Medical care is essential in maintaining and improving the quality of life. It is an asset needed in both a functional and dysfunctional society, and events where personal responsibilities are neglected (Schneider, 2010). Unfortunately, there is no society with an ideal medical care system. All public health efforts for disease prevention and control are not immune from errors of lapse of judgments or systematic failures. Consequently, medical care deals with the implications of failures in public health system. And it has become an essential supplement to public health systematic failures, which in many cases are very expensive, unaffordable and unavailable to people that needed it most (Schneider, 2010).
Among the organization for economic co-operation and development (OECD) countries, the US spends almost more than twice in health care system, yet many of its population are uninsured (Schneider, 2010). Proponents of universal health care indicated that uninsured leads to lack of medical care and the high incidence and prevalence of diseases in many communities. The evidence to the fact shows that 28.9% of individuals between the ages of 19-24 years old or 26.5% of individual ages 25-34 years old are uninsured in the US (Schneider, 2010). In addition, the racially charged discrimination and pre-existing condition’s exorbitant premium makes the situation even worse. Apparently, 19% of African-Americans and 31% of Hispanics are disproportionately uninsured compared to 10.8% of Whites, and about 83% of uninsured individuals in working families (Schneider, 2010).
Clearly, attainment of equitable medical care system is dysfunctional in the US, a developed country and the leading society of the “free world”. Perhaps, with such responsibility and role, the need for health care reform for its population is not too much to ask. Thus, the 2010 patient protection and affordable care Act (ACA) was overdue and necessary. The intent and objectives of the ACA ensures affordable health care cost to all Americans and legal residents.
The 2010 health care reform Act contains Nine Titles covering major health care issues. The issues addressed in the Nine titles included affordable health care for all Americans, public program roles, quality and efficient health care, prevention of chronic disease and public health improvement, healthcare workforce, transparency/program integrity, innovative medical therapies, living assistance and revenue provisions (Schneider, 2010). Clearly, public health efforts play an essential role in health care system especially in the prevention and control aspects of diseases or health conditions. The Title II and IV reinforce the role of public health in medical care.
Under the “Title II, the ACA, reinforced the need for a continuous support to children health insurance programs (CHIP) and families with low income or within the federal poverty line (FPL) up to 133% (DPC senate, 2010). In addition, the Act supports and expands Medicaid programs. Within “Title IV”, preventative health care system programs would gain momentum through public health awareness programs and health care education programs. Thus, creating a healthier and informed society.
Title V of the 2010 health care reform promotes and supports healthcare workforce through extensive training, recruitment and retention of workforce programs (DPC senate, 2010). The shortage of health care workforce in underserved communities would be mitigated and reduced. In other words, more health care workforce should be available to underserved communities. Most importantly, the 2010 health care reform will drastically decrease the cost of health care, by providing affordable and competitive insurance options to all Americans. The four level actuarial values for coverage are the platinum (90%), gold (80%), silver (70%) and bronze (60%). These coverage tiers are crucial elements in ensuring that most Americans have access to basic health insurance coverage at an affordable cost. At least $2000 for individuals and $4000 for families (DPC Senate, 2010). Furthermore, the 2010 health care reform is not void of ethical concerns. The Act automatically excluded illegal immigrants and abortions from any federal assistance or funding.
Democratic policy and Communication. (DPC). (2010). The patient protection and affordable care Act detailed summary. Retrieved from http://www.dpc.senate.gov/healthreformbill/ healthbill04.pdf
Kliff, S. (2012). The history of health-care costs. Retrieved from http://www.washingtonpost. com/blogs/wonkblog/post/health-care-cost-growth-flat-in-2010/2012/01/09/g IQAe5h FmP_blog.html
Schneider, M.J. (2010). Introduction to public health 4th ed. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett.