The Obama Plan for Future of American Health Care.

WIth the passing of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) in 2010,  this is what President Obama plans to achieve for those citizens who have had a hard time with the affordability of health care. The tumultuous economic condition of the country has not helped the presidents case with many arguing that the PPACA has harmed the economy as opposed to helping it. Increased costs of goods and inflation all play a role in the affordability of health care in this country which continues to advance modern medicine. These videos sheds light on some of the things the PPACA hopes to fix within Americas health care industry.


Reduction in Healthcare Costs and the PPACA.

In 2010 the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) was passed by the United States government. The act has been also called by the famous moniker, “ObamaCare”. In expanding healthcare coverage, the act also focuses on reducing health care costs overall. The American Medical Association “believes that reducing the burden of preventable disease is a key strategy to contain health care costs and get the most for our health care dollars. The United States can improve quality of care and reduce the rate of growth in health care costs through large-scale national disease prevention and health promotion efforts designed to reduce the prevalence of chronic disease and poor health status, which lead to unnecessary sickness and higher health costs.” The AMA highlights some measures that the PPACA has enacted in order to hopefully reduce healthcare costs. some of the provisions include the following:

– Development of a national prevention and health promotion program with the the concept of health improvement and education as a main goal.

– Creation of an investment fund for the expansion of prevention and public health programs with a $7 billion investment form 2010-2015.

– Requiring fast food vendors to disclose caloric content of items being sold.

– Allows insurers to create health prevention incentives to covered benificiares with but not limited to discounts.

– Encourages employers to provide wellness programs, insurance discounts for individuals who participate in sponsored wellness programs.

– Increases the availability of grants to small employers and businesses that offer comprehensive workplace wellness programs.

– Incentives to Medicaid and Medicare beneficiaries who complete behavior modification programs.


Insurance Coverage in the US

President Obama has lobbied for affordable health care since the time he was a senator for Illinois. The number of uninsured Americans was looked upon by the Center for Disease  Control (CDC) in the National Health Review Survey from 2011. Data collected suggest that a bulk of the population is still uninsured. The survey found that when interviewed, close to 21% of people from ages 18 to 64 were uninsured at the time in 2011. This number was about 2% higher form 1997 when the percent of uninsured 18 to 64 year olds was close to 19%. The lowest percentage of uninsured adults was in 1999 with only 17.9% uninsured and highest in 2010 with about 22.3 % adults at the time of the interview.

Contrary to the number of uninsured population between 18 to 64, the percent of publicly covered adults was highest in 2011. Public health plan coverage was about 15% in 2011 compared to 1997 where 10% was publicly insured for the age bracket. Comparatively Privately insured percentages dropped from about 73% in 1997 to about 64% in 2011. The  percentage of people that were publicly and privately insured shows that only a fraction of the population remains uninsured.

Figure below shows the coverage of adults ages 18 to 64 for the year 2011.





Reasons for daunting Healthcare Costs.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has the main goal of making healthcare affordable for the masses in the United States. With the recession that effected the United States Economy in 2007 a large number of working people lost health insurance benefits as a result of increased unemployment and decreasing bank accounts. There have been said to be many reasons for the continuing rise in health care. Here is a list of some reasons health care costs have risen:

– New technologies such as robotic surgery and other non invasive procedures, which improve quality of care and recuperation time but have substantially higher price points. Insurance claims for new technology related procedures are typically higher as well.

– Increased testing and use of medical testing.

– Cost of physician vists has gone up, forcing both insurers and patients to pay more also giving physicians little room for adjustment as well.

– Insurance shifting the burden of cost or Co-payment onto the patient.

– Inability of patients to pay for care in hospital or private practice settings.

– Increased costs of goods and supplies for both hospitals, private practices and laboratories.

– Insurance premiums exceeding inflation.

– Decrease in preventative measures by patients.

– The increasing age of the American population, older people have greater health problems.

– Increase in the number of insured individuals and government subsidizing of insurance.

-Unnecessary spending on testing, procedures.

– Insurance providers encouragement of visiting specialists, getting special testing in specific affiliated network establishments.

These are some of the many reasons why healthcare costs have gone up through out the years in the United States. According to the Kaiser Family foundation, as the economic conditions improve the improvements may help to alleviate the pressures felt by high health care costs.


PPACA and Potential Affects on Future Physicians

ObamaCare or its actual name Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) has shown it self to be the forefront of President Obama’s first term.  The purposed effects of the bill has made it so college aged individuals, adults form the ages of 18 to 26, are able to remain under their parents insurance coverage. The bill also has made it so that insurance and health coverage is available to every one especially those who cannot afford to keep up with the rising health care costs and has made it so healthcare is more patient friendly especially with the introduction of electronic medical records. With the rise in health care costs hospitals, many of which are teaching institutions, have tried to make cuts to be more affordable yet not skimp out on overall care quality. this factor is one thing that has directly affected future doctors that rely on these hospitals for the latter years of their medical education.

When asked about his take on the effects of PPACA, most medical students agreed to the fact that, many hospitals are cutting their staff and residents make up a great chunk of that staff that gets cut, this essentially makes resident opportunities harder to come by, its actually scary when you think about it.

Medical students although having to worry about residency placements, also have to worry about working fewer hours in the future that will essentially impact future incomes. But the positive aspects of PPACA is that many medical students may pursue primary care positions in the medical community. Another positive is that aspiring doctors or pre-med students might see more slots available in medical schools that too in many other aspects of medicine either in allopathic (MD) or osteopathic (DO) institutions.