The Affordable Care Act and the Federal Patient Protection Act were signed into law in 2010. It was duly dubbed ObamaCare (ACA) since it was introduced by former President Barack Obama. It is a comprehensive act that contains over 2,000 provisions in an over 900 pages act (HealthCare, 2016). This paper provides a review of the Affordable Care Act to highlight its key provisions by utilizing HealthCare website as a professional and credible source of information regarding the act.
The fundamental tenets of the ACA are envisioned to increase health insurance access, curb the rise of healthcare costs, expand the workforce and improve consumer protection. In order to achieve the insurance expansion tenet, the ACA proposed tax credits to small businesses and made it mandatory for employers to cover their employees’ health insurance, otherwise be liable to pay penalties (HealthCare, 2016). State-based exchanges were created with limits on the premium costs from 2 to 9.5 percent depending on the income. Additionally, the act sought to increase consumer protection by prohibiting insurance plans that exclude children and prohibiting cancellation of coverage (HealthCare, 2016).
Apart from insurance, the ACA established a prevention fund that could provide screening and immunizations. Furthermore, a national council was created to help in the prevention of tobacco and obesity-related problems. Additionally, food companies and restaurants with over 20 locations were required to provide calorie information upon request. Another dimension of the ACA was an improvement of the healthcare quality by increasing the training of nurses and support of nurse-management clinics that serve underprivileged communities in the country (HealthCare, 2016). Furthermore, stiffer penalties were introduced for health insurance fraud by insurance companies seeking to avoid paying claims. One key tenet is the shift from a fee-for-service system to one based on the quality of the service. Finally, the ACA sought to improve patients’ access to generic drugs.
From the above analysis, it is evident that the ACA is a comprehensive overhaul of the American healthcare system. Some of the provisions seek to directly impact the wellbeing of patients, other increase access, and others enhance integrity and transparency from stakeholders (HealthCare, 2016). The main misgiving is that small business exceptions are rare and many businesses either decreased or failed to increase their employees to avoid spending a lot on healthcare cover.
HealthCare. (2016, December 16). Affordable Care Act. Retrieved from HealthCare.gov: https://www.healthcare.gov/