Context: U.S Interest in Universal Healthcare
Dominant Policy: Universal Health as a Reliable Public Policy
Significance of the Affordable Care Act to the U.S Public
Impact of Affordable Care Act
Impact of Healthcare Policy Changes to Utilization
Policy Counter: Alternative Policy to ObamaCare
Healthcare reforms in the United States have always been faced with challenges, ranging from the drafting of the concerned policies to their implementation. This is probably the reason as to why the U.S healthcare system has never attained remarkable sustainability, especially through the elimination of health inequalities with the population.
However, ObamaCare has attracted unprecedented political criticism, owing to its cost consequences. Therefore, this paper will provide an overview of the U.S context, in which the Affordable Care Act has attracted political criticism. It will also present the methods used to analyze different perspectives of the issue in regard to political narrative strategies, in which the dominant perspective will discuss the concept on universal healthcare as a reliable public policy.
The context presents the concept of universal healthcare provided under the Affordable Care Act, and it explains the challenges faced in establishing reliable healthcare policy reforms over the past four decades.
Methods used in this analysis, primarily the policy change theory presents political narrative strategies as the most relevant approaches for reviewing ObamaCare through a political lens.
For the purpose of analysis, the concept of universal healthcare as a reliable public policy is discussed as the dominant policy in which its impacts are reviewed from various perspectives. On the other hand, alternative policy is discussed as the counter policy in which various approaches are explained to justify its significance in addressing cost issues in the U.S healthcare system.
The discussion provides a comprehensive evaluation of the two policy changes to ascertain the most relevant approach. It also establishes political connections to ObamaCare and its consequences.
Conclusively, ObamaCare serves as an ideal public policy because it will solve insurance problems in healthcare. However, its high cost compromise healthcare sustainability and national economic development.
Policy Problem: Politics of ObamaCare as a public policy
Approach to Analysis: Political narrative strategies
Approach to Research: Literature review, government publications and media reports
Healthcare reforms in the United States have always been faced with challenges, ranging from the drafting of the policy concerns to their implementation. This is probably the reason as to why the U.S healthcare system has never attained remarkable sustainability, especially through the elimination of health inequalities with in the population. As a result, healthcare policy changes have become highly politicized in which some political personalities, as well as groups seeking to achieve their political motives through politically instigated policy reforms. For instance, different U.S presidents have attempted to introduce healthcare policy changes to realize universal healthcare, but in vain. However, the Obama Administration seems to have overcome all the challenges faced in the last 40 years in establishing the Affordable Care Act after the unanimous approval by the House of Representatives on March 21, 2010 (GPO, 2009). It is believed that, the quest for the introduction of healthcare reform was occasioned by the inefficiency of the old healthcare system in which access to healthcare services by U.S citizens was somehow difficult. In the old healthcare system, only some few selected groups were able to access healthcare services under Government-funded healthcare program. Healthcare coverage involved Medicare and Medicaid, Government-funded healthcare program through which the elderly and the low-income populations could access medical services in public healthcare institutions.
However, it is worth noting that ObamaCare has become one of the highly politicized public policies. Therefore, a comprehensive review of the Affordable Care Act through a political lens appears relevant to ascertain its significance to U.S citizens.
This paper begins with an overview of the U.S context, in which the Affordable Care Act has attracted political criticism. It will also present the methods used to analyze different perspectives of the issue in regard to political narrative strategies, in which the dominant perspective will discuss the concept on universal healthcare as a reliable public policy. The counter perspective will review the alternative to ObamaCare and the politics surrounding the policy. Finally, the conclusion will provide a summary of the policy change theory under a political lens.
Context: U.S Interest in Universal Healthcare
The U.S healthcare reform is an issue, which has been discussed in an array of articles, although different authors address the topic from diverse perspectives. Cohen (2012) states, “Health care rationing has been a source of contentious debate in the United States for nearly 30 years” (p. 90). On the other hand, Cudney explains that the U.S healthcare system has remained inefficient because; its fragmented structure allows the multiplication of errors (Cudney, 2002). However, it is worth noting that, the realization of sustainable healthcare has been a dream for U.S citizens because; efficient healthcare reforms were entirely missing. Nevertheless, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act appear reliable for the realization of healthcare sustainability in a foreseeable future. APHA (2012) reports, “the law contains hundreds of provisions meant to increase access to health coverage and care, provide a new focus on prevention and public health, bolster the country’s health workforce and infrastructure, promote innovation and quality, and control rising health care costs” (p. 1).
This is under federal jurisdiction, in which the U.S health insurance is based on federally-funded programs. Ordinarily, The Federally-funded healthcare programs require individuals to pay the so-called ‘deductibles’ to supplement their total contributions paid through regular premiums. In contrast, the recent healthcare reforms have created a universal healthcare coverage to all individuals.
Despite the benefits of the Affordable Care Act, different sources have been presenting different perspectives, especially with the accrued benefits of the law. For instance, Blumberg and colleagues argues that the ACA reform will not have a significant impact on employer-sponsored insurance because; most workers will rely on it as a primary source of healthcare coverage. They estimate, “the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will leave employer-sponsored coverage largely intact; in contrast, some economists and benefit consultants argue that the ACA encourages employers to drop coverage, thereby making both their workers and their firms better off” (Blumberg et. al, 2012 p. 116). On the other hand, Goody, Mentnech and Riley (2002) evaluated the changing nature of private and public healthcare insurance and explain the gaps in insurance coverage. They reported, “A mix of public and private solutions such as tax credits for low-income uninsured and Federal funding for State high-risk pools are currently being proposed to make private health insurance more accessible and affordable” (p. 1).
It is evident that the Affordable Care Act has introduced drastic changes in the U.S healthcare system. However, the scope of the policy is subjective to political reality. Therefore, policy change theory, primarily the use of political narrative strategies seems relevant in reviewing ObamaCare through a political lens.
For the purpose of political narrative strategies, literature related to the topic will provide historical insight and help in unearthing the significance of the policy U.S citizens. Precisely, media reports and transcripts of debates on healthcare reforms will be analyzed to justify the authenticity of the concerned approaches into the matter. In addition, government publications such as the amendments on H.R 3590 draft which addresses the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will be used extensively in the policy review (HHS, 2009).
- Quote paper
- Patrick Kimuyu (Author), 2016, The Affordable Health Care Act (ObamaCare) and the Concept of Universal Healthcare, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/381248