Health Care Reform In The United States Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Health Care Reform:

In March 2010, after protracted public and political debate, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) was enacted into law by President Barack Obama. This legislation was one of the many health care reforms initiatives that have sought to rectify major features of the health care system in the United States such as service delivery, care coordination, and financing. Since its enactment, PPACA is considered as a milestone along the historical continuum of health care reform in America. Generally, health care reform in the United States is an issue that has continued to evolve based on the ever-growing health care needs of the population. However, this issue has been characterized with several challenges that are mainly influenced by the public's response to reform efforts.

Principal Features of U.S. Health Care System:

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), which is commonly known as the Affordable Care Act was enacted into law in March 2010 though its full implementation occurred in January 2014. The full implementation is characterized with several initiatives including commencement of operations of state health insurance exchanges, Medicaid expansions, flow of individual and small-employer group subsidies, and execution of individual and employer responsibilities (Rosenbaum, 2011, p.130). Notably, the implementation of this act was based on some principal features of the health care system in the United... care system that influenced the enactment of this legislation include improving quality of health care services, lowering the costs of health care, increasing access to affordable care, enhancing the accountability of insurance companies, and establishing new consumer protections ("Key Features of the Affordable Care Act by Year," n.d.). These are principal features of the United States health care system because the country's health sector has been described as a complex and disorganized set of arrangements to provide care to the population. As compared to other developed countries, the U.S. health care system was far more expensive but still unable to meet the increasing health demands of the population.

The enactment of this legislation faced several challenges including the enactment of state measures and laws that would challenges or opt out of the wider health reform initiatives. Secondly, this act was enacted at a time when the country was experiencing several ambiguities in health care reforms. Third, the law attracted opposition from some segments of the public on the basis that its provisions would contribute to higher costs of drugs and shortage of health care professionals or personnel.

The conditions or principal features of the U.S. health care system were the basis for the historical reform efforts that have been undertaken in the country. These conditions were a reflection of the huge number of the uninsured and underinsured population and the fact that many small businesses do not provide health insurance to their employees. They also reflected the notorious high costs of private health insurance, which made health coverage relatively unaffordable. Therefore, the policy process and political environment focused on these pitfalls in the health sector that needed to be addressed in order to improve accessibility and affordability of health care.

Important Feature of the U.S. Health Care System:

One of the most important features of the health care system in the United States is health coverage given…

Sources Used in Documents:


Bodenheimer, T., & Grumbach, K. (2012). Understanding health policy: a clinical approach (6th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Medical.

"Key Features of the Affordable Care Act by Year." (n.d.). Features of the Health Law.

Retrieved from U.S. Department of Health & Human Services website:

Leflar, R.B. (2013, July 12). Reform of the United States Health Care System: An Overview.

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