The paper evaluates the current US health care reforms as stated in the website www.ncsl.org. The paper further suggests the steps which need to be taken by the US states, particularly Georgia, in effectively implementing the health care reforms in their state.
Health care reform is a term which is used to discuss the health strategy of any particular area or country. Health care reform ensures that the citizens get maximum benefits out of the health reform plan of that specific state. It mainly deals with the health insurance policies and the implementation of the changes in the reform according to new health law. It basically improves the quality of health care, helps to reduce the cost of health care and finally it ensures that there are no of health care insurance providers from both public and private sectors.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care Reconciliation Act jointly known as the Affordable Care Act of 2010 are mainly aimed at addressing the issues with relation to health disparities. Health disparity is a deterrent condition which showcases the gaps in achieving the health care for all. Still a large group of population is not able to have access to quality health care services for their diseases and ailments. Various factors contribute to this disparity such as no access to quality care and some of them include the ethnic minority groups and specific racial sect disparities (Sven and Jon 358).
The provisions of the Act aim to provide access to more health care programs at a reduced cost and also to develop the quality of the healthcare sphere. The Act also focuses on expanding the health coverage to other areas as well. By 2019, more 32 million Americans are set to receive the health insurance coverage under this Act (Farrell 25). According to this newly passed Act, the States have to follow some of the fundamental Federal requirements that are envisaged in the law and the Federal Government will help them out with some of the grants to enable the implementation of the rules.
Several states have reacted to the federal healthcare reforms law and is restricting and changing the federal steps that makes it necessary to buy the insurance plan. States are opposed to the idea of fines and penalties for not purchasing insurance by individuals or employers. Some of the States would like to retain the optional status of the in-state insurance thereby enabling people to purchase the insurance coverage scheme of their choice. Provisions in the Act are contradictory to each other as per some of the States.
Florida and Virginia States are against the health care reforms and strikes it down as unconstitutional as it forces people to purchase the insurance scheme. It does not seem to fit the State schemes appropriately. Virginia is the first State to enact a new statute that does not mandate the health insurance coverage. Michigan on the other hand welcomed the health reform and stands in favor of the federal legislation that mandates health insurance coverage by individuals and employers. Out of the 50 U.S. States, 32 States are opposing the provisions of the health reforms scheme (Hoffman 81).
Only 13 States are considering bringing in a constitutional amendment, 14 States have filed bills for the statute and 12 have gone for an advisory resolution. There are some seven States which has gone ahead and enacted a statute that does not make insurance coverage mandatory as per the State policy. Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Utah, Arizona and Utah are the seven states which stands opposed to the compulsory health insurance scheme (Conte and Karr 5).
Georgia is an active participant in the health care reform as well and is looking forward to reduce the health disparity to a considerable level in 2011. Georgia has been taking a lot of health reform steps through Georgia Department of Community and Health. This department developed the Health Equity Initiative, a state initiative, to curtail the health disparities arising out of the ethnic and racial problems in 2008. Further to it, the OHI has addressed the target community, the Asian American Community through the collection of data and collective details from these groups.
Georgia has enacted a statute on its own which states that “no law or rule or regulation shall compel any person, employer, or health care provider to participate in any health care system;” The State does not encourage penalties or fines in this stand (Birn 89). The Georgia State is rightful in its move to create a Georgia Health Exchange Authority that act under the State Government to administer State based insurance exchange.
Through this exchange the private companies can buy the insurance coverage and should follow the guidelines set by both the State and Federal government in this regard. Those of the workers who are not covered for insurance can shop for insurance through the website. One will easily get to know whether he or she qualifies for a Medicaid as well.
On the whole, Georgia is moving up in the right pace with regard to health care reforms and is determined to bring down the health care disparities in its State.
Brin, Anne, Brown Theodore, Fee Elizabeth and Lear Walter. “Struggles for National Health Reform in the United States.” American Journal of Public Health 93 (2003): 86-91. Print.
Conte, Christopher and Karr Albert. The U.S. Economy, A Brief History. 2008. Web.
Farrell, Diana. Accounting for the Cost of U.S. Health Care: A New Look at Why Americans Spend More. McKinsey Global Institute, 2008. Web.
Hoffman, Beatrix.“Health Care Reform and Social Movements in the United States.” American Journal of Public Health 93(2003): 75-85. Print.
Sven, Summer and Jon Watts. “It’s the Institutions, Stupid! Why Comprehensive National Health Insurance Always Fails in America.” Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law 20(1995): 329-372. Print.