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Sociology Of Health Care Essay

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The new and improved health care system in America seems to fall short for many people. The Affordable Care Act made history after President Obama signed it into law on March 23, 2010. This bill is going to create a change in how the current system operates which has kept approximately 46.3 million people uninsured. Those numbers are very disturbing by themselves but if we include all of those who are also underinsured then we add on another 25 million. The ACA is has promised to reduce those numbers dramatically. Even though the plan is to reduce these numbers there will still be people without health care coverage. Some will fall in between somewhere which makes them not eligible for Medicaid but also not able to pay the premiums offered in the private market.

Some of the ways that the ACA plans to reduce the number of both the uninsured and underinsured is by making health care insurance more affordable. The insurance premiums have gone up so much that it has passed the rate of inflation and many of those insured still pay a lot out of pocket without having the income level to afford to do so (Conners: 2521). The reduction in health care premiums was accomplished by created an individual mandate. The individual mandate makes it a law for everyone to have health care insurance. It also means that the insurance companies cannot deny people insurance any longer due to preexisting conditions. The government plans to subsidize a portion of the premiums depending on income levels. If you choose to not participate then there will be penalties which start out low and increase over time. This can be difficult for people when you have deal with many other living expenses and then be forced to pay something you may not be able to truly afford even with the subsidies.

The ACA has expanded Medicaid to those with a higher income level than before and also to those who are single and without children. The problem with the Medicaid expansion is that it may be too limited and there may be still many out of pocket expenses that people just won’t be able to pay and the limited number of doctors willing to take this type of insurance. The Exchanges were created to give people a market place to choose which plan works for them as well as the premiums that fit within their budget. There will be the competiveness of the market that might help to drive cost down. It also might just be too difficult for some to use which could result in much of the data being incomplete or incorrect. This type of confusion could mean much more work for those signing people of for plans. That could have a counter effect of costing more in administrative cost by sorting out all the data. These plans are all offered by private companies which mean they will get to choose how much they charge for the plans and what they are willing to offer.


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