Preventive Service Mandate of Affordable Care Act Is it A Burden or Boon to the Health Care System

It is evidently clear from the discussion that the cliché Health is wealth rings true for people from all walks of life no matter what their circumstances are. There is a higher prevalence of chronic diseases in the United States than in any other developed country, and this has served as a motivation for American society’s overwhelming concern about health and fitness. This concern with health and fitness has fueled attempts to evaluate and modify lifestyles, as research has found that habits learned over the years can contribute to one’s present health status for better or worse. When taking into consideration health status, Americans must reflect on the need for both health care and health insurance. Even though technically health care access has not declined for most Americans over the last ten years, access still poses a problem for some segments of the population. This problem is due to the increasing number of the uninsured and under-insured, the rapidly rising cost of new technology and treatments, and a lack of emphasis on primary, preventive care. Of course, this lack of emphasis on primary care may be caused in part by the fact that fewer physicians are choosing primary care as an option, and those who do are often not locating their offices in rural or highly urbanized areas. Lack of emphasis on primary care is leading to increased numbers of individuals who are not receiving adequate primary care in rural and inner city areas. (Larkins, Gupta, Evans, Murray Preston, 2011). Along with access difficulties, the costs for purchasing insurance and providing care have been increasing even as overall income levels are dropping, which is helping fuel the present health crisis in the United States. Health care expenses in the United States are very high compared to other developed countries, but the quality of services is lower than in other developed countries (Stephens Ledlow, 2010). According to the Kaiser Family Foundation (2011), in the United States, the per capita health expenditure is increasing at a higher rate than in any other OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries, and the total health care expenditure reached 17 percent of the total GDP in 2008, yet the United States is far behind the OECD countries in terms of quality of care and life expectancy. The Kaiser Family Foundation estimated that the per capita health expenditure will reach $8,160 by 2018, which is very high compared to the other developed nations. This reflects the rising health care costs in the United States. (Source: Kaiser Family Foundation, 2011) The current health care system is mainly focusing on expensive technology and specialist services at the cost of preventive and primary care services, and this focus contributes to rising health care costs. Current reimbursement policies are providing incentives to specialty physicians for high cost interventions and undervaluing services offered by the primary care physicians. The federal government, health care organizations, and voluntary organizations are exploring different ways to shift insufficient health care funds into primary care through health care reform (Rushton, 2009). Health Care Reform History The idea of health care reform in the United States is an old one. Many presidents of the United States tried to introduce health care reform. Four major attempts in the past fifty years have been made to implement health care reform in United States. The first effort was made by Theodore Roosevelt in 1912. He supported the social insurance strategy to provide coverage for the old and unemployed. Franklin D. Roosevelt tried to incorporate the insurance system as part of the social security act. But there was a huge opposition from the American Medical Association, so he withdrew that proposal. Wilbur Cohen, an official in Roosevelt’