Sunday, November 17, 2013

USA Healthcare: What Is Happening Today?

High value communities have been the subject of USA Healthcare industry. The famous quote “health is wealth” seems to be translated in another meaning in these states where healthcare is only available to the wealthy.  Let us closely examine the reforms and changes that shape the Healthcare in the USA.

The Historical Background of USA Healthcare Reform

Here are the major historical milestones in the USA Healthcare reform on a national level.
·         In the year 1965, President Lyndon Johnson has enacted the legislation that introduced Medicare which covered both hospitalization and general medical insurance for the senior citizens. This is paid for by the Federal employment tax during the working life of the retiree. This permitted the Federal government to fund the program for the poor and has been co-financed by individual states. This is one of the first national-scale USA healthcare reforms.

·         In 1985, COBRA or The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 enabled the amendment of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 also known as ERISA. This gave some employees continuous health insurance coverage even after leaving employment

·         It was in 1996 when The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) has made possible the protection of health insurance coverage for employees and families when they change their jobs or lose their employment. It also made health insurance companies to cover pre-existing health or medical conditions after one year of continuous coverage.

·         Then, in 1997, the federal government to provide has established SCHIP or The State Children’s Health Insurance Program and cover health insurance to families with children considered to have 200% below the federal line of poverty.

·        One of the most recent reforms is the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also dubbed as Obamacare. It was enacted to provide in phases the comprehensive system of mandated healthcare to eliminate and regulate the worst practices of some health insurance policies like:

o   Screening of pre-existing condition
o   Premium loadings
o   Policy cancellations when it comes to technicalities if illness seems imminent
o   Setting a minimum ratio of direct health care spending versus premium income
o   Creation of price competition this is achieved by creating 3 standards of the coverage  level
o   A web based price comparison for consumers to gauge pricing when purchasing plans.

These are just a few of the main accomplishment of the government for USA Healthcare that shape the national medical industry. However, as the citizens become more watchful, they have learned to become wiser and more vocal in demanding quality healthcare from their elected officials.

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