The concepts of health care and affordable Care Act can be well understood when viewed from economics perspective. Economists have done a comprehensive analysis of the economic impacts of health care reform. The affordable Care Act aims at reforming health care has different economic impacts in the United States. According to the Council of Economic Advisors, health care reform helps cut down health care costs. This would help raise the standards of living as a result of improved efficiency. When the growth rate of health care costs is slowed by ensuring efficiency, there are improved standards of living. Resources are made available used to produce other essential goods and services. In another instance, reducing health care costs ensure increased national saving.
This prevents poor budgetary planning and saving becomes essential for the government. The federal government makes payments for a large fraction of healthcare which lowers the growth rate of health care costs. This lowers budget deficit and the savings increases capital formation. Economists suggest that if GDP is measured properly it could be more than 2 percent higher in 2020. This would be so due to reform and if the reform was not there. The GDP would be low. By 2030, it is expected to be 8 percent higher. The income of a typical family is also expected to rise to $2600 higher in 2020 and $10,000 higher in 2030 (Executive Office of the President council of Economic Advisers, 2009).
Health reform would contribute to reduced unemployment in the short and medium runs. The healthcare costs rise slowly that helps the economy to operate at lower level of unemployment as well as avoid inflation. The affordable Care Act has provisions that can help increase employment and growth in the United States (Furman, 2014). Families will be able to access health care and meet other pressing needs. This will help increase the demand of goods and service in the economy. The Act will help reduce the unemployment level for the next few years.
The Affordable Care Act is expected to reduce the long-term deficit and laying the foundation for future growth. According to the Congressional Budget Office, over the year 2013 through 2022, the ACA will reduce the deficit by $109 billion. This is expected to grow over time and more deficits will be reduced. It is estimated that by the year 2032, the ACA will reduce the deficit by 0.5 percent of the Gross Domestic Product in each year. This will therefore improve of the national saving and hence reduce foreign borrowing. However, from another economic point of view, the Affordable Care Act will have a negative impact on the society (Furman , 2014).
In the United States, the current healthcare system is believed to threaten the prosperity of the people. This system overburdens the economy. The healthcare system is too far expensive as compared to the benefits provided. The United States spends about 50 percent more on healthcare than in any other developed country. The health care cost adds up 16 percent of the GDP. People contribute to the insurance companies, pay doctors and indirectly to Medicare and other programs. People also contribute to the health care costs through taxes for every item they purchase. In the United States, this is too much contribution compared to other development countries. If this money could be used in other ways to strengthen the economy, the living standards would improve for everybody. Social workers have a role to play in educating the public about the problems that may be caused Affordable Care Act (Executive Office of the President council of Economic Advisers, 2009).
The society may not understand the idea of Affordable Care Act. The law is bringing changes to the health care system. Social workers and other health professionals have a role in implementing it. The social worker can help educate the public about the Affordable Care Act. The community will be affected by the law either positively or negatively. A social worker will advocate for changes in case the law does not bring about benefits to the community. A social worker is someone who understands that individuals are part of communities, social networks. These social networks influences people’s health choices and participation in the health care. Through this understanding, it is easy to know the health behaviors of people and their impact in achieving health goals (Tan, 2009).
The success of Affordable Care Act can be successful depending on the eligible people enrolled in the plan. This can be done through giving forms to people in order to fill in their details. There are some communities that are vulnerable and would not be able to fill for the form. These communities or individuals need the help of a social worker. The social workers understand the social problems in the society and would effectively advocate for a strategy that can help people overcome the social problems (Tan, 2009). The social workers can create awareness by conducting public education. This helps educate communities on the qualified health plans that would be of great help to them. Social workers also intervene by distributing fair and impartial information concerning enrollment to a healthcare plan and the benefits or costs involved. This will help reach the uninsured and underinsured people who may have problems in accessing the health care. Lack of health care can be a major problem in the society. People who cannot afford health care tend to die prematurely. This can be reduced by the help of a social worker who is able to convince them to join healthcare plans. A social problem can be looked at micro and macro level.
The micro level can be looked at an individual basis whereas the macro level can be looked at a universal basis. Social workers use micro and macro level theories to address a social problem. Social workers use the theories of health ethics at the micro level. Shared health governance is a micro level theory that helps in implementing health reforms. For people’s health to flourish, the society should be committed to improving health care system (Ruger, 2008). Public policy should focus on the individual’s ability to function. The health care policy should support individual’s health capabilities. This can be done by ensuring they are able to meet their health needs fostering their abilities to make health decisions. Through this, social workers can educate individuals on the need for participating in health care plans and the benefits of health reforms. In another instance, social workers uses community development theory as a macro level theory in educating people on the healthcare reforms.
This is a framework mostly used by social workers in seeking changes in the communities and societies. Health care reforms will not only be beneficial to individuals but also the community at large. The problems that come as a result of the health care reform will also affect the individuals and the community. Community development theory is used to solve community problems as it focuses on the impact felt in the entire society (Tan, 2009). If the impact of health care reform will be greatly felt in the community, the social worker will be in a capacity to intervene. The social worker will be able to advocate for changes if the problem is affecting the entire community. Empirical studies have been carried out that uses different social work interventions.
An empirical study by Ramirez et al (2011) concerning the comprehensive primary health care was conducted in South America. In this study, different interventions were used. The healthcare provision included the human rights. This allows social participation and decentralization. This has contributed to countries having a unified universal health care whereby principles of decentralization and comprehensiveness are used. The health care system aims at reaching many people even the marginalized groups. Citizen participation was used in this study. This involved increased social and citizen mobilization and participation. This idea of community participation had a positive impact on changes made to social and health policy in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s. Community participation in primary health care helps achieve health goals and ensure government’s accountability. Effective health care reform can be ensured when community participation is enhanced. Primary health care can also be made effective if there is intersectoral collaboration. This involves participation of other sectors apart from health. This gives rooms for other sectors to contribute in policy making that can benefit the entire society. For instance, health, housing, education, social and economic sectors are involved in health care reforms. This study argues that primary health care that is effective and successful are the one that ensure commitment to human right, community participation, equity, intersectoral participation as well as accountability. Another empirical study was conducted by Levesque et al.
This study involved a review of publishes literature. 179 articles were identified, and 55 relevant articles were retained. The study aimed at understanding the need of public health and primary health care in addressing health problems in the community. Provision of health care can be made successful in the community is involved in health care decisions. This is done effectively by informing and educating the community on health reforms and health care provision. Effectiveness of health care provision can be enhanced by collaboration and community involvement (Lavesque, n.d). For instance, in Quebec, Health and Social Services Centers have been successful in ensuring local service network. This ensures accessibility, continuity and quality services for the community. To address the problems of health care, there is need for improving social networks. In the United States, the Accountable Care Organizations are models used for system reform. This can be used by the Affordable Care Act to help coordinate and mobilize people to engaging in health care plan.
In conclusion, affordable Care Act is a law that aims at reforming Health care in United States. This aims at ensuring affordable health care to all. The uninsured groups of people who are in the vulnerable communities are involved. From an economist perspective, the reform may have both positive and negative impact on the society. It can lead to economic growth as government will increase national saving that can help boost other sectors of the economy. On the other hand, the reform will lead to challenges in the society as the plan wills only health in a short run. The economy is deemed to suffer even more as a result of the health reform Act. Social interventions are involved in ensuring effective health reform Act. This advocates for collaboration and community involvement in health care plans.