Affordable Care Act (Aca) Effect On The Uninsured

1368 words - 6 pages

The ability of the affordable care act to mitigate the current pressure of the uninsured on our healthcare system is unknown. Yet, the prediction is that it will greatly reduce the effect on emergency room systems throughout the nation. This reduction will be greater in the south and southwest regions of the United States (The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, 2013 p 4). The potential is there, however the willingness of the population is yet to be seen. What does the future hold? Only the future knows.

The United States spends vast amounts on its healthcare, while falling short of achieving superiority over other developed nations. One cannot overlook that the deepening recession has left many without jobs and therefore lacking health insurance. According to Fairhall and Steadman, (2009), even though the recession is hard on all, it is worse on the uninsured due to health care and insurance cost rising faster than incomes. Nevertheless, even those with jobs are lacking in health insurance due to employers increasingly dropping their sponsored insurance. Many find that purchasing a health policy or paying for medical care out-of-pocket is cost prohibitive. “Since the recession began in December 2007, the number of unemployed Americans has increased by 3.6 million,” (Fairhall & Steadman, 2009). In 2009 it was stated that approximately 46 million Americans were uninsured, however not all of that number is due to the inability to afford coverage. According to a 2009 story written by Christopher Weaver of Kaiser Health News 43% of that number should be classified as “voluntarily” uninsured. This subset of uninsured Americans consist of nearly half being young and healthy therefore less likely to seek medical treatment or health insurance coverage. The other 9.9 million would rather take a calculated risk of non-coverage than to be burdened with the monthly cost of premiums. A January 2014 article written by Sarah Hurtubise explains that even as the penalty for non–coverage under the affordable care act increases during the coming years many will still benefit monetarily from remaining uninsured as the cost of coverage rises.

Approximately 25% of those that are uninsured above the age of 18 go without much-needed medical care as a result of the price tag. This delay in healthcare on the part of the patient tremendously contributes to the vastly growing cost of health. Researchers state that it is extremely important for the uninsured to receive the needed care as they are generally not as healthy as those that have private insurance coverage. A fundamental investigation into the Medicaid program in Oregon found that the uninsured were less inclined to seek care than those recently enrolled in Medicaid. Follow-up research discovered recently enrolled Medicaid participants were considerably less likely to defer care due to cost than those lacking coverage (The Henry J Kaiser family foundation, 2013, p.5). This suggests that...

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