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Obamacare by Kimberley Leonard Paper

Obamacare by Kimberley Leonard Paper

Obamacare

1) What is your initial gut reaction to this article?

When I read Kimberley Leonard’s article titled, “Obamacare’s Healthcare.gov Improved for Insurance Sign Ups”, I got the impression that the technological glitches that have derailed the Healthcare.gov website since its inception in 2013 could be a thing of the past. However, upon a closer scrutiny, it dawned on me that Leonard actually meant to put across the message that the website is anything but glitch-free. Nonetheless, a lot of changes have been done on the website to improve its efficiency, albeit at a cost to the taxpayer.Obamacare by Kimberley Leonard Paper

2) Is this practice good or bad for the health care system, or have elements of both?

The practice of having Americans sign online for health care insurance is a good thing for the health care system. To start with, it is an efficient and effective means of increasing the enrolment rate of Americans to health insurance, as long as the government can reduce the technical glitches witnessed in the past two years to a bare minimum. This would ensure that more citizens have access to affordable health care insurance as the government gives them a tax break. However, the high penalties imposed on people who do not get insurance could be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, the hold outs could be compelled to purchase health insurance out of fear of having to pay the hefty fines. On the other hand, others may opt to pay the heavy fines instead, at the expense of purchasing health insurance.

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Another benefit of Obamacare is that it has opened doors for an increased number of insurers to provide their plans. With so many options to choose from, Americans are likely to benefit from cheaper health care insurance, on account of increased competition.  Therefore, Americans who purchase insurance are likely to save more money. Additionally, they stand a better chance of shopping around for a complete health insurance coverage, or a different plan altogether.

3) Does the patient suffer from this practice, and if so, how? \

A key provision of Obamacare is to push for a rise in the income threshold for Medicaid, which often acts as criteria to determine whether a family or individual qualifies for the program. Such an expansion will result in an increase in state expenses. Consequently, there is likely to be an increase in health care insurance premiums and health care costs and this could have a negative impact on operational efficiencies of the health care providers. As a result, the patient is likely to witness a reduction in the efficiency of services received. In addition, there has been a mismatch of information on for example, Permanent Resident Card Number and the Social Security Number of patients enrolled for insurance and the information contained in government files. Such glitches are not only frustrating to the customers, but they could also see them lose faith Obamacare. More importantly, customers cannot access health insurance that they have both applied and qualified for. Obamacare by Kimberley Leonard Paper

4) What role does the government have or should they have in regulating or controlling this issue?

The government has a leading role in both controlling and regulating the sign up exercise for Obamacare. To start with, the government should notify Americans enrolled for insurance on such glitches, such as by sending them multiple alerts when and if these technical glitches occur.  The government has also been instrumental in ensuring that logistical changes are made to the site. This has made it easier for consumers like single persons with a main job simple life circumstances and no children to easily check out to the website. In this way call center personnel get more time to attend to individuals with complicated issues such as legal immigration status, or those with several jobs.  In addition, the government has a role to play in fostering a better understanding of Obamacare among people in a bid to increase their enrolment. Moreover, the government can increase the budget allocation to Obamacare as a way of fast-tracking the execution of health care reforms. This can be done through the relevant government agencies namely, Centers for Medicaid and Medicare services. Obamacare by Kimberley Leonard Paper

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