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Health Care Policy in the United States

Autor:   •  February 3, 2018  •  Research Paper  •  3,417 Words (14 Pages)  •  377 Views

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Health Care Policy in the United States: The Next Chapter

Executive Summary

Health insurance in the United States has had an interesting history and it’s still a relatively new concept. It has had many developments throughout the years and the current law of the land is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law by President Barack Obama in March 2010. The goal of the ACA was to try to improve the US healthcare system in several ways. It “sought to increase access to affordable insurance coverage while working towards changes that will keep future healthcare costs under control. The goal was to to improve the quality of care for all citizens across the United States at the highest of standards”.

Seven years, after the implementation of the ACA, there is still much debate about whether or not  it should have been implemented and whether it is in the best interest of the US. With the new administration in office, the debate on the ACA and the push to repeal or repeal and replace it has been reignited, so it is time to discuss the possible options for policies.

There are other alternatives to the ACA, such as , Medicare for all and rolling back the ACA and going back to the status quo prior to the ACA. There are both pros and cons (politically, socially and economically) to these alternative policies, which we discuss. In the end, the recommendation was made that the best policy would be to keep the ACA and come up with solutions to improve it. We decided that this was the best course of action because, the ACA does work. It may not work as well as we want it to, but it does work and with improvements and collaboration on all sides, it can work even better. Finally,  we provide ideas to help with the implementation of our recommended policy so that it becomes successful for everyone involved.

Overview / Background

Health insurance in the United States is still relatively new when you actually think about it. The first “insurance plan”, in a sense, began during the civil war thought the only coverage offered was for accidents related to travel by steamboat or rail. Even though those plans were not really insurance plans as we know it, it did pave the way for more comprehensive plans. Massachusetts Health Insurance of Boston was the first company to offer a group policy for comprehensive benefits in 1847. In 1890, insurance companies issued the first individual policies that covered individual illnesses and disabilities.

Before the 1920’s, most people didn’t have health coverage. Most people were “treated at home and hardly anyone, except a few large employers offered healthcare. Everyone else paid out of pocket” (Morrisey, 2014). In 1929, we saw the first insurance plan similar to the modern health insurance plan was created.  Teachers in Texas contracted with Baylor Hospital. The teachers would pay a monthly fee for exchange of medical services and room and board.

In the 1930s and 1940s, we saw the popularity of health insurance increase with several life insurance companies entering the health insurance field. In 1932, “Blue Cross Blue Shield first offered group health plans and those plans were successful because of the involvement of discounted contracts that were negotiated with doctors and hospitals” (Morrisey, 2014). This agreement worked well because providers gave discounts to BCBS and in return providers were promised prompt payment and increased volume.

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