Health Care Reform
Americans have been constantly reforming their health care system. The legislation must support payment reforms and help them to move forward. New programs and initiatives are the main features that may lead to success. Some of these experiments have worked; others have failed. Each generation makes additions, subtractions, divisions and multiplications to the elements of the system, based largely upon expectations, needs, and values. In many ways, American health care is more of a process than a system. Changes taking place in the American health care system today are evidently the main reason of adoption of various health care reform acts, which aim to improve the quality of health care in the states, and to keep under control costs by reforming health care system and payment. Research reports that many patients are dissatisfied with the quality of their health care services, such as health plans (Long, 2008). Doctors, on the other hand, are also worried about the improvement of the services they are providing to the patients.
Health Care Reform Measures
American leaders, as far back as President Roosevelt in 1912, have tried to create insurance plans that guaranteed medical coverage for all Americans. The United States of America is reforming its health care system with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. The United States has the most expensive health care on earth, but the quality and quantity can be spotty. Extraordinary medicine, probably the best in the world, is practiced in many clinics and hospitals all around the USA (Parks, 2012). Success has usually come in relatively small increments, with a few notable exceptions, like Medicare, and now the new health care law. There has always been a strong opposition to this trend toward socialized or nationalized medicine. These two opposing forces have created a hybrid – a public and private partnership that now insures about 85 percent of Americans.
Both private and public insurers quickly began struggling with rising health care costs, which tripled between 1967 and 1981 and then kept rising. A host of medical trends drove the increases and included more doctors becoming specialists, hospital care getting more expensive, inflation running rampant, and research creating new medical technology and better drugs. Health care costs have increased, and the United States is number one in the world in the amount spent for medical care. Insurers tried a number of cost-cutting measures, including the creation of health maintenance organizations, shorter hospital stays, more outpatient surgery, and more preventive care practices. In the early 1980s, the government introduced a new reimbursement system, diagnostic-related groups, in an effort to contain medical care costs. Amid the rising costs, there were efforts to get more Americans more medical care (Parks, 2012). In 1986, Congress passed the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, or COBRA, which allows workers to continue medical coverage for 18 months after leaving a job. Also under COBRA there were laws requiring hospitals to treat patients regardless of their ability to pay.
Universal Health Care
The research asserts that there were many attempts to make universal health care. For example, in 1988, President Reagan signed the Medicare Catastrophic Coverage Act, which set ceilings on payments to hospitals, doctors, and prescription drugs, and included a premium raise on some Medicare recipients. After a public outcry, the law was repealed in 1989 – an indication that sometimes, what is done by Congress, can be quickly undone. During the 1990s, health care costs escalated again, rising at twice the rate of inflation. In 1993, President Clinton attempted to reform health care by providing universal coverage among insurers. The effort failed because of its complexity and strong opposition from the health care industry. The research reports that in 2008, the overall cost of American medical care had increased 1600 percent since 1970, nearly three times the rate of inflation. The nation was spending about $2.2 trillion a year on health care, a figure that was projected to double by 2018.
Media reports that universal health care will allow consumers to receive more qualified health care assistance on the cost-effective basis, as well as give an opportunity to the health care industry to provide the effective innovations with an aim of delivering better health care services to the patients and controlling costs by reforming health system and payment (Patrick, 2011). The regulators and authorities start to iron out the differences between the federal and state reforms. The research reports that in order to improve health care system the federal and state governments, health care providers, insurance companies and stakeholders have to work together. The legislation has to find out certain techniques and methods in order to realize this goal. Health care organizations and groups of providers must work together in order to achieve health care improvement at lower prices. Integrated care organizations must be created. Accuracy and transparency of costs, payments, quality measures, and clinical outcomes have to be provided in order to improve health care services to the public. Universal health care must ensure access to health care for all its residents.
My own experience with health care expansion was rather negative, because I did not have a proper health care plan and had to pay for my medication. It is important, therefore, to improve health insurance system.
The improvement of payment methods is needed as well. It is also worth mentioning the importance of communication between the providers and patients (Long, 2008). The legislation must support payment reforms and help them to move forward. New programs and initiatives are the main features that may lead to success. Thus, health care providers must work together with the state authorities to develop the strategy, which will help to make transformation in the health insurance system and payment reforms.