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United States Health Care Reform: Progress to Date and Next Steps

July 2016

Barack Obama, JD


President Obama analyzes his own health care policies’ effectiveness. He starts off by putting the healthcare crisis in context--how much more was previously spent to improve healthcare without many returns being made in terms of quality and amount of care. The focus needed to be shifted from treatment when illness was present to preventative care, in order to improve healthcare standards and reduce costs. By using multiple survey formats (public government data, private survey data, etc.), he goes on to analyze the effects of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on the uninsured rate and access to quality care rates. He concludes that due to the Affordable Care Act, the uninsured rate (cut from 16% to 9.1%) and access to quality health care rates have improved substantially in the US over the past 5 years alone (2010-2015). There have also been improvements in financial security and health benefits for Americans, as well as a reform of traditional healthcare payment systems (ala bundled payments and accountable care organizations) by holding organizations liable for outcomes.

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Policy Implications

Not all of the policies that have been implemented have reached their full potential due to legal obstacles, and some who are still uninsured have reported not being able to obtain it. The ACA has suffered due to hyperpartisanship and special interests interfering with the bill within Congress, and as such, care must be taken when implementing future health policies to account for it. Common ground must be found in order to advance with these policy implementations in the future.

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