Long Term Challenges for The Affordable Care Act

Decent Essays
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is a radical healthcare reform that aims to provide affordable, quality healthcare for all US citizens. This increased scope of coverage would allow millions more of Americans to use the system. In order to drive down costs from many more individuals, the ACA has planned to increase incentives for preventative public health interventions including primary care physicians. Although this is a fine beginning, I believe the greatest challenge to the long-term success of this reform remains the shift in mindset from a focus in treatment to an equal focus in prevention. Preventative services are vital to a healthcare system. However, the effects of prevention are often long term, and thus are traditionally underappreciated by those who have the disease being prevented. Individuals with the disease also undervalue prevention, as it does not affect their health state. With this mindset, prevention is undermined and will continue to be a challenge for the progression of the ACA.

Primary care physicians are vital to prevention. These physicians are a patient’s first line of contact with the healthcare system and they have the difficult task of conducting checkups to screen for all diseases. Unfortunately, it is much more common for a medical student to specialize in another field due to a much greater salary and more narrowed scope of practice. As a result, the number of specialists is much greater than the number of primary care physicians, creating a
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