The continual development of the healthcare industry is essential to maintain a good level of public health and ensure a high level of quality of life. Furthermore, it is critical to make healthcare accessible to as many people as possible regardless of their wealth and status. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is one of the latest regulations that improve both the accessibility and quality of provided healthcare in America (Courtemanche et al., 2019). The current essay analyzes the Affordable Care Act and discusses the most effective and controversial points of the law.
Elements of the Affordable Care Act
The Affordable Care Act affects most of the healthcare aspects, including accessibility, quality, insurance, working conditions, recordkeeping, and many others. As seen from the name, the regulation ensures that every American can afford high-quality healthcare regardless of wealth, health status, and other factors (Courtemanche et al., 2019). Subjectively, the most important element of the ACA concerns changes to insurance and overall accessibility. Medicaid expansion allowed more people with low income to receive adequate healthcare services (Breslau et al., 2020). Additionally, the regulation also concerns mental health support, which is particularly relevant for people struggling with finances (Breslau et al., 2020). The research demonstrates that by 2017 the coverage gap between various income groups has been reduced by 43% (Courtemanche et al., 2019). The ACA also reduced the differences between racial and age groups allowing for an equal approach to healthcare (Courtemanche et al., 2019). Ultimately, the regulation had a vastly positive effect on healthcare accessibility.
Consequently, the ACA also improved the workforce conditions in the American healthcare system. For instance, the ACA provided finances for additional training programs for personal and home care aides (PHCAs) (Morgan et al., 2018). The research demonstrates that education standards for this profession were considerably low in America, and the changes implemented by the ACA made a positive impact (Morgan et al., 2018). As a result, more trainees were accepted for programs funded by the government, and the quality of tutoring was considerably higher than before the ACA (Morgan et al., 2018). Ultimately, the ACA improved healthcare quality not only for patients but also for medical professionals and trainees. This change is essential to the overall development of the industry and ensures stable progress in healthcare delivery.
Nevertheless, there are also several controversial points and limitations primarily concerning the political aspect of the regulation. For instance, some members of the Republican party perceive higher taxes for wealthy people, government insurance, and employer mandates as limitations of the ACA (Oberlander, 2020). Consequently, there has been a large number of debates between the two primary political parties after the ACA implementation. Furthermore, the ACA is a relatively complex regulation, and many people cannot understand what the benefits of the law are (Oberlander, 2020). Ultimately, most of the controversies concern the perception and inadequate expectations of some people, while the research transparently demonstrates that the ACA is effective.
The Affordable Care Act is an effective healthcare law that has positively affected the quality of American healthcare and provided access to medical services for millions of citizens. It improved the insurance conditions, narrowed down the racial and health status disparities, and enhanced the overall education level for future physicians. Nevertheless, the implemented system still has several limitations and should be gradually adjusted and developed. Ultimately, it is possible that the Affordable Care Act might be even more beneficial to American healthcare in the future.
Breslau, J., Han, B., Lai, J., & Yu, H. (2020). Impact of the Affordable Care Act Medicaid Expansion on Utilization of Mental Health Care. Medical Care, 58(9), 757-762.
Courtemanche, C., Marton, J., Ukert, B., Yelowitz, A., Zapata, D., & Fazlul, I. (2019). The three‐year impact of the Affordable Care Act on disparities in insurance coverage. Health services research, 54, 307-316.
Morgan, J. C., Edris, N., Luz, C. C., Ochylski, D. P., Stineman, A., Winchester, L., & Chapman, S. A. (2018). Testing US state-based training models to meet health workforce needs in long-term care. Ageing International, 43(1), 123-140.
Oberlander, J. (2020). The ten years’ war: Politics, partisanship, and the ACA: An exploration of why the Affordable Care Act has been so divisive despite the law’s considerable accomplishments. Health Affairs, 39(3), 471-478.