Healthcare affordability represents a severe issue for the population of the United States. New York Times & Kaiser Family Foundation issued a study revealing that more than 50% of the uninsured US population and around 20% with health insurance encounter troubles with covering medical debts (Jost, 2016).
Healthcare affordability representation under different administrations
President Bush proposed and implemented reforms directed at reducing healthcare costs, expanding coverage, and improving care quality. Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) policy integrated at the end of 2003, provided Americans with more control, and made health insurance more affordable (“Reforming health care,” n. d.).
President Obama introduced the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare, in 2010. The policy’s primary agenda was to make health insurance affordable and available to more people, expand the Medicaid program, and support innovative methods of healthcare delivery (HealthCare, n. d.). The essence of the ACA was to “lower costs for households with incomes between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level” (“Affordable Care Act,” n. d., para. 1).
Under President Trump Administration, Obamacare was repealed and replaced with tax deductions and health savings accounts. The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and Medicaid are based on a block-grant system, which implicates that the states will receive a fixed amount to fund the programs (Saltzman & Eibner, 2016). Moreover, President Trump aims to promote the inter-state sales of health insurance (Saltzman & Eibner, 2016).
Allocations of financial and other resources
The affordability of healthcare was aimed to be achieved through tax cuts and calling on Congress to eliminate specific taxes (“Bush urges Congress,” n. d.).
The financial resources dedicated to cover the costs of the ACA come from government spending cuts and revenues from tax increases. The estimated coverage provisions are more than $1400 billion through 2015-2024 (Banthin & Masi, 2014).
The nature of the proposed reform implies substantial cuts in healthcare funding. The block-grant system involves limitations on the financial resources dedicated to Medicaid and CHIP.
Approach to the issue
Some of the steps were to eliminate the taxes on out-of-pocket spending, make the medical insurance portable, and provide the same tax relief for employers and individuals (“Reforming health care,” n. d.).
Introducing premium tax credits and expanding Medicaid programs can decrease the costs for households with a specific level of income (“Affordable Care Act,” n. d.).
All ACA measured were repealed, aiming to eliminate the costs connected to Medicaid expansion. Besides, advance premium tax credits are removed, and the insurers are allowed to sell insurance plans in different states (Saltzman & Eibner, 2016).
Narrative with the Facts
The Healthcare affordability issue requires rigid actions and solutions for a prolonged period. The Administrations of different presidents took their attempts to combat the problem, introduce new methods in facilitating related circumstances, and provide more affordable medical insurance. Nevertheless, multiple policies had their obstacles and problematic points, and each of them faced specific opposition and went through changes. The primary goals of President Bush and Obama’s agendas were to cut the taxes to make health services more affordable and ensure their availability to the part of the population with low incomes. Trump’s administration plans to cut government spending and repeal the ACA. It is considered to lead to making healthcare even more affordable for the population.
Although the approaches towards solving the issue significantly differ, it is crucial to acknowledge that the situation requires resolution, and the measures should be taken. It seems that the implementation of the ACA gave its results because the number of uninsured individuals significantly dropped within the first five years since it was introduced. The figures reveal that, in 2015, the amount was lower for almost 16 million people compared to 2013, which emphasizes significant progress. However, it was only one of the indicators, and the current administration is taking other steps to address the issue.
In conclusion, it is possible to say that searching for ways to solve the problem of affordability is one of the essential aspects of the nation’s administration and government agencies. New methods can be implemented, and the lesson from old experiences can serve as a foundation to find effective means of combating the issue and creating a healthy nation with easy access to healthcare services.
Affordable Care Act (ACA). (n. d.). HealthCare.gov. Web.
Banthin, J., & Masi, S. (2017). Updated estimates of the insurance coverage provisions of the Affordable Care Act. Congressional Budget Office. Web.
Bush urges Congress to pass HAS tax breaks. (n. d.). The Commonwealth Fund. 2020, Web.
Jost, T. (2016). Affordability: The most urgent health reform issue for ordinary Americans. HealthAffairs. Web.
Reforming health care for the 21st century. (n. d.). The White House. 2020, Web.
Saltzman, E., & Eibner, C. (2016). Donald Trump’s health care reform proposals: Anticipated effects on insurance coverage, out-of-pocket costs, and the federal deficit. The Commonwealth Fund. Web.