President Barak Obama signed the Affordable Care Act (ACA) into law March 23, 2010. The changes it calls for are significant, impacting every American. As with anything in life, there are good and bad aspects to the new laws, making healthcare reform no different.
The Good About Health Reform
Health reform’s positive effects include a variety of new provisions, particularly benefitting women. Among them, the ACA:
- Eliminates all lifetime limits on much insurance companies cover
- Prohibits insurance companies from denying women coverage because of a preexisting condition, excluding coverage of that preexisting condition, or charging more because of health status or gender
- Ensures coverage of prevention and basic health services, including maternity benefits
Since its inception, health reform has allowed approximately 20.4 million women with private health insurance to received preventative health care services like mammograms and pap smears at no additional cost.
The Bad About Health Reform
But with the major overhaul to the healthcare industry, there are some concerns, particularly from those providing the care.
According to the 2011 National Physicians Survey, 65 percent of the nearly 3,000 doctors surveyed believe that the quality of healthcare during the next five years will deteriorate. A more recent survey conducted by the Physicians Foundation in December of 2011 indicates that feelings haven’t changed in the past year.
The main concern deals with supply and demand. “I do not feel optimistic because of all the increased regulatory burdens on physicians,” one professional wrote in a response. “There will be an increased shortage of physicians to provide primary care and decreased access to care.”
In the coming weeks, we’ll explore each side in more depth, first with How the Affordable Care Act Has Affected Women After Two Years that will be followed by Will Healthcare Reform Negatively Affect the Quality of Care?