Health Care Reform:
One of the major topics that have had a long history in the United States is health care reforms, which has been characterized by huge debates. Following decades of failed attempts by various Democratic presidents, a new law was enacted by President Obama to overhaul the countrys health care system. The enactment of this legislation came after a year of harsh partisan combat with the purpose of ensuring access to health care insurance for millions of Americans. In addition to being the most controversial topic, health care reform law was the largest single legislative accomplishment of President Obama. Notably, this legislation will cost Americas government approximately $940 billion over the next decade based on an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office. The office has also estimated that the law will lessen federal deficit by about $138 billion during the same period and a further reduction of the deficit by $1.2 trillion dollars in the second decade.
The desire for a certain kind of national healthcare insurance program or universal access to medical insurance by the Democrats can be traced back to the times of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. This was followed by the proposal by President Harry S. Truman for a national healthcare program that contains an insurance fund that everyone would pay. Since then, all Democratic and various Republican presidents have always wanted to offer affordable healthcare coverage to many Americans (“Health Care Reform,” 2011). One of the recent proposals for a universal health care program was President Bill Clintons grand proposal that suffered a huge failure. The scope of President Obamas health care reform was evident in 2010, when he requested the Congress to allocate over $600 billion dollars as down payment for health care reform initiatives over the next decade.
As part of these initiatives, the leaders of five Congressional committees had agreed on several components of the legislation.
These components included the mandate for everyone to have healthcare insurance and the requirement for employers to help in paying for the coverage. These components were fundamental in the development of the new health care law, which was enacted by the president in 2010. Some of the major provisions of the legislation include expanding healthcare coverage to the uninsured population in America and health insurance exchanges (Jackson & Nolen, 2010). The other provisions are the inclusion of Medicare Payroll tax on investment income, expanding Medicaid to cover the federal poverty level, and reforms for insurance companies.
Divergent Opinions Regarding Health Care Reform:
The health care law has continued to attract huge debate before and after its enactment into legislation. These debates are not only centered on the different opinions but they also emanate from concerns regarding the viability and effectiveness of mandating everyone to have healthcare insurance. Notably, the major aspect that has dominated the huge debate is the economic impact of the implementation of the health care law. Some of the different opinions that have been suggested include:
Expansion of the Federal Safety Net:
During the process of developing the health care legislation, Republicans never provided an integrated health care bill but they developed various ideas that are geared towards making health insurance more accessible and affordable. Within this set of ideas proposed by the Republicans, an appropriate health care program can be accomplished by stressing tax incentives and state innovations. They suggest that such a program is achievable without any new federal mandates but a minimal expansion of the federal safety net.
Purchase of Insurance across State Lines:
The second major divergent view regarding health care reform by the Republicans is the proposal to make incremental progress without the economic impacts that the health care law would pose to the United States. This can be achieved by allowing.