Americans are very fond of saying that they live in the best country in the world. But, you will not meet too many people who will say that the Americans have the best health care system in the world. That is probably the reason why the Affordable Care Act created such a reaction in the nation. Everyone had an opinion. Nobody was indifferent, and the expectations are very high. People are expecting this one piece of legislation to fix all that is wrong with the American health care system. But can it?
What is wrong with American health care system?
According to The Commonwealth Fund Report on the health care comparison between the 12 industrial nations, the US health system is not showing the results that are expected considering that it is the most expensive of all. In 2008, with $7,538 per capita, Americans spent more money on health care than all other industrial nations. The States had lower number of physicians and hospital beds per capita than other countries as well as lower number of doctors’ and hos pital visits than almost all other countries. On the other hand, the cost of each hospital visit was highest in the U.S. Highest were also the use and price of prescription drugs. The US scored well when it came to the five-year survival rate for patients with several types of cancer, but had the highest number of hospital admissions for major chronic diseases and the highest number of diabetes-related amputations.
While the numbers the report compares are not showing the full picture, they are definitively showing the disparity between the money spent and the results achieved. The Affordable Care Act is trying to address at least the most important issues.
What is the Affordable Care Act?
The Affordable Care Act is a health care law that President Obama signed in March 2010. Its main goals are to provide medical care to much larger number of people than before, and to reduce the total cost of health care at the same time.
The law has a series of new protection measures for people with health insurance. And that is the bottom line: this law is about health insurance coverage and benefits. If you do not have insurance, or you cannot get one, you are out of luck. But, until this law, many people who had insurance could not get the care they needed because of the small print many insurance plans had and people were not aware of. The law forces insurance