Politics in Healthcare Discussion Paper

Politics in Healthcare Discussion Paper

Reply to the following two classmates’ posts. (See attached word doc with posts). Reply to each one separately.

In your reply, compare and contrast the peer response to yours (also attached in word doc.), introduce new questions, and/or present new information.Politics in Healthcare Discussion Paper


Each reply should contain at least from 200 – 300 words

Since it was enacted, “Affordable Care Act” has attracted divergent views from Americans –among them politicians as well as other key stakeholder groups within the healthcare industry. Upon its enactment, the law was expected to positively change the landscape of the U.S. healthcare sector by expanding access to healthcare, enhancing the affordability of medical coverage, as well as minimizing the uninsured people. Notably, ACA has been able to achieve its key goals since “an estimated 20 million people have become newly insured and approximately 24 million people have gained access to subsidized or free care through marketplace tax credits and Medicaid expansion” (Eibner, 2019). Despite achieving its key goals, ACA continues to face “strong political spectrum headwinds”.
Consequently, two political alliances –one consisting of Republicans and the other one comprising of Democrats –have emerged. The Republicans have constantly undermined ACA while at the same time opposing all the proposals of Medicare-for-all. On the other hand, Democrats wholly support ACA advocating for the its maintenance with minimal or zero changes.Politics in Healthcare Discussion Paper  However, the Republicans have maintained that Affordable Care Act should be repealed and replaced it with “proposed healthcare reforms” by President Donald Trump. Republicans further argue that ACA is going to worsen the government’s final position –leading to federal deficits amounting to $530 billion by the year 2021 (Amadeo, 2019). The Republicans have projected a scenario whereby healthcare spending might exceed the country’s income. The argument by Republicans is meant to “avoid worsening of federal deficits and increasing federal health care financing commitments.” Hence, repealing and replacing ACA with AHCA would improve the government’s fiscal outlook.
According to a report released by KFF in November 2017, 50 percent of the Americans supported ACA while 46 percent opposed it. In terms of partisan politics, 80% of the Democrats braced the legislation while 81% of Republicans strongly opposed it (Rovner, 2017). While Medicare-for-all option fronted by Democrats calls for a single-payer healthcare whereby all Americans are covered by a single government-run insurer, Republicans were advocating for AHCA which allows people to either choose a public or private insurance plan (KFF, 2017). Basically, the reforms pushed by Republicans gives Americans more options compared to ACA. In other words, Medicare-for-all is limited and strict hence denying people the option to choose.Politics in Healthcare Discussion Paper
According to Republicans, Affordable Care Act fronted major financial constraints to the federal government –subjecting the country to a substantial risk of deficits. Basically, the government was expected to spend over $1.15 trillion by 2021. ACA has also raised income tax rate for people earning above $200,000 to 2.35%. Moreover, Americans earning above $200,000 were expected to pay an extra “3.8 percent Medicare tax on investment income” (Amadeo, 2019) Moreover, ACA became a burden to pharmaceutical companies and medical equipment manufacturers due to 2.3 percent excise tax imposed on them. Moreover, people who did not purchase the cover were also taxed. Generally, ACA had a lot of financial constraints both to the government, key players in health industry, as well as Americans. In a nutshell, Republicans have downplayed ACA and all the proposals of Medicare-for-all due to its weaknesses –especially financial arguments discussed above. This saw the introduction of AHCA that fronted a public option to allow Americans choose “from Medicare and other private insurers” (Boxer & Herzlinger, 2019). Politics in Healthcare Discussion Paper

Reply to the following two classmates’ posts. In your reply, compare and contrast the peer response to yours, introduce new questions, and/or present new information. Each reply should contain at least from 200 – 300 words.

Post # 1: Jaqueline

Between the political parties, there are varying positions and alliances. The Democrat and Republican parties have opposing views of what is best for the future of health care in America. Even presidential candidates in the same political party offer differing views of what is best for the future of health care in America. In addition, the health care industry also opposes options that are proposed by presidential candidates. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) became effective in September of 2010 and did increase cost and limited cost for many Americans (Shi & Singh, 2014). Approximately twenty-million Americans have gained health insurance under the ACA (Shi & Singh, 2014). The ACA does have its limitations, and thus is why health care reform continues to remain in the light of political debates with opposing ideas of what would provide Americans with the best coverage with the lowest cost.Politics in Healthcare Discussion Paper

Several bills have been proposed on how to expand health care coverage to Americans. The bills have been grouped into five general categories by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF). KFF provides comparison of the five general categories of the proposed health care coverage. The five categories include Medicare-For-All, a new national health insurance program with an option to opt out for qualified coverage, a new public plan option that would be offered to individuals through the ACA marketplace, a Medicare buy-in option for older individuals not yet eligible for the current Medicare program, and a Medicaid buy-in option that states can elect to offer to individuals through the ACA marketplace (2019). The proposed bills are efforts put forth by the political parties and presidential candidates with ideas of how to decrease the cost of health care in the United States and increase the number of individuals with health insurance. Politics in Healthcare Discussion Paper
KFF offers a tool that allows you to compare the proposed bills side by side. When comparing the role of public plan between Medicare For All, Medicare for America Act of 2019 and Medicare Buy-in and Health Care Stabilization Act of 2019, you can compare the cost to the public and private individual. Medicare For All is financed through taxation and replaces all private insurance, Medicaid, Medicare and CHIP covered benefits (KFF, 2019). Medicare for America Act of 2019 provides a public program with the option to opt out and Medicare Buy-in and Health Care Stabilization Act of 2019 offers individuals over the age of 50 to buy into Medicare (KFF, 2019). There is no cost sharing or premiums for Medicare-For-All and there are cost sharing expenses and premiums for all other proposed bills (KFF, 2019). Under Medicare For All, the duration extends for a lifetime, whereas Medicare for America Act of 2019, you have an option to opt-out and the Medicare Buy-In and Health Care Stabilization Act of 2019, you have to enroll one year at a time, which may limit the number of individuals who are enrolling in coverage options (KFF, 2019). The KFF provides a lot of data and comparison points between the proposed bills, however insight into functionality and support of political parties of these proposed bills needs to be further understood.

The U.S. News reports that the Kaiser poll found that “77% of Democrats strongly or somewhat favor a national health plan, while 79% of Republicans strongly or somewhat oppose it” (Hagen, 2019, p. 32). Democrats who support a national health plan such as Medicare For All have been pressured to provide numbers and exact cost of implementing Medicare For All on taxpayers. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have been primary supports of Medicare For All. After much pushback, Elizabeth Warren did release a plan that would require 20.5 trillion dollars in federal spending over a decade (Kurtzleben, 2019). Her plan includes an increase in taxes on the wealthy and no new taxes on the middle class (Kurtzleben, 2019). With opposing viewpoints on the future of health care in the United States and a presidential election in our near future, understanding and comparing the differing proposals is made easy by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Upon comparing the differing proposals, an understanding is gained in the differing roles of the bills, coverage options and costs that would be endured.Politics in Healthcare Discussion Paper

Hagen, L. (2019, Oct. 11). Where the 2020 candidates stand on health care and Medicare for All. Retrieved from https://www.usnews.com/elections/health-care-2020
Kaiser Family Foundation. (2012). Health care costs: Primer. Retrieved from http://kff.org/health-costs/issue-brief/health-care-costs-a-primer/
KFF. (2019). Comparison of Medicare-for-all and Public Plan ProposalsRetrieved from https://www.kff.org/interactive/compare-medicare-for-all-public-plan-proposals/
Kurtzleben, D. (2019, Nov. 1). Here’s how Warren finds $20.5 trillion to pay for ‘Medicare For All’”. Retrieved from https://www.npr.org/2019/11/01/775339519/heres-how-warren-finds-20-5-trillion-to-pay-for-medicare-for-all
Shi, L., & Singh, D. (2014). Delivering Health Care in America (7th ed.). Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett.Politics in Healthcare Discussion Paper


Post # 2: Amanda

Among the political parties, there is varying opinions regarding how the United States should run their healthcare system. The parties have conflicting views regarding the ACA or Medicare-for-all, while the Democratic party is for the ACA and Medicare-for-all, the Republican party opposes these ideas. The Republican party continues to repeal the Affordable Care Act and will fight against the proposal for Medicare-for-all, while the democratic party has fought for these bills for many years.
The Republican parties’ opinions on the Affordable Care Act and Medicare-for-all vary greatly than the opinions of the Democratic party. One of the goals of the Republican party is to lower the costs of healthcare while promoting a competitive market for healthcare (“Republican Views”, 2014). The republican party believes that if the government runs the healthcare system there will be a reduction in both efficiency and standards of care (“Republican Views”, 2014). According to the republican party, government run healthcare may alter the relationship between the physician and patient, and they believe there may be an increase in waiting time for healthcare services (“Republican Views”, 2014). While the Republican party does not believe in the ACA or Medicare-for-all, they push for a reformed Medicare which would provide seniors with more options and a Medical Savings Account (“Republican Views”, 2014). The Republican party believes the ACA is unconstitutional as it mandates every American citizen to purchase or obtain health insurance and will cause an increase in financial burden on the citizen and the country (“Republican Views”, 2014). According to the “Republican Views on Health Care”, the Republican party opposed the Affordable Care Act so strongly that when Obama signed the bill into law, not one Republican voted for it (“Republican Views”, 2014).Politics in Healthcare Discussion Paper
The Democratic point-of-views are in support of the ACA and Medicare-for-all. The Affordable Care Act was formed and initiated in 2010 (Shi & Singh, 2017). It was formed in order to decrease the number of uninsured citizens in the United States (Shi & Singh, 2017). Democrats believe that every citizen in the United States should have the security of health insurance. They believe having quality health care that is affordable for every citizen is a necessity that every American deserves. Democrats have fought long and hard over the years for this reform to occur, that is seven presidents have push for health reform (“Health Care”, n.d.). With the initiation of the ACA, the uninsured rate was cut in half, and more than 20 million Americans now have health care insurance (“Health Care”, n.d.). The ACA assists young Americans in saving money by now allowing them to stay on their parent’s health insurance plan until the age of 26 (“Health Care”, n.d.). And according to the ACA, it is now illegal for discrimination to occur based on a pre-existing condition in regard to providing health insurance (“Health Care”, n.d.). Health care has become more affordable to Americans with the initiation of the ACA according to the Democratic party. There are tax credits that are offered to small businesses that assists in offsetting the costs of employee health insurance coverage (“Health Care”, n.d.).Politics in Healthcare Discussion Paper
There are 10 new proposals broken up into five different categories in Congress at this time, that was developed by both Democrats and Republican parties (“Compare Medicare”, 2019). All 10 proposals vary from each other and are broken down to five categories. The two democratic parties have two proposals and are in the category Medicare-for-all, or single payer (“Compare Medicare”, 2019). The next categories are for a Public Program with an option to opt out, four Public Plan options, two plans for Medicare buy in programs for older adults, and Medicaid buy in program (“Compare Medicare”, 2019). Every single proposal has their benefits, perks, and downfalls depending your political views on healthcare and the government. I believe any option could benefit the United States for the better, but in my opinion, I believe insurance for all citizens would assist the financial states for the American people (“Compare Medicare”, 2019). Medicare-for-all or government funded insurance would be a drastic hit for private insurance companies. If the government passes this bill, and does away with private insurance companies, private companies may lose up to $600 billion (Mukherjee, 2020). Under the Medicare-for-all insurance, private insurance companies will not be allowed to compete with government coverage (Mukherjee, 2020). If this proposal goes through, it will be a significant loss for private companies and will affect their livelihood.  Politics in Healthcare Discussion Paper