Essay on The Need for Healthcare Reform

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Over 46.3 Million People in the United States (15.4 percent of the US population) did not have health insurance in 2008 (DeNavas-Walt, Proctor, & Smith, 2009). Consequently, many Americans receive little or no health care. Many, but not all of these people are women and children. Some are destitute, some are not. Many of these people are hard working Americans who cannot afford coverage, yet earn too much money to qualify for their state Medicaid plans, but should have access to health care. In 2008, health care expenditures surpassed $2.3 trillion, more than three times the $714 billion spent in 1990, and over eight times the $253 billion spent in 1980 (Kimbuende, Ranji, Lundy, & Salganicoff, 2010, para. 1). In 2007, 62.1…show more content…
Despite having the most costly healthcare system in the world, Americans have the lowest life expectancy against these other countries. The rising cost of healthcare coupled with the current economic slowdown and rising federal deficit is placing great strains on the systems used to finance healthcare, including Medicare, Medicaid and employer-sponsored health plans. Since 1999, family premiums for employer-sponsored health plans have increased by 131 percent, placing even great cost burdens on workers and employees. Healthcare costs are growing faster than workers’ wages thus many Americans face difficulty affording out-of-pocket spending (Kimbuende et al., 2010). Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 The economic recession and the start of the new Obama administration presented a window of opportunity for healthcare reform. On March 23, 2010, President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which included measures aimed at making healthcare less expensive and more accessible. On March 30, 2010, by means of the reconciliation process, the Act was amended and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (collectively the “ACA”) was enacted. The complex piece of legislation focuses on reform of the private health insurance market and includes individual health insurance mandates. The new laws are
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