The USA is one of the few developed countries where there is no universal health insurance system. The American health care system continues to be the centre of the conversation and controversy, in spite of having one of the most advanced medicine in the world. It is most commonly debated on the taxpayers and the government is compelled to spend large sums of money on medical services. More than half of Americans believe that providing citizens with access to medicine is a state responsibility (Kiley, 2018).
However, the majority of medical facilities being private the prices are unbearably higher than in the state hospitals. Therefore, it may cost a fortune to just call an ambulance, if a patient has no insurance of at least several thousand dollars. Moreover, bills for complicated medical operations can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars
Since 1965, there have been two social programs in the country. Medicare was intended for people of 65 years and older, and Medicaid, to help those in need (Differences between Medicare and Medicaid, n.d.). Both exist at the expense of taxes but do not always adequately cover the accounts of patients. As the population ages, Medicare spending continues to rise, and medical expenditure is called one of the leading causes of the US budget deficit.
To solve this, the ex-president, Barack Obama passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) in 2010, better recognized as Obamacare (McLaughlin & Olson, 2017). All working citizens were bound by law to purchase Obamacare without any other insurance through exclusive sites and other channels. Simultaneously, the government was obliged to pay off the bills in the form of tax benefits. The paid amount depended entirely on the yearly income of a citizen.
Besides, Obamacare invoked the insurance companies to cooperate with people who were already diagnosed with a medical condition. Prior to this, people struggled to find an insurer, who would offer their services. Large companies were set to be fined in case they deny the insurance of their employees. It is undoubtedly obvious that with the adoption of Obamacare there was a major increase in the number of insured citizens.
Contrary to the said results, many people were not satisfied with Obamacare. The majority claimed to have lost their already purchased insurance, in spite of the fact that the president pledged that such a thing would not happen. According to the new legislation, some businesses could not fit into the new insurance scheme and were forced to leave the market. People living in rural areas have expressed their complaints that their earnings were overly high to get Medicaid insurance, but not enough for government tax pensions. It was estimated that many young people in a better health state could visit a doctor more cheaply than have to pay Obamacare.
Republicans relentlessly criticized the law, in particular, the current president, Donald Trump, has promised to “cancel and replace” Obamacare in his campaign in 2017. He offered a new system of “transparent pricing” from pharmaceutical companies and tax cuts, instead of Obamacare. After winning the presidential elections in 2017, Trump signed an executive edict that overturned specific positions of the Affordable Health Care Act. Republicans have expressed their plea to the Senate concerning the abolition of Obamacare but never succeeded. Nevertheless, the Republicans could attain the annulment of fines for turning down insurance and make it possible for the poor to receive treatment at a lower cost.
In December 2018, a federal court in Fort Worth, Texas, overturned Obamacare reform in claims from 20 states. The court acknowledged that the government could not, through laws, force citizens to buy any goods. Trump called this verdict “great news” for America. According to the decision of Judge Reed O’Connor, Obamacare was contrary to the fundamental law of the country, and therefore the whole system was declared insolvent.
McLaughlin, D. B., & Olson, J. R. (2017). Healthcare operations management. Chicago, IL: Health Administration Press.
Differences between Medicare and Medicaid. (n.d.) Medicare Interactive. Web.
Kiley, J. (2018). 60% in US say health care coverage is government’s responsibility. Pew Research Center. Web.