My opinion of healthcare effectiveness is mixed. I see every day, that health care in this country is top notch. We have some of the best treatments and facilities in the world. Everyone, however does not have equal access to it, and it can be very hard to navigate. The Affordable Care Act was created in response to the extremely high costs of medical care. It sought to decrease financial burdens related to health care expense by providing all Americans with affordable health care. In theory, the ACA is a good plan, but it causes financial hardship for some people, and if unable to afford even the lowest level of coverage, they may still avoid seeking medical care during times of illness, or seek the care they need, but then be unable to pay the high copays, deductibles and out of pocket expenses, forcing hospitals to absorb the losses. Not only that, people who do not obtain insurance coverage, are subject to penalties. The penalty payable to the government is based on household income or per individual. The higher of the two is collected at tax time. This year, the penalty for not securing proper health insurance coverage is $695/adult, and $347.50/child, with a maximum yearly family penalty of $2,085, or two and a half percent of household income (Individual Mandate Penalty, n.d.). There are some exemptions to the penalties. For example, people who are without health insurance for only a month or two, due to a job change, are exempt from the penalty.
Better health care means people are living longer. Since people are now living much longer after retirement age, they are needing health care for longer periods of time (Liaropoulos & Goranitis, 2015). This is also a source of financial strain, since most people lose employer provided health care coverage at retirement. For years, we’ve heard Medicare is in danger of losing funding. Medicare supplements are now recommended for the retired, older generation with extra out of pocket expense to the subscriber. There are multiple insurance options available to everyone in the U. S., but affordability is an issue for too many people.
For me, the question of the financial sustainability of healthcare in its present state is of the utmost importance. I believe all people should receive equal medical care and treatment. I do not, however, support you paying $1000 for the exact same procedure I pay $2000 for. Like everyone in Washington, D.C., I don’t have the magic resolution for cost effective health care reform. In my lifetime, I’ve seen prevention become a priority in healthcare. I think the ACA has been influential is supporting preventive care. I’d like to see more community education with an emphasis on health care literacy as a national priority. I believe arming the public with knowledge is a key to a decreasing in the cost of health care. If everyone can gain just a little more knowledge on the appropriateness of an emergency room visit vs. an office visit, it could cut down on unnecessary costs.
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