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THE INADEQUACIES OF THE PATIENT PROTECTION AND AFFORDABLE CARE ACT1The Inadequacies of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
THE INADEQUACIES OF THE PATIENT PROTECTION AND AFFORDABLE CARE ACT2AbstractThe Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) was created with good intentions. Its purpose is to increase healthcare insurance coverage to American citizens who were denied coverage in the past due to income or prior health conditions. With the expansion of Medicaid and introduction of the Health Insurance Marketplace, citizens would be able to visit their dedicated physician who would provide exemplary care at a reasonable price. Patients would contact their provider, get seen within a few days, and their out-of-pocket costs would be minimum. The optimal result - reduced healthcare expenditures because people are healthier and not waiting until they are on death’s door before seeking treatment. However, five years after its introduction, the PPACA is fraught with problems. What went wrong?
THE INADEQUACIES OF THE PATIENT PROTECTION AND AFFORDABLE CARE ACT3The Inadequacies of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act“Cyrus Beene: Today’s your big day to vote “yes” on the Brandon BillSusan Ross: But I haven’t read it, not since it was first proposed, not the final draft.Cyrus Beene: It is very much like the previous drafts.Susan Ross: Well, I’ll have to read it first.Cyrus Beene: Susan, (chuckles) the bill is 1,200 pages long.Susan Ross: Then, I better get cracking.Cyrus Beene: Ho, no, no. They’ve (the Senate) already begun voting.Susan Ross: Then they’re gonna have to wait. I won’t vote on something I haven’t read, Cyrus, and I don’t think the American people would want me to.” (Rhimes, 2015)Season 4, Episode 19 of the ABC network television show Scandalreflects many of the same dilemmas that were faced by our government when the PPACA was a bill. Congress and the Senate were encouraged to make a decision prior to reading the final draft. The PPACA was originally created to reduce the trillion dollar healthcare deficit and provide healthcare to all American citizens. If the 974-page final draft was read and dissected by our trusted political leaders, what changes would have been made to ensure the Act truly benefited Americans. Better Coverage, Worse AccessThe PPACA provides insurance to approximately 50 million uninsured Americans through Medicaid and the state and federal health insurance exchanges. Medicaid was expanded to include Americans who earn less than 133 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). There are approximately 88 million Americans below that FPL and the current non-elderly Medicaid population is approximately 45 million. If all states adopted the expanded Medicaid coverage, the Medicaid population could increase by 16 million people (Feldstein, 2015, p.12). But who
THE INADEQUACIES OF THE PATIENT PROTECTION AND AFFORDABLE CARE ACT4will treat this newly insured population? Currently, the majority of physicians do not treat Medicaid patients because of the stigma associated with them. They are in poor health, low-