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The Clinton health care plan of 1993 was a package proposed by the administration of President Bill Clinton. The essence of devising this healthcare plan was to accomplish the promise made by the president in the 1992 presidential election (Cutler & Gruber, 2001). President Bill Clinton condemned the current system then as bureaucratic and wasteful. On the contrary, the administration of Obama proposed Obamacare plan as a means of protecting the Americans citizens against exploitation by the insurance companies alongside the provision of quality healthcare. Obamacare which is also known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law in 2010 (Hall & Lord, 2014). With the adoption of Obamacare plan, the Americans were expected to receive affordable health insurance coverage. Moreover, both Obama’s Affordable Care Act of 2010 and Clinton Health Reform Plan proposed a massive overhaul of the healthcare industry. Obama’s Affordable Care Act’s requires insurers to accept all applicants at rates that are based on population averages despite health status. Conversely, the focal point of the Clinton plan was the idea of universal coverage where everyone would be covered based on the regional alliances. Regarding this, people on employer-based coverage today were to be shifted into regional alliances. Obamacare focuses on achieving health insurance exchanges.
Additionally, Clinton Health Reform Plan was funded by deficit spending whereas Obama’s Affordable Care Act obtained their funding from Obamacare taxes. Nonetheless, Obama’s Affordable Care Act state that doctors are paid based on patient’s wellness unlike in Clinton Plan where the payment of doctors is fee-for-service. The Democrats learned from the failures of Bill Clinton Plan and made the necessary adjustments in their strategy. However, Clinton Health Reform Plan was more ambitious than the Affordable Care Act, especially on cost containment. Despite all these, Clinton Plan faced many oppositions compared to the Obamacare, and this made it not to be implemented. The contributors to the fall of Clinton Health Reform Plan were doctors who were worried that the health security Act of 1993 would force them into insurance-run HMOs. Doctors feared that they would lose control over treatment, pricing, and care. Even during that time, the Americans were not worried about the cost of healthcare since recession had just ended.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010 has a lot of benefits that most people do not know. However, there are some negative impacts that Obamacare also come with, which make some people argue that reforming health care is not a priority. Regarding this, there are cons and pros of the Affordable Care Act.
Pros of ACA
The ACA makes insurance affordable by providing tax credits for protection to the middle class and expanding Medicaid to a more significant percentage of the federal poverty level. Based on this, ACA provides coverage to adults without children. When a large number of people can obtain insurance plans, they will be able to compare prices and purchase health insurance online.
Besides, the ACA also improves how health care it is delivered by authorizing Medicare to change how it pays hospitals and doctors (Hall & Lord, 2014). Before this proposal was made, the system of treatment was based on the procedures and test that a doctor got, but it now focuses on the transition to a system that bases payments how well the patient becomes. Through this, doctors, pharmacists, and hospitals work together in a comprehensive approach to deliver their services efficiently.
Consequently, the Act provides cost assistance to individuals, families, and small business. When building the Act, the fact was that not all families have equal resources. Therefore, through the Affordable Care Act, these special groups get assistance that helps them choose a cheaper policy based on their income. Following the new health insurance market, people have the freedom of choice.
Moreover, through ACA, people with Pre-Existing health conditional can no longer be denied coverage. For instance, a pre-existing condition such as cancer made it difficult for patients to obtain health insurance before the implementation of the ACA. During such times, the majority of the insurance companies were not covering the treatments for these conditions.
The ACA also promised to make prescription drugs more affordable. Such conclusion was arrived on because many American, especially senior citizens are unable to afford all their medication since the number of generic and prescription drugs covered by the ACA is growing every year.
With the introduction of Affordable Care Act, there are no more unreasonable limits on lifetime benefits that the plan has wholly banned and annual limits phased out. Following this, insurance companies set limits on the amount of money that they are expected to spend on an individual consumer. Therefore, the insurance companies can no longer maintain a pre-set dollar limit on the coverage they provide to their customers.
Cons of ACA
The health plans sold on the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance exchanges has made the monthly premium prices to go up significantly. The reason for paying higher premiums is that the companies now provide a more extensive range of benefits and cover people with pre-existing conditions, and this has dramatically affected a lot of people who already had health insurance (Hall & Lord, 2014).
People who are uninsured must pay a modest fine because the goal of Obamacare is for all citizens to be insured year round. Consequently, the fine is expected to increase over time. The victims only see the amount they have been charged when they file their yearly taxes.
The Affordable Care Act also involves the care of the anti-social mandate that forces religious organizations to provide abortions, contraceptives, and free sterilization to their employees, and this might contradict with the religion.
Furthermore, shopping for coverage can be complicated following the confusions surrounding the rollout of the ACA and the limited enrollment periods, difficulties with the websites and more options to choose from, and marketplace (Dolan, & Mokhtari, 2013).
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Since there has been continuing debates on the proposed health care plan across the political divides, my recommendation to improve on the legislation, especially on the Affordable Care Act that had been approved to be implemented in the looming legislative environment. To begin with, the employed parents should be allowed greater access to the new marketplaces. At the same time, the employers should also be allowed greater flexibility to offer or not offer health insurance coverage. By doing this, people would quickly get the difference between the two major mandates that are easily confusing but are entirely different.
Besides, insurance companies should hire a new corps of full-time federal enrollment assisters that would help the Americans enroll in the new marketplaces and Medicaid thereby avoiding too many confusions that are encountered by many low-income workers.
The legislation should offer public option early Medicare coverage within health insurance marketplaces to people this is because the program enjoys unique bargaining power that makes it sit across from medical supply companies, hospitals and physician groups, and pharmaceutical firms.
- Cutler, D., & Gruber, J. (2001). Health policy in the Clinton era: once bitten, twice shy (No. w8455). National bureau of economic research.
- Dolan, E. M., & Mokhtari, M. M. (2013). The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA): Pros and cons. Spring.
- Hall, M. A., & Lord, R. (2014). Obamacare: what the Affordable Care Act means for patients and physicians. Bmj, 349(7), g5376-g5376.