Health Care Reform and the Resulting Effects

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Health Care Reform and the Resulting Effects
Kristen Opp
Benedictine University

Health Care Reform and the Resulting Effects
Health Care reform, the expansion of healthcare coverage to the uninsured and unemployed, is under speculation regarding its long term economic impact. Although it will get more individuals covered with insurance it will come at a cost to small businesses and tax payers. These changes may be what most consider improvements but we must look at the long term affects on our healthcare system, for example it will also result in “$500 billion in Medicare cuts over the next decade” (Jackson & Nolen, March 21, 2010). Speculation is that healthcare reform is a band aid fixing existing problems and lowering the deficit but could be setting future Medicare plan participants up for hardship.
The short term positive effects include free preventative care under Medicare, help for early retirees, end of rescissions and discrimination for pre existing conditions, and bans life time limits on coverage to name a few according to David Hancock in a recent CBSNEWS article (2010). Another simple speculation is that hospitals will benefit due to increased insurance coverage which will mean more patients through the door and less abandoned bad dead accumulated by uninsured patients unable to pay.
Research on long term affects has not been quite as positive or conclusive. Most likely as a result of the new tax on unearned income (investments) there will be a negative affect for investors and reflection in the stock market. There will also be increased and severe Medicare Advantage payment cuts, industry taxes, and stringent new regulations on underwriting practices according to BusinessWeek research (2010). These changes will be the wave that ripples long term economic outcomes that are hard to predict and accurately measure the consequences of.

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