We’re only about a third of the way into 2020 and already it has been a very tumultuous year. Mostly due to the widespread pandemic of COVID-19, politics have heightened, the economy has crumbled, and our healthcare system is being put to the test. With cases increasing daily, healthcare workers are on the frontlines of this pandemic and are doing everything they can to help those affected.
Beyond the pandemic, there was a lot of political unrest regarding the subject of healthcare over the last few years in the United States. Really, the subject of healthcare has been up for intense debate since the Obama administration and the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Opinions on how healthcare should be handled vary greatly and have a direct split between partisan lines.
Generally the Democratic party is more in favor of universal healthcare or single-payer systems, while the Republicans would rather stick to the system we’ve had: primarily using private healthcare and insurance companies. With a combined average of 9.12 trillion dollars of mortgage debt owed by the American people, one can understand why healthcare is not affordable to many citizens. They have other expenses to worry about and limited means of making money to pay for healthcare.
While healthcare for all seems like a good idea to some, many on the other side of the aisle argue that it’s too costly. Generally, Republican politicians make the case that single-payer systems would end up tanking our current healthcare systems making them more congested and overworked. America is known for having some of the best healthcare in the world and there is a fear that major changes to the system would tarnish that. They also argue that it is impossible to implement.
With all the legal changes happening in the country it’s important to stay up to date on the information as they will affect your day-to-day health practices. In the wake of COVID-19, there will likely be major changes to how our medical system runs over the next decade. Staying alert and informed as a voter is becoming more and more important as our country moves forward.
Effects of Major Healthcare Law Changes
The schism in how this issue is handled can be illustrated clearly by current healthcare law changes under the current administration. Over Trump’s first years in office, he has tried to lampoon the ACA a few times, inciting multiple executive orders against it. One of the main targets was the elimination of the individual mandate which was added to the ACA to help keep premiums lower. The individual mandate required citizens to have insurance or pay a fine. As such, many with libertarian viewpoints were unhappy about this inclusion and Trump got rid of it. Across the board, red states eliminated the mandate and blue states kept it.
After the individual mandate was eliminated, premiums for the ACA increased — as was expected by the Obama administration. The other major consequence was that this opened up an avenue on the state level to force out the Affordable Care Act. Many of the red states that were in support of the executive order are suing against the Affordable Care Act as unconstitutional. Most states trying lost the case. But recently Texas won at the State level court and will be taking their case to the Supreme Court.
The case will see the Supreme Court this year and the decision made in that ruling will be felt throughout the country. These are the major healthcare law changes that have been affecting us.
Effects You Will See
While this all plays out on Mount Olympus the average citizen may not understand how it will all affect them.
Unfortunately, only time will tell how the case goes and what precedent will be set by the Supreme Court. In the meantime, there are effects we can see in our day to day lives of recent healthcare law changes. In 2009, HIPAA extended coverage for “covered entities” due to expanding health technologies. Nearly 10 years later we can see these technologies start to show up in our doctor’s offices.
Studies show a 15% increase in the use of robotic automation systems that help doctors offices with efficiency. These systems help with long wait times, setting up appointments, and dealing with insurance and coverage so doctors and nurses can focus on their patients.
Other general changes include high-deductible health insurance premiums. Many private insurance companies now set an amount that must be paid by the individual before they will cover any medical costs. This has been difficult for many Americans to meet and thus, they often go without healthcare. Other law changes affect things like coverage and deciding what is deemed medically necessary. For example, 1-2% of breast implants will rupture. While breast augmentation is considered plastic surgery and isn’t covered, it is now debatable if a rupture should be or not.
With all the legal changes happening in the country, it’s important to stay up-to-date on the information as they will affect your day-to-day health practices. In the wake of COVID-19, there will likely be major changes to how our medical system runs over the next decade. Staying alert and informed as a voter is becoming more and more important as our country moves forward.