The Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act of 2010
The main purpose of the patient protection and affordable care act of 2010 (PPACA) is to provide and expand the provision of Medicaid and Medicare to all persons in families that earn less 133% of the standards set by the federal poverty level. The PPACA 2010 also intends to provide subsidies to the uninsured low income population of Americans who are not covered by their employers’ health care insurance. The PPACA is meant to enable these low income Americans purchase health insurance covers from newly established exchanges. Those without medical covers can purchase them from the state based insurance exchange or they can be eligible within the expanded Medicaid and Medicare guidelines (Hofer, Abraham & Moscovice, 2011).
Research in the past has comprehensively revealed that individuals who had health insurance covers tended to make use of health facilities more than individuals who did not have insurance health covers. Various literature reviews carried out by various scholars have come to the same conclusion. Research by Buchmueller and colleagues (2005) reviewed the existing studies on the relationship between medical insurance and utilization of health care by adults and children. The studies revealed that individuals with coverage had a high probability of obtaining any health care service and a large proportion of them made frequent visits to health facilities. The PPACA intends to make health insurance accessible to every one to ensure that all American have access to medical services.
The PPACA law requires that all insurance companies should register and cover all applicants irrespective of any other medical conditions they may have. Insurance companies are also required to charge their clients the same amount of premium irrespective of their geographical location and age. The law also stipulates that all individuals not insured by their employer, public insurance programs or Medicaid and Medicare should purchase and adhere to state sanctioned private insurance or face penalties and legal prosecution. The law expands the eligibility of Medicaid and Medicare coverage to encompass all persons and families with an income of less than 133% of the federal poverty level. Small businesses will be entitled to tax cuts if they purchase health insurance covers from the state approved exchange. The law intends to set minimum requirements for health insurance covers and annual and life policies will be abolished (Focus on Health Reform).
The New York Times has described the law as the most expansive law to be enacted in decades. It reports that the law enshrines the fundamental principle that every American should have some form of primary security when it comes to health care (Stolberg & Pear, 2010).
The PPACA law is a big step in ensuring that all American get access to reliable and quality medical facilities and services. For a long time many American citizens have been denied access to medical services by their insurers based on previous medical conditions that they fail to disclose. Insurance companies are in the business of making profits and not providing quality medical care to its clientele. The requirement that they provide coverage for all individuals irrespective of their medical conditions is a major step in the right direction to reforming the United States health sector.
The provision to expand the coverage of Medicare and Medicaid to individuals in families that earn less than 133%, and the subsidies offered to the uninsured to purchase health covers will enable a large proportion of the population to access quality and reliable medical care. The provision placed on insurance companies to provide cover irrespective of medical conditions will ensure that Americans are not denied access to essential medical services (Focus on Health Reform).