The heat over health care continues this week as President Barack Obama signed the health care reform bill Tuesday, officiating an historic development in the health care system of our nation and closing, in writing, a long-fought battle.
Despite a lack of Republican support, the Democratic Party was able to pull the bill through, though tensions were high and opinions strongly expressed. Much of the continued arguments arise from concerns over the breadth of the issue.
According to msnbc.com, the law’s main purpose is to provide health care insurance to all families. This is a major extension in coverage, as 32 million Americans currently do not possess health insurance of any kind. While the reform covers all Americans initially, insurance coverage requirements and guidelines will fall into stricter effect by 2014.
With a $1 trillion budget, funding for such a drastic movement will come primarily from financial cuts to hospitals, insurance companies, Medicare and various health-focused services, many of which are currently supported through governmental aid.
Some of the immediate effects of the health care plan include limitations and extensions of current insurance policy and coverage, increased insurance accessibility, tax cuts and subsidized coverage. Some insurance coverage will diminish, however, as Medicare Advantage insurance will take losses.
There is no question that while universal healthcare aims to provide for all people, few, if any, are left unaffected.
“Efforts to improve health care need to address three essential aspects: access, quality and cost,” said Ruth Daumer, Associate Professor of Nursing at NW. The health care reform legislation “addresses the issue of access,” she said, but “serious concerns remain related to the inattention to health care costs, financing the increased access and the effect of this legislation on freedom of choice and health care quality.”
While this stands as a victorious moment for many, skepticism is still strong.