U.S. Insurance System Essay

2447 words - 10 pages

The healthcare system of the United States is in the advance stages of a total transformation. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) is scheduled to be implemented completely by 2019 and with it there will be modifications to the structure of the healthcare system. There are many opinions on how this act will affect citizens of the United States as well as the country’s economy as a whole. Both supporters and opponents of the PPACA believe that adjustments to the current system are a must. Opponents of this act are not unified if how the system must be reformed, and have expressed several different strategies of how to solve the healthcare crisis. It is important to weigh all of the potential tactics when forming a stance on the issue.
It is apparent that a restructuring of the healthcare system is crucial but whether the PPACA is the answer remains to be seen. The astronomical portions of GDP spent on healthcare have stunted the growth of the economy. The U.S. spends “nearly 18 percent of its GDP on health care-more than any other developed country” (Holmes). The proportion of income being consumed by the medical industry has increased for decades and will continue to do so without healthcare reform. In fact spending “has grown 2 to 2.5 percentage points faster than the economy in real terms per capita” (Wilensky). This growth can be attributed largely to the current employer-sponsored insurance. It is believed that since insurance premiums are excluded from the employee’s taxable income, individuals tend to over consume healthcare. It is apparent that the current system without some sort of regulation is not effective. Whether the Affordable Care Act is the answer remains to be seen. Without further inquiries into the potential effects of the act it is difficult to determine the best solution.
The PPACA presents several crucial changes that will become effective in the near future. The first important change will be the increased number of people who will be receiving medical insurance. National healthcare coverage will “expand coverage to some or all of the 16 percent of the population that is currently without health insurance” (Wilensky). It will do this by imposing a fine of “2.5 percent of household income” on anyone who does not obtain insurance either individually or through his or her employer (Hoff). As a result of this fine, almost all of the 16 percent of uninsured Americans are expected to ascertain health insurance. While this is the goal of the Affordable Care Act, it is unrealistic to expect our current number of hospitals to support the larger pool of patients. If hospitals are expected to accommodate more patients then the quality of treatment will significantly decline due to doctors and nurses being spread too thin.
An unwanted effect of the PPACA is the rise of insurance premiums that is expected in the initial years following its implementation. The National Health Expenditures Survey expects “that...

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