Political parties are bickering in Washington about Healthcare coverage. The question they ask is to either reform the ACA or replace the policy. I remember a time when everyone that worked for a prominent company, big business and small business, the biggest perk offered to the employees was the health insurance. Back then it was reasonably price and the coverage was more than adequate.
What happened to our employee perk?
ACA happened. Let me tell you the why behind the insurance premium price increases that I learned from my recent research project.
If a politician were to ask me what I wanted I would have to say, let the corporations give back their employee perks especially now that unemployment is reaching an all-time low. I’m talking about Cadillac Insurance for those who are employed like the good ol’ days.
But that is only my opinion.
Here is what I learned when I researched the why Healthcare costs have gotten out of hand.
Forced Healthcare can be an Accepted Policy
Franklin Pierce University
[This paper was prepared for Microeconomics ET102, term IV, taught by Bill Crowley.]
Forced Health Care or Reformed Health Care. To learn the Financial benefits of Affordable Care Act versus Health Care Reform. To determine the efficiencies and inefficiencies of any Health Care Policy in regards to the public and the government. Is health care still affordable under the current plan for the citizens of the United States? Healthcare faired in the free market even though some individuals lost their health insurance policies when facing serious health issues such as Cancer outbreaks. Cancer patients get to keep their policies, but healthy individuals who don’t feel they need healthcare find that it is becoming unaffordable due to the high deductibles to be met before healthcare costs are covered by their plans that may involve other factors not taken into consideration by the public.
Keywords: Obama Care, Affordable Care Act, repeal healthcare, high deductibles
Since the Affordable Care Act, healthy individuals must pay more money for healthcare benefits when they become sick with either the flu or a bad cold. Many health insurance premiums have high deductibles that a healthy individual will never be able to meet from a range of $3,000 deductible to a $6,000 deductible. If a healthy person visits their doctor only once a year, they will need to pay for the physician visit from their pocket before a co-payments are applied. This type of policy is appearing to be unfair to the healthy individual compared to the person who visits the doctor once a month. The Affordable Care Act was created to bring about more stable costs in healthcare and insurance premiums by pooling healthy individuals with those who need constant medical care. A pending Cadillac tax on high-cost health plans is behind the decrease in employers providing health insurance plans with full coverage.
Health reform is a controversial issue
American’s want four fundamental things from healthcare. They want quality healthcare with the freedom of choice to see who they want when they want and where they want. Healthcare needs to be affordable, and every fellow citizen should share the costs across the board. Not all hospitals participated in the ACA when the policy took place and limited where patients could seek care which is slowly changing as more facilities and healthcare providers come on board to meet the ACA requirements. (Jeanne Merkle Sorrell, 2012)
A difference in Priorities among Americans in regards to health care
Every American individual has their priorities when it comes to health care. Some are seeking quality health care regardless of the cost other are living with a lower income and must find an affordable plan. Some Americans like to have the freedom of choice to choose which doctor they wish to see and where to seek medical care. (Jeanne Merkle Sorrell, 2012)
Affordable Health Care Substantially Impacts the Health Care Industry. 12 percent of the population are seniors, but by 2050 the senior population will have increased to 21 percent. The increase in the aging population with chronic disease will add additional stress to the health care workforce. Another problem is the ratio of specialists to primary care physicians. Only one-third of the physicians are primary care physicians due to the increased costs associated with student loan debt. Shortages are also found in dental, mental health, pharmacy and allied health and have added strain to the health care workforce. (Amy Anderson, 2017)
Wage growth is expected to impact the cost of health care. The greatest increase will be in the physician and registered nurse fields due to the length of training or supply bottlenecks. An increase in the population with health care insurance will increase the demand for services including wellness check-ups. Additionally, the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) guarantees all individuals must be treated in emergency rooms regardless of whether they have health insurance. Having a health insurance card does not guarantee access to medical care because of high deductibles or having trouble finding a physician who will accept Medicaid patients. (Parente, Feldman, Spetz, Dowd, & Baggett, 2017)
Three significant changes took place in 2014. Expanded Medicaid and Statewide insurance marketplaces offering subsidies for low-income residents and the guarantee that insurance is provided regardless of existing health conditions. (Parente, Feldman, Spetz, Dowd, & Baggett, 2017)
The expansion of Medicaid was designed to deliver coverage for additional low-income residents and to reduce the burden hospitals felt from providing free or cost reduction. Evidence found that by expanding insurance to cover more low-income individuals reduced the provision of hospitals footing the bill for uncompensated care. However, hospitals in non-expanded states are more likely to experience shortfalls when covering the costs involving uncompensated care because they will not have the same increase in the Medicaid revenue nor the decrease in demand for uncompensated care. (Camilleri, 2016)
The creation of State-based insurance marketplaces that provides subsidies for low-income residents. Health Insurance Marketplaces, also called health exchanges are to facilitate the purchase of health insurance in each state by the Affordable Care Act policy. The Marketplace exchange opened the door for individuals who do not qualify for Medicaid but are considered to have incomes between 100 to 138 percent of the Federal Poverty Level to purchase affordable private health insurance plans however the rates were found to be much higher before the expansion of Medicaid by many states. Since the Medicaid expansion, the rates of the Marketplaces are dropping. (Jost, 2016)
Lack of Medical Professionals appears to be the biggest problem behind the price increases in Health Insurance Premiums. By implementing an education policy to attract more student to enter the health care industry and to keep them living in the state of their studies. Free tuition considered with a contract involving area hospitals to provide employment and additional training as necessary.
High School students are finding job searches after graduating a difficult task. Most low-skill job opportunities are filled by older workers. Recruitment at area high schools to enter the medical field with the promise of continuing their education and becoming a medical professional. Early recruitment would open the door for employment and help students to decide a career path early in their training years.
By providing additional medical professionals such as doctors, nurses, and lab technicians. The pool of professionals would increase lowering the demand for health care workers. With more working professionals medical cost would drop in the form of wages, allowing healthcare insurance premiums to respond to lower costs.
Lower Health Insurance Premiums would lower the resistance of residents to purchase health insurance taking away the feeling of being forced to buy any health insurance that does not meet the buyer’s needs.
Amy Anderson, D. R. (2017). The Impact of the Affordable Care Act on the Health Care Workforce. Healthcare Reform. Retrieved April 16, 2017, from http://www.heritage.org/health-care-reform/report/the-impact-the-affordable-care-act-the-health-care-workforce
Camilleri, S. (2016, April 21). Study Highlights Impact of ACA Medicaid Expansion on Uncompensated Care. Humanities and Social Sciences News. (N. Dunn, Interviewer) Raleigh, NC: NC State University. Retrieved May 7, 2017, from https://news.chass.ncsu.edu
Jeanne Merkle Sorrell, P. R. (2012, November 9). Ethics: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: Ethical Perspectives in 21st Century Health Care. The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 18(1). doi:10.3912/OJIN.Vol18No02EthCol01
Jost, T. (2016, August 26). ASPE: Medicaid Expansion Lowers Marketplace Premiums. (Project Hope) Retrieved May 7, 2017, from Health Affairs Blog: http://healthaffairs.org
Parente, S. T., & Feldman, R. (2013). Microsimulation of Private Health Insurance and Medicaid Take-Up Following the U.S. Supreme Court Decision Upholding the Affordable Care Act. Health Services Research, 48(n2pt2), 826-849. doi:10.1111/1475-6773.12036
Parente, S. T., Feldman, R., Spetz, J., Dowd, B., & Baggett, E. E. (2017). Wage Growth for the Health Care Workforce: Projecting the Affordable Care Act Impact. Health Services Research, 52:2, 741-762. doi:10.1111/1475-6773.12497