Policy, Politics, & Global Health Trends
Brian Hurd-Servin, BSN, RN, CCRN
Western Governors University
A1. Policy Issue
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as the ACA or "Obamacare," includes several payment reform requirements intended to essentially change the way healthcare is delivered in the United States. One major focus of the U.S health care system is the well-being of the elderly, particularly those that are seriously ill or diagnosed with a terminal illness. Our elderly population has access to world-class treatment, which has allowed them to continue with an endless fight against aging. However, though the current medicine and treatment modalities suited for the elderly have been able to keep people going, the high costs incurred are contributing to the increase in health care spending in this country. Life-sustaining treatment and technology such as pacemakers, advanced arrhythmia treatments and medical assist devices have also led to increased health care costs. Patients, private insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid continue to see rising costs.
Health care costs have been on the rise in U.S for quite some time. In 2010 alone Americans spent around $2.6 trillion on health-care. Climbing costs of health-care can pose a threat to the country’s long-term financial stability. Costs continue to rise at unsustainable rates. 5% of Americans account for a half of the total health care costs spent in the United States, denying the other 95% proper health care. The elderly population account for the majority of this spending. Current advances in medical technology have resulted in longer life spans for our population. As a result, these longer life spans have been a major force behind the climbing cost of healthcare (Mechanic, Altman & McDonough, 2012).
A1a. Issue Selection
Payment reform plays a significant role in our efforts to improve and expand the healthcare delivery system...