will
cause in the US. Information in this essay is intentionally written in a
simple language in order to help even a standard reader understand the
key concept concerning Obamacare. Researchers assert that this policy
proposes that physicians should be remunerated depending on the quality
of treatment they provide to the patients. These authors assert that
when physician’s remuneration is determined by their treatment quality
they provide, they will improve their accountability in order to qualify
to get better wages. The United States (2010) research concludes that
this policy will ensure that patients will get the quality care they
ought to have irrespective of their financial status. This research
focuses on the attitude of the doctors prior to the introduction of this
policy. It compares and contrasts how physicians are affected by this
policy. It concludes that Obamacare has designed measures that will
motivate physicians to deliver services in their respective. Doctors
with a reputation of offering quality treatment services to their
patients will get higher incomes compared to their colleagues with
pathetic rating (Medeiros, 2013). The authors of this research are
government representatives with a comprehensive understanding of the
Obamacare thus, the information presented in this essay is reliable,
timely and designed for helping the public understand the ACA policy
better. The study explains exceptions, coverage, and potential
limitations of healthcare experts.
Evidence of ACA’s eligibility
In Law, explanation, and analysis of the Patient Protection and
Affordable Care Act: Including Reconciliation Act impact study, the
authors admit that Obamacare is an extremely public financing policy
that has been on the development for more than 75 years. This study
begins explaining the insurance laws governing this policy. Then it
proceeds to evaluating the costs of implementing the recommendations.
For example, there are clear illustration figures and tables designed to
help readers understand the people who are qulfied for the programs, and
how the government is intending to compensate for the ‘donut
loophole’ that will come about as a result of offering insurance plans
to people who are up to 400% below the poverty line. CCH Incorporated
and Wolters Kluwer (2010) illustrate the deficits and their sources of
compensation using elaborate accounting graphs and tables to support the
estimates. The hypothesis of drafting the graphs and calculating the
deficit cost of ACA is identifying services associated to a medical
procedure and other provisions needed. In addition, the study evaluates
whether medical procedures can be provided at a fixed payment rate. The
study uses charts of accounts and other relevant information to explain
how the government will finally balance the deficit cost of the 32 –
50 million Americans who will become eligible for subsidized healthcare
Tax changes associated with health insurance reform
According to Medeiros (2013), some tax changes will occur in healthcare
programs, after implementation of Obamacare. In order to make the
analysis easy to understand, the author begins by reviewing people who
will be exempted from taxes at an individual level and as a business.
Other tax exceptions the author has reviewed include over-the counter
medications. Patients can claim reimbursement of the money they spend on
non-prescription drugs fro health FSA or HRA. They can claim
reimbursement of the money they spend on these drugs on the tax-free
basis from Archer Medical Savings Account or HAS. Other tax changes that
are explored in this literature include tax credits associated with
small businesses, Medical Loss Ration (MLR), net investment income tax,
and disclosure by the tax return preparers. The study concludes that
people who cannot afford to a healthcare insurance plan in spite of the
subsidies will get the tax credit. In addition, the small-scale
businesses will be granted a tax credits in order to help them recover
the 35% premium they pay for their employees (Medeiros, 2013). The study
supports the hypothesis that Obamacare is seeking to the deliberation of
the Patient Protection and Affordability Act is to assure that all
patients get equal, quality, and affordable healthcare, they deserve. It
proves this statement through illustrating how individuals benefit from
the tax credits.
Estimated financial effects of Obamacare
According to Foster (2010), Obamacare is a massive act that will create
an impact on the US economy. For the first ten years of the program, the
government will have to cater for the deficit cost of the 50 million
extra people who will need to cater for this program. This study focuses
on examining the estimated burden the government will have to shoulder
after giving tax credits and giving insurance plans to the low
income-earning individuals. The study examines cost and expenses figures
from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid’s (CMS) Office. The data
used in determining the conclusions drawn in this study is factual
estimates by the CMS Office’s Actuary department on the monetary and
coverage outcome from year 2010 up to fiscal year 2019. The costs
considered include the cost of various essential provisions of the
Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Examples of these expenses
include the extra cost for supporting the enlarged health insurance
system, the variations in Medicaid and Medicare revenues and expenses,
and the general effect on the entire national health expenditures. In
order to make this information simple to understand and interpret, the
author has used visual impressions such as accounting tables and graphs.
From his study, the author concludes that it will cost the government
approximately 940 billion to maintain this program until 2019. However,
improved health care will help to create a healthy population within a
period of one decade. This implies that the government expenses on
medical care will significantly reduce thereby, using the money that
would have alternatively been used in taking care of the sick to finance
healthcare programs. This study supports the hypothesis that ACA is
aiming to help patients get equal, quality, and affordable healthcare
scheme since the cost of government expenses on treating chronic
conditions will be significantly reduce. This money will help financing
schemes of raising a healthy population such as paying insurance deficit
for the poor.
Health insurance exchanges
Elmendorf (2011) evaluates the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO)
data on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to determine its
sustainability. The researcher also examines similar features and the
Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 connected to
Obamacare. This study offers a reliable source of information for
understanding the Obamacare impact since the CBO has investigated on the
impact of the policy in the United States, both before and after
implementation, and presented their findings in the congress. The report
mainly centers on the effect of the policy laws created towards the
American economy. The CBO asserts that both the department of Health and
Human Services (HHS) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will spend
approximately 10 billion to execute this scheme in duration of a decade.
However, the cost of maintaining the scheme will gradually decrease over
this period since the healthcare policy will help to protect people from
common chronic conditions that cost the economy billions of dollars
annually. Briefly, CBO’s report to the congress is optimistic since
the scheme will help in raising a healthy and disease-free population.
These findings are in line with the hypothesis that the Obamacare aims
at providing patients with equal, quality, and affordable healthcare
irrespective of their financial status or gender (Elmendorf, 2011).
Components of the Obamacare
Gray and Sullivan (2011), break down the components of the ACA policy.
Back in 2010, after Obama enacted ACA, several people did not understand
how it would benefit regular citizens. Because of this, some people are
unsure on the advantages of this policy. In their evaluation, these
researchers start by explaining the significance of new insurance
regulations that the policy has introduced. For example, they review
techniques that this new act has put in place in order to improve the
lifestyle of every American. The main focus of this analysis includes
comparison of healthcare quality and public health of the Americans
before and after implementation of the PACA. These researchers express
optimism with the success of this policy because it grants advantages
such as a reduction of the cost of insurance. According to the
statistics they used in evaluating this research, more than 32 million
who cannot afford health insurance presently will be able to get
subsidized policies. On the same note, families with returns that are
400% less than the poverty line benefit from tax credits (Gray &
Sullivan, 2011). The findings of these researchers support the
hypothesis that Obamacare aims at improving quality and availability of
healthcare services to its clients. In addition, their calculations fit
in the predicted timeline.
Heal care expenses
In Hofmann (2009), the author illustrates typical costs of information
and restrictions that many people experience. The author identifies the
cost of treating long-term illnesses such as cancer and tuberculosis as
among sicknesses that cripple financial ability of several families.
After reviewing the diverse treatment costs that many people often
experience, he concludes that a comprehensive healthcare program that
will make healthcare affordable for every citizen in the United States
will be crucial in order to raise a healthy generation. According to
this author, many chronic conditions that cripple the financial
stability of several people are preventable, controllable or curable
when patients get appropriate and timely healthcare measures. The
strategies proposed by this author are similar to the policies
incorporated in the Affordable Healthcare Act. The author is an
experienced healthcare officer hence, his research has authority in the
field because it outlines practical strategies that he has been using in
his medical profession (Hofmann, 2009). The data used in determining the
cost of treating diverse health diseases is based on empirical data that
he has collected from hospitals and healthcare facilities based in the
United States. The information in this book will be critical in order to
help people understand the befits offered by the Obamacare policy. The
researcher asserts that when many people are able to access quality
medicare, the governments and taxpayers burden of spending billions of
dollars will significantly reduce.
Healthcare improvement
Turner & Nguyen (2010) asserts that the cost of modern medical treatment
is only equivalent to the rising cost of petroleum products. They
identify this as the main reason why the federal government has been
spending a lot of money in the treatment and management of this
condition. These researchers examine data collected from diverse sources
and conclude that the government needs to come up with a new enactment
that will enhance transparency in the cost of healthcare services. This
research is based on the enactment of Obamacare. Their findings conclude
that the policy in its present state can attain its goal of controlling
the cost of medication in the US (Turner & Nguyen, 2010). From their
analysis, these authors endorse Obamacare as a suitable policy that will
help to keep down the cost of medical treatment.
Obamacare facts
For more than 75 years, President Obama’s predecessors were unable to
enact the ACA policy 2010. This was because there were many contentious
issues that economic and healthcare professionals were opposing.
According to Pipes (2010), the policy has several weaknesses, but it
also comes with numerous strengths that make it a must-have for the
Americans. This research takes a neutral approach, in that it tells both
the strengths and weaknesses of the Obamacare. The researcher explains
some of the essential requirements the policymakers overlooked as well
as, the new laws the government created in order to convince the
congress and senate house into enacting the Patient Protection and
Affordable Care Act (PPACA). This research debunks the misleading myths
that oppositionists have developed against the policy. The author
explains the reasoning behind the misleading analysis of the policy and
then gives the correct statistics. At the end of the evaluation, the
author concludes that Obamacare’s intention is ensuring Americans get
equal, quality, and affordable healthcare, they deserve.
In brief, the intention of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care
Act (PPACA) is to ascertain US citizens get equal, quality, and
affordable healthcare, they deserve. The new policy will cost the
federal government over 940 billion dollars to realize the policies
proposed. This money will be used in subsidizing the cost of health
insurance. On the other hand, the subsidized policy cost has enabled 32
million extra people to afford health insurance. As a result, the number
of people suffering from chronic conditions will significantly reduce.
From the economist perspective, a healthy nation is capable of
developing faster. Policymakers used this logic when developing this
law. They concur that the government will presently require investing
extra money in the health docket in order to cater for medical cover for
the poor. However, after ten years, the money the federal government
uses in managing and treatment of a chronic condition will be redirected
towards this purpose. In other words, ACA act is seeking to create a
healthy nation instead of a sick country. For the last 75 years,
Obamacare is the most significant healthcare reform implemented, after
Medicaid and Medicare. Although there is opposition concerning the
policy that it may affect the economy negatively, economists, healthcare
experts and politicians concur that the advantages of the policy
outweigh its weaknesses. Nonetheless, there is still no adequate data or
predictions how the government will ensure that the extremely poor,
citizens earning income that is under 400% the poverty line, afford
health insurance plan. Further studies and predictions are needed to
determine whether ACA can be adjusted to accommodate this neglected
Washington Post Company. (2010). Landmark: The inside story of America`s
new health-care law and what it means for us all. New York:
United States. (2010). An Act Entitled The Patient Protection and
Affordable Care Act. Washington, D.C: U.S. G.P.O.
CCH Incorporated., & Wolters Kluwer (Firm). (2010). Law, explanation and
analysis of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: Including
Reconciliation Act impact. Chicago, IL: Wolters Kluwer Law & Business.
Medeiros, W. (2013). Tax-related provisions in the Affordable Care Act.
Foster, R.S. (2010). Estimated Financial Effects of the `Patient
Protection and Affordable Care Act,` as Passed by the U. S. Senate on
December 24 2009. DIANE Publishing.
Elmendorf, D.W. (2011). CBO`s Analysis of the Major Health Care
Legislation Enacted in March 2010: Congressional Testimony. DIANE
Gray, B. J., & Sullivan, K. C. (2011). Provisions in the Patient
Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). New York: Nova Science
Publisher`s, Inc.
Hofmann, B. R. (2009). Health care costs: Causes, effects and control.
New York: Nova Science Publishers.
Turner, S. C., & Nguyen, E. S. (2010). Improving the value of health
care. New York: Nova Science Publishers.
Pipes, S. (2010). The truth about Obamacare. Washington, DC: Regnery