The notion of health for all Americans is contained in the Title 1 provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which was passed into law in March 2010 and has so far demonstrated immense potential in revolutionizing healthcare delivery in the United States (McMorrow, Kenney, & Goin, 2014). This paper not only provides a personal reaction to this notion, but also illuminates the issue of access to care in local contexts.
Health for All Americans
The ACA, in my view, goes a long way in ensuring that American families gain control over their healthcare by way of reducing premium costs, availing hundreds of billions of dollars in tax relief, and ensuring that American citizens without insurance coverage will have the capacity to choose the insurance coverage that works best for them, hence ensuring health for all Americans. It is also my considered opinion that, by capping out-of-pocket healthcare expenses and requiring all preventative care to be fully-covered and without cost to the individual, the ACA goes a step further in not only reforming the healthcare system by providing Americans with access to quality, affordable health insurance, but also in curbing the augmentation of healthcare spending in the country.
The ACA contains many provisions entitlements; however, the provision on uninsured Americans with pre-existing conditions has directly impacted my family within the context of making health affordable to all Americans. Owing to this provision, it is now possible for my relative who has a cancer condition to get adequate insurance coverage, which ensures that she continues to get quality and affordable healthcare within the evolving affordable care organizations (ACOs) and nurse-managed health clinics (NMHCs) in Massachusetts.
Mobilizing Access to Care in Florida
Owing to the fact that the state of Florida has declined to expand its Medicaid program to cover more uninsured Americans due to the uncertainty expressed by leaders with regard to the federal government’s failure to keep its promise (Dunkelberger, 2014), other players within the health sector must come together to mobilize resources with the view to increasing access to care for the one million uninsured Americans residing in the state. In Southwest Florida, community health and public health workers have been instrumental in (1) promoting partnerships involving local communities, healthcare professionals and organizations, (2) enhancing shared responsibility and community involvement in matters pertaining to the health of the uninsured members of the population, (3) promoting population-based health services, (4) assisting in the development of policies and programs that improve the physical, mental and social wellbeing of citizens, and (5) expanding primary and specialty care provider networks for the underinsured and uninsured (Florida Department of Health in Lee County, 2014).
Local Community Initiative
The Florida Family AIDS Network (FAN) is a local community initiative administered by the University of South Florida to, among other things, increase access to care and HIV/AIDS management for vulnerable populations affected by the disease. The network relies on advocacy, education, legislation and partnerships to (1) foster the development and support of comprehensive care infrastructures for vulnerable populations, (2) link comprehensive systems of care with HIV/AIDS clinical trials and management, (3) promote access to comprehensive, quality health care services for HIV patients and their families, and (4) expand quality preventive services in clinical and community environments (Florida Family Aids Network, n.d.). This program target’s vulnerable members of the society who are often uninsured and underserved, implying that it helps them gain access to care through the provision of the above named services.
The present paper has successfully discussed several issues related to the ACA and how the Medicaid funding problem can be addressed in local contexts. Overall, it is evident that community partnerships and networks are critical in ensuring the underserved and uninsured members of society gain access to quality, affordable healthcare.
Dunkelberger, L. (2014). Florida leads nation in turning down Medicaid money. Herald Tribune. Web.
Florida Department of Health in Lee County. (2014). Community health assessment & Community health improvement plan. Web.
Florida Family AIDS Network. (n.d.). Web.
McMorrow, S., Kenney, G.M., & Goin, D. (2014). Determinants of receipt of recommended preventive services: Implications for the Affordable Care Act. American Journal of Public Health, 104(12), 2392-2399.