Health reform revolves around changes made in provision of medical services. The United States health reform bill has answers to a number of issues which include the right to access medical care, the persons eligible for certain medical care and when, the general effect of this to the economy, who is responsible for the offset of medical bills and the role of the government, what the quality of the services is and the role of the federal government in the payment of medical bills.
With the high rates of premium bill that were required in private businesses, most Americans could not afford medical cover. This increased the cost of care becoming a burden to the government. The signing of the health care reform bill requires that those who are not insured get medical cover unless they earn low income. This will lead to reduced debt expenses by decreasing out of pocket bills, hence affordable. There will be an expansion of Medicaid and the federal government will have 100% coverage.
For the elderly, there will be no payment of the whole cost of some drugs as most drug manufacturers will provide a 50% discount in order to meet the requirements of part D of the Medicare (Kimball, 2010), thus closing the “doughnut hole” (Sulivan,1992). This will be more affordable and will make the access to medical care which was previously expensive easier.
Costs of care for the elderly covered by the government will also be reduced through the health reform. However, the elderly will be disadvantaged since most institutions will opt to reduce the number of caregivers thus reducing the quality of care given to patients. There will also be an increased number of people seeking medical care hence the elderly may be turned down for services and will be required to access them on a monthly basis.
In the health reform bill, an initiative of the late Edward Kennedy “Community Living Assistance Services and Support (CLASS)” (Kimbal, 2010) was introduced. It is a milestone in the provision of health care at a reduced budget for the American government, and as a national social insurance, benefits approximately 75% of those above 65 years of age, This initiative promotes payment of low premiums. It is also voluntary and provides that everybody regardless of stature be covered (Ravil, 2009).
There is however a strict penalty for those who are not covered as required by the health reform bill (Ravil, 2009). A majority of American citizens including the elderly will as a result of this reform bill, be catered for than before and access to medical services made easy (Grier, 2010).
The health care reform bill encompasses the patient protection and affordable care act, in which the patients have a right to choose the kind of medical care they would like to receive. It has been achieved by making the Medicaid more eligible and certified in most institutions. This has reduced the expenses of those seeking services in the nursing homes and reduced the rates of insurance premiums, by offsetting most taxes, fees and cost measures (Grier, 2010).
Reduced expenses and insurance premium rates have in turn made health care services affordable to most low income earners. The low rates and expenses have also increased the number of businesses that provide health care benefits, by providing incentives, creating exchanges for health insurance for those who are not covered by their employers, and providing support for medical research.
Strict implementation of guidelines will give a better understanding of nursing homes to patients and enable them access quality services of their choices. Discovery of pre-existing conditions by insurance firms initially led to denial of claims or coverage to members. By prohibiting this condition, the bill will make it possible for the elderly who often suffer from related complications, to get coverage despite their pre-existing medical conditions. Increase of long term care will be more home-based than institutional.
Increased long term care will reduce the number of the elderly to be institutionalized as they will alternatively receive care in the homes. Most elderly people opt to age in the comfort of their homes than move to other institutions for care (NCHS, 1992).
CLASS will make medical insurance affordable to all and provide an option to opt out. It will be effected by immediate payment of premiums which upon limitations, one can receive a particular amount of daily benefits to offset the high costs of long term care services, especially for the elderly and the disabled(Kimball, 2010). This will make it possible for them to receive care at home than in the nursing homes. The bill will implement strict measures to enable patients and their families to understand the operation of the nursing homes.
Home based care for patients will be intensified as a result of the bill. The families will be able to make informed decisions as to where to place their loved ones, since nursing homes will be required to provide information like data regarding their staff.
List of References
Grier, P. (2010).Health Care Reform Bill 101: Who Will Pay for Reform?.Christian
Science Monitor. Retrieved on 19thMay, 2010 from:
Kimball, M., (2010).Healthcare Reform Will Impact Long-Term Care. Health Leaders
Media. Retrieved on 19th May, 2010 from: http://www.healthleadersmedia.com/content/LED-248406
National Centre for Health Statistics (1991).Health United States: Public Health Service.
92 (12), p. 32.
Ravil, (2009). Health Care Reform: Effect on Elderly from Elderly’s Point of View.
Retrieved on 19th, May, 2010 from:
Sulivan, L.W. (1992). The Bush Administration Health Care Plan. Medical Journal.