This paper seeks to discuss the constitutionality of the new health care law in the United States of America, the Affordable Healthcare Act. The paper will discuss on the diverse understanding and conception of the new law among the common citizenry in America, business class as well as the health care service providers.
Health care to any person is a sensitive topic attracts attention of any government that is willing to have its citizens remain healthy and productive. It is a constitutional requirement for the government provides affordable health care to its citizens. This is what the United States government has moved to enable through The Affordable Health Care Act. This Act’s principle focus is to ensure more Americans are able to access affordable health care. The bill provided for improved quality of health care, affordable attention to all Americans, especially those of low economy in the country. Improved and affordable health care extending to all guarantees access to health care to the young and the seniors as well as those with pre-existing conditions (Siegel, N.S. 2012).
Though the numbers of the citizens who have enrolled in the health care programs after the enactment of The Affordable Health care is not as high as expected, the percentages of the individuals enrolled in the health care services. This may be attributed to the convenience attached the programs that does not discriminate against age or conditions at the time of enrollment.
However the rising numbers of the individuals enrolling in the program have come with the various challenges, some of which are detrimental to people’s welfare. Due to the poorly planned change of medical care, a great number of Americans have been forced to abandon their previous health insurance services from the companies were not abiding to all the provisions of the new standards set by the new rules. The period between changes of health care insurance cover to the new program was not provided for by the government, including the value forgone, which is not compensable by the government. The new rules have created panic among upcoming health insurance providers who were not attaining the standards provided in the new law due to loss of clientele. As a result, unemployment has been experienced to many and to the unmanageable employee retention capabilities of the affected companies (Siegel, N.S. 2012).
The Act provides for access to the service by young adults who may not be able to afford to pay the premiums themselves by accessing the cover through their parents or guardians’ plan. Young adults below the age of 26 are eligible to the affordable health care even if they cannot be able to raise their own premiums. This has guaranteed affordable and quality health care to millions of unemployed young adults.
The policy was created to reach more people and enable them access health care. The move was right and targeted the greater portion of America’s population through the service to the young adults. However the statistics show that older people get sick and need the insurance cover much more than younger people and therefore the policy only theoretically reaches more people through the youth, but more so fail to identify the bigger population that is vulnerable to ailments (Bateman C. 2013).
Through this plan, more people who appreciate the new law will end up dropping their current health service providers who are not cost friendly for the new affordable and quality plan. This will cause a confusion to the health service providers who may be facing abrupt changes which will affect scores of people who seek their services, thus ailing their businesses.
The law leaves the State and the federal government to raise funds to be able to finance the plan. This translates to increased revenue collected by the state and the federal government, which means taxes will be and continue to be increased in order to maintain the health plan (Parks D. 2012).
The law has as well provided for the Children health insurance plan, which has seen the number of the children reached go up to nine million children. The Act has given assurance to the mothers of quality and affordable health insurance services for their children. Reaching up to over nine million children means more funding requirements for the program to run smoothly. This has called for increased taxation on Americans to sustain the program. This is because financing has to be done by the federal government and the state (Siegel, N.S. 2012).
The services come with lowered costs as compared to the pre-existing form of health insurance service provision. At the low cost of accessing health care insurance, more Americans find themselves in a situation where they have irrelevant or no reason for lack of health care insurance cover. One of the core elements of the Affordable health care act is that the people have more say in the access and quality of service. This is contrary to the former system where a few health insurance companies controlled the business making the citizens vulnerable to the efficiency of the company administrations which affected the quality and cost of service.
The cost to service seekers is properly considered for the fact that insurance companies will not be able to arbitrarily increase the cost of premiums. This puts the contributors of the premiums, be it the employers, employees or the unemployed in a state where they are able to plan for their money over longer periods of time. The welfare of the contributors is also protected by the law in that the insurers are supposed to ensure that the expenses are primarily and sorely on providing health care and not other non-related costs or even administrative costs.
Low cost associated with access to proper, affordable and quality healthcare has come by courtesy of un-intentional sacrifice of Americans to fund and maintain the program. Funding by the government only means more funds demanded from the public, which is only possible through raised taxation.
Low cost is also arguably determined as unrealistic as the initial costs for the program to come to life and run is not clearly portrayed. The program faced great challenges in the internet communication platform that is supposed to be easy and user-friendly for all. Setting up of the platform is another high costing endeavor that the government had to go through, with the taxpayers’ money to see it work.
Initial costs may be high and seem unrealistic to run the program, but the analysts show that the government will not only be able to see it budgets deficit covered, but also a lot of savings on insurance health care of the state and the federal governments with time.
The Act has put to an end lifetime and annual limits. This comes much cost effectively extending full benefits to the enjoyment of the insurance policy. This is much better as related to the earlier plans in which there were annual dollar limits allowed for the insured. The plan demanded the excess of limits paid in cash, which limited the insured from the accessing the insurance services. The plans entail the patient’s right to maintain the health provider at more lowered costs. The idea of covering patients with pre-existing conditions and normal costs is a new thing that has seen many Americans embrace the laws (In Hall, M. A, & In Allhoff, F. 2014).Old people can now comfortably enroll for the programs and enjoy the health insurance services without being exorbitantly charged or even being denied the services due to their age. This has clearly portrayed the intended purpose of the law, which is to reach out the all, and especially the low to middle income Americans as well as the old. Due to the affordability of the premiums, it has translated to increased number of would be marginalized group being able to enjoy the services of the program. The plan has managed to reduce the biased quality of service among different health providers based on their ability to pay for the most qualified consultants, leading to the high cost of acquiring highly qualified health consultants, which often leads to a deficiency of consultants in other facilities due to their low cost and inability to pay the best consultants.
The affordable health care plan has many positives, but has failed to protect the plight of businesses behind healthcare services. The health service providers are forced to deliver health services within the limits of the available resources, thus limiting their competitive advantage which often leads to improved quality of services with competitive costs.
This has as well come with the challenge of increased need for more funding, by the federal government and the state. Sources of revenue such as taxes have to be enhanced to manage the services and also to maintain them (In Hall, M. A, & In Allhoff, F. 2014).The law has provided that for businesses with up to 50 employees on a full time engagement must be provided for the cover by the business. This has made the access to the insurance cover to many more employees. Employer are now able to afford quality and affordable health insurance services for their employees. The law has seen the insurance premiums paid by employers go down significantly with no compromise on quality of health service or even reducing the number of employees.
This is the bigger picture of the plan, however, other employers see the new law being inefficient, costly and failing with lack of clarity on the very fundamental issues when it comes to health care services and therefore seeking more satisfying alternatives. This state of the situation is making many employers to maintain their existing health insurance schemes, even if costly to them and their employees, basing on the fact that they understand the schemes they have been used and are not ready to shift to a new model that is not well known to the would be beneficiary, or even the service providers to whom the plan has been imposed through the law.
The obvious uncertainties have led to unplanned costly programs by many employers who are opting to provide their employees with education on how to lower health risks or exposure to activities or situations that would warrant them seeking health services. (In Hall, M. A, & In Allhoff, F. 2014).Conclusions
The health care is a new beginning for Americans in the health laws and sector. The law will be able to guarantee the intended subject with coverage that provides them with unbiased provision of services, whether they have pre-existing condition or not, with no health plans to limit or even plans that limit children’s benefits. The law has provided the young generation with an assurance of health care plan that was never thought of to cover in such a manner that even poor young people could afford. This will see parents who have young adults under their care access affordable and quality health care.
The plan will see an end to insurance coverage withdraws by insurance companies on the basis of honest mistakes. This will assure continued enjoyment of services. The plan has as well come with the right to reconsideration for rejection of payments which was not there before.
The Law will see to great favorable cost effects the states, federal governments, employers, employees and the unemployed. This will be due to the removal of lifetime limits. The law prohibits increasing of insurance premiums through controlled review process, which will be done in public and must show reason. The new plans are also designed and guided to ensure that the insured get value for money by making sure that money paid up premiums for health insurance is utilized on health insurance. This will limit insurance companies from using money contributed as health premiums for their own non-health related activities.
The new law will see to it that care is provided to the best level possible. This is provided by the fact that the cover caters for preventive care without costs under recommendations. The law also gives the insured the prerogative to choose a doctor who will provide basic care needed. This not only gives the insured the right to the choice of the doctor as a fundamental thing necessarily, but also the confidence of the insured that as the insured is in control of health paid for.
The plan has created a high level of freedom as to emergency services sought by doing away with barriers usually planted by insurance companies. This plan provides the insured with the feeling and enjoyment of fundamental freedom and right to immediate and quality emergency attention at any health facility, whether within or outside his network in a health plan.
The basic provisions of this law are well within the fundamental rights and freedoms of the American populations as provided in the constitution and other laws. The Affordable Healthcare Act does not violate any constitutional provision in its endeavor to ensure quality and affordable health care.
Bateman, C. (December 01, 2013). Pretenders to the throne of affordable healthcare? : izindaba. South African Medical Journal, 103, 12, 885-886.
Health Law Institute, & Pennsylvania Bar Institute. (2012). 18th annual Health Law Institute. Mechanicsburg, Pa.: Pennsylvania Bar Institute.
In Hall, M. A., & In Allhoff, F. (2014). The Affordable Care Act decision: Philosophical and legal implications.
Parks, D. (2012). Health Care Reform Simplified: What Professionals in Medicine, Government, Insurance, and Business Need to Know. Dordrecht: Springer.
Sachs, Stephen E. (2012). The Uneasy Case for the Affordable Care Act. (Faculty Scholarship.) Duke University School of Law.
Siegel, N. S. (2012). The constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act: Ideas from the academy. Durham, North Carolina: Duke University School of Law