History of Obama Health Care

In 1965, President Lyndon Johnson enacted legislation that introduced Medicare, covering both hospital (Part A) and supplemental medical (Part B) insurance for senior citizens.

The legislation also introduced Medicaid, which permitted the Federal government to partially fund a program for the poor. Individual States managed and co-financed the program.

U.S. costs in 2016 were substantially higher than other OECD countries, at 17.2% GDP versus 12.4% GDP for the next most expensive country (Switzerland).

According World Bank, the U.S. had the highest health care costs relative to the size of the economy (GDP) in the world. Even though estimated 50 million citizens (approximately 16%) lacked insurance.

U.S. healthcare costs were approximately $3.2 trillion or nearly $10,000 per person on average in 2015.

Major categories of expense include hospital care (32%), physician and clinical services (20%), and prescription drugs (10%).

Critique of Obama Health Care

One critique and motivation for Obama Health Care reform has been the development of the medical–industrial complex.

The moral arguments for health care reform, framing healthcare as a social good. It is fundamentally immoral to deny to people based on economic status.

The motivation behind healthcare reform in response to the medical-industrial complex also stems from issues of social inequity, promotion of medicine over preventative care.

Later in 2010 the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, but also known as Obamacare, was enacted.

President Barack Obama signs the Obama Health Care
President Barack Obama signs the Obama Health Care

Obama Health Care Key Points-

  • It created health insurance marketplaces with three standard insurance coverage levels
  • Obama Health Care gives tax credits for businesses to provide insurance to employees
  • It created an insurance company rate review program
  • Obama Health Care also sets a minimum medical loss ratio ratio of direct health care spending to premium income creates price competition.
  • It phased introduction over multiple years of a comprehensive system of mandated health insurance reforms designed to eliminate “some of the worst practices of the insurance companies”.
  • Many changes to the 1997, 2000, and 2003 laws that had previously changed Medicare and further expanded eligibility for Medicaid
  • Obama Health Care requires for reduced Medicare reimbursements for hospitals with excess readmissions. This eventually ties physician Medicare reimbursements to quality of care metrics.

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