The Adoption of the Affordable Care Act in the State of Florida
Subject: Public Health
Table of Contents Introduction Main text Conclusion References Introduction The Affordable Care Act (ACA), known as “Obamacare,” was adopted in 2010 by President Barack Obama. Its enactment could affect the future state of the health care system in the USA. This federal statute aims to impose health insurance costs on states and provide a larger share of residents with health insurance. However, the law remains to be a highly debatable issue. In this paper, the advantages and disadvantages of the Florida authority’s approach to the ACA will be analyzed. It will also discuss the influence of this attitude on the stakeholders.
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Main text The law, if fully implemented, could lead to dramatic changes in the American health care system. It is worth noting how the ACA changed the situation with medical insurance in the country. For example, it seems to have improved the accessibility of health insurance through various mechanisms. One of the achievements is that “nearly 3 million young Americans have gained coverage under their parents’ policies” (Blumenthal et al., 2015). From this fact, one can conclude that “Obamacare” not only cut the number of people without health insurance but also facilitated access to care for citizens who got coverage. It is complicated to assess the strong and weak points of the state’s approach from the perspective of an ordinary citizen. However, some remarks concerning this issue will be made in this essay. On the one hand, the state’s strategy in respect of the adopted act is strongly criticized. Under the ACA, citizens with income below the poverty level are automatically eligible for Medicaid. However, officials in Florida have not accepted federal funding to expand Medicaid, even though the greater part of the state’s voters has supported the program’s expansion. As a result, the state has a significant coverage gap. Furthermore, those residents who decide not to purchase coverage will contribute to the gap. If the officials agreed to expand Medicaid, a larger number of citizens would gain coverage. Instead, a lot of Floridians remain uninsured as they cannot afford it. On the other hand, arguments in favor of the state’s actions can also be provided. One may say that the ACA limits the freedom to select a program that satisfies people’s needs. For this reason, Florida’s legislature urges to make amendments to the Medicaid law to establish a fair federal-state partnership. Florida’s governor signed the statute, which prohibits compelling a person to buy health insurance except for some specified conditions. It should also be mentioned that some of the act’s provisions are assessed as expensive and disruptive. Analysts believe that the ACA may hurt the state’s economy: they claim that the expansion of Medicaid will strain state budgets (Manchikanti et al., 2017). Besides, Medicaid expansion will inevitably increase tax obligations. That is why the state’s decision not to accept this expansion seems to be reasonable. All in all, the approach of Florida legislators to the ACA implementation has both benefits and drawbacks. The impact of the state approach to the ACA on the stakeholders also appears to be controversial. Private insurance providers in Florida continue to exist, and the governor’s actions seem to be beneficial for them. Under the ACA, provider payments were reduced as Medicaid expansion was expected to lessen the need for such payments (Glied & Jackson, 2017). The shift in payment for insurance services has also taken place. It appears to be moving from payment for each service to pay only for relevant episodes. So, the payment system in Florida has not undergone any changes. Insurance consumers also seem to be affected by Florida legislators’ actions. This influence appears to be harmful as the implementation of the law would provide residents with available insurance. A large number of consumers continue to be uninsured as some of them cannot afford it or consciously opt not to purchase it. The Floridians have the right to choose whether to sign up for insurance plans or not. If the statute was adopted in the state, they would have no choice, and that would lead to a larger scope of residents with health insurance. In light of recent events, people lose their jobs, and the risk of getting ill rises. In the coronavirus pandemic situation, it becomes even more important for each resident in the country to have insurance. In this respect, Florida’s legislative approach appears to influence its residence negatively. Conclusion In conclusion, the adoption of the Affordable Care Act provoked a lot of discussions among policymakers, politicians, and other stakeholders. This statute could change the healthcare system, but not all the states agreed to accept it. The Florida state refused to adopt the law and expand coverages, which has both advantages and disadvantages. In addition, the stakeholders, providers, as well as consumers, were affected by the governor’s approach. Each state in the USA should take into consideration all the pros and cons before deciding on whether to accept the government’s law or not.
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References Blumenthal, D., Abrams, M., & Nuzum, R. (2015). The Affordable Care Act at 5 Years. The New England Journal of Medicine, 372(2451-2458). Web. Glied, S., & Jackson, A. (2017). The Future of the Affordable Care Act and Insurance Coverage. Am J Public Health, 107(4), 538–540. Web. Manchikanti, L., MD1, Helm, S., Benyamin, R., & Hirsch, J. (2017). A Critical Analysis of Obamacare: Affordable Care or Insurance for Many and Coverage for Few? Pain Physician, 20(3), 111-138.