1.0 GOALS OF THE AFFORADABLE CARE ACT:
According to the American Public Health Association(APHA) the three key goals of the Affordable Care Act are to expand healthcare coverage, to shift the focus of the healthcare delivery system from treatment to prevention, and to reduce the cost and improve the efficiency of healthcare.
Expanding healthcare coverage - why did we need it?
In 2010, the National Health Interview survey revealed that 16% of the American population were uninsured. Furthermore, in the year prior to the implementation of the ACA, census surveys affirmed that forty-seven (47.3) million Americans under the age of 65 were uninsured; this constituted 18% of the under 65 demographic. Moreover, of the individuals who had…show more content…
Preventable causes of illnesses like smoking and obesity were left unaddressed, depleting precious resources and increasing costs of care. From the patient perspective, cost sharing measures for preventive services like deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance deterred individuals from undergoing essential preventive services like cancer screening, immunization, and counselling. Ultimately, $277 billion dollars were spent on treating illnesses which could have been prevented by broad based prevention programs, and we incurred a loss of $1.1 trillion dollars due to lost productivity as a result of chronic illnesses.
The pie-chart above reviews the distribution of National Health Expenditures revealing that a majority of healthcare dollars were spent on hospital care and physician/clinical services. On the other hand, public health activity along with research and structures and equipment constituted only 14.8% of the healthcare expenditure. This disparity in distribution of funds points to a deep-seated neglect in supporting preventive services.
Lastly, research published by the Milken Institute in 2007 suggested that even modest improvements in preventing and treating diseases could lead to forty (40) million fewer cases of chronic disease by 2023. This would decrease the economic impact of disease by 27%. Based on implications of the study, the researchers recommended