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The healthcare industry is a very lucrative one in which billions of dollars are spent on insurance, medication, and surgeries. The dizzying rates of increase of healthcare over the past few decades reveal gross exploitation and corruption so that the average individual may not be able to afford proper health care, subject to exaggerated charges. Moreover, the current healthcare reform legislation promises to address the health needs of the citizen by imposing conditions whereby insurance companies must submit reports on expenditure, profits, and liabilities and where the patient has more guarantee at being charged fair rates for health. “Medical practice in the United States has dramatically changed over the last several decades. Such changes include new measures to 1) curb increasing costs, 2) increase access to patients, 3) improve the quality of healthcare, and 4) pay for prescription drugs” (Manchikanti 2007). Government subsidies and standardizations have also been laid out as responses to the overwhelming need for national healthcare support.
The current health care reform bill will be exacting more accountability on insurance companies who deny customers coverage for legal health care needs, as stipulated on the health plan, but who refuse to pay the customer’s health claim. In addition, the yearly reporting has to reveal how much money goes for the customer, how much goes toward profiteering etc. The U.S. government has also levied a penalty on companies who refuse to comply with the new healthcare reform criteria.
The fixation of rates for insurance services and premiums will also put a check on the incontinent freedom which insurance companies exploit; so that the Secretary of the Treasury establishes payment rates for the public health insurance option for services and health care providers” (111th Congress Bill 2010). With a universal standardization of medical costs, insurance companies would be restrained from taking unfair advantage of the customer. However, “insurers wanted to retain the right to charge different premiums based on the age, place of residence, and family size of subscribers” (Iglehart 2009). This broad range of variables would only legally give the right to pillage the American in exorbitant, inflated healthcare costs.
Another negative corollary to the new healthcare reform bill is that no control is going to be enforced on doctor’s fees and salaries. “Practitioners’ services are determined under the Social Security Act,” hence the doctor’s salary will continue to be among the highest in any profession as he provides consultation, check-ups, and surgeries.
The U.S. Government has also committed itself to defray the costs of premiums and to dispense to the premium-payer funds to cover medical expenses. Under the Start-Up Funding Section, “in order to provide for the establishment of the public health insurance option, there is hereby appropriated …$2,000,000,000 for initial claims” (111th Congress Bill 2010). This section is interpreted as the government’s first strides toward national healthcare. Also for prescribed drugs, a negotiated bill under Medicare is targeted to assist those citizens unable to pay for them. This new healthcare program offers “premium subsidies for people of modest means, and the creation of an insurance exchange through which uninsured adults could purchase affordable coverage” (Iglehart 2009). The costs of medication would be negotiated to a more inexpensive option.
Health care costs “for the individual (are) based upon the individual’s family income for the plan year and the individual family income for such plan year” (111th Congress Bill 2010). so that plans and costs are hierarchized and tailor-made in order to fit particular income brackets. Applying such a scale would be beneficial to reining in the costs of healthcare since it is important for each claimant to be charged commensurate with the means of his pocket. Harmful side-effects of the healthcare reform legislation may entice insurance companies to submit erroneous data concerning their budgets and premiums honored for customer health claims. The abuse of the patients at the hands of doctors and multinational pharmaceutical companies are still made possible because the prescribed medication is suggested courtesy the same companies who pay doctors to prescribe the medicine.
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