The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has received both criticisms and support from the different individuals it affects. Therefore, ethical issues are surrounding this Act commonly known as ‘Obamacare.’ One of them concerns the criteria one should meet to have a health insurance (Vecchione). It is important to note that citizens have the moral duty to cover themselves when it comes to emergency services and thus it impacts people favorably. The second issue revolves around death panel and rationing where this has to take place in a move to regulate costs. The impact on the people is unfavorable as they are not covered entirely. Lastly, the burden transferred to the taxpayers is another ethical issue. However, its effect is favorable as patients, especially the chronic ones, receive coordinated care at a relatively lower cost.
Regarding the political atmosphere, ACA has significantly affected social security and the manner in which the government collects payroll taxes. Like the previous years, most of the policymakers considered this matter to bring about a difficulty. However, there was considerable relief upon its implementation as there was a unified and broad constituency. Secondly, the ACA has impacted Civil Rights battles when it comes to the desegregation of healthcare facilities (Vecchione). Therefore, this has resulted in massive federal subsidies and how the stakeholders target the beneficiaries. In particular, the old age population has significantly benefited. Lastly, the reforms brought about by the ACA have had an enormous impact on family economic well-being, the differential effects like having a disability, race, nativity, and ethnicity. For this matter, the Affordable Care Act has had a significant impact on the policy-making and political process.
Value-based performance policies are ones that bring about effectiveness in the health sector by offering financial incentives in a move to lower costs while enhancing quality. The use of value-based purchasing policies is part of the Affordable Care Act and owing to its complexity; healthcare providers have had to weigh its benefits and costs. In particular, the pay-for-performance approach assures the hospitals of receiving high bonuses but at the same time places them at a higher risk (Davis). The hospitals are not mandated to join a particular group as per the requirements of the program. However, those that fail to do so are likely to lose vast sums of money. Avoiding this, the providers need perfect information which is expensive to obtain. Hence, most hospitals have received penalties for not meeting these demands creating a negative impact on how they conduct their operations. Besides, these providers lack adequate resources to meet the requirements.
Despite the Affordable Care Act having its complexities that pose a challenge to the improvement of health in the U.S., the politicians, particularly the Republicans and some state-level governors are creating more barriers. On the other hand, regulating the costs arising from the provision of affordable health is crucial for ensuring the success of the reforms brought in the health sector. The adoption of pay-for-performance policies and the resulting benefits has also remained unproven which creates another gap (Davis). Currently, the ACA is creating more problems in the health sector, and the future is uncertain. For this reason, this Act is making health provision in the United States worse than it was before.
Davis, Jessica. “Healthcare Providers Weigh Pros, Cons Of Merit-Based Incentive Payment System.” Healthcare IT News. N.p., 2016. Web. 26 Oct. 2017.
Vecchione, Anthony. “Debating The Ethical Implications Of The Affordable Care Act – NJ Spotlight.” Njspotlight.com. N.p., 2012. Web. 26 Oct. 2017.