Research Paper: Mental Health the Recent Changes

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Mental Health

The recent changes to the health care sector (from the passage of the Affordable Care Act) have raised concerns about its long-term effectiveness in dealing with the uninsured, rising costs and quality. To fully understand the lasting impacts there will be a focus on what segments are most influenced by these challenges. This will help to determine the effect of these changes and how they will transform the health care sector. (Eibner, 2012)

Over the last several decades, income inequalities have been occurring inside the health care sector. This is because the U.S. system is based upon a privatized model that requires individuals paying for more of these costs. The results are that a larger percentage of the population cannot afford health care services and are being priced out of the system. (Walt, 2012)

Evidence of this can be seen in the below tables which contains information provided by the U.S. Census Bureau. They found that there are certain demographics of the population who do not have health insurance. This is based upon economic, racial and citizenship variables. In the case of economic factors, the Census Bureau found that low income families will not have any kind of health care coverage (which is highlighted in the below table). (Walt, 2012)

Households with No Health Insurance from Annual Income Demographics

Income Level

Percentage without Health Insurance

Under $25,0000

13.6%

$25,000 to $49,000

13.0%

$50,000 to $74,999

10.2%

$75,000 and up

4.7%

(Walt, 2012)

These numbers are showing how low income families cannot afford the premiums, deductibles and copays which are associated with most plans. (Walt, 2012)

At the same time, select racial groups will have lower amounts of health insurance. This is because certain groups are more than likely have a higher percentage of immigrants. For instance, the Census Bureau found that Hispanics have the highest levels (which is illustrated in the below table).

Racial Groups that Do Not have any Health Insurance

Demographic

Percentage without Health Insurance

White

6.8%

Black

10.2%

Asian

9.1%

Hispanic

15.1%

(Walt, 2012)

This is demonstrating how Hispanics are more than likely to not have any kind of insurance. This is from higher amounts of immigrants inside this segment of the population. In both categories (i.e. naturalized and illegal), these individuals have larger rates. (Walt, 2012) (Eibner, 2012) (Baker, 2012)

A good example of this can be seen in the below table (which is highlighting the different citizenship demographics and their levels of health insurance coverage).

Immigration Status and the Percentage without any Health Insurance Coverage

Nativity

Percentage without Health Insurance

Born U.S. Citizens

8.8%

Naturalized Citizen

12.5%

Non-Citizens

29.2%

(Walt, 2012)

These figures are showing how non-U.S. And naturalized citizens will have the highest amounts of people lacking health insurance coverage. As a result, the Hispanic demographic has the largest rates based upon these segments encompassing a significant amount of this group. This means that these people will earn less and have greater financial challenges. When this is combined with having to learning a new language and culture; these individual will not have any form of health care coverage. (Walt, 2012) (Eibner, 2012) (Baker, 2012)

The above tables are illustrating how the rising number of uninsured is becoming a major challenge that is influencing the standard of living and quality of life. The passage of the Affordable Care Act, is supposed to help address these challenges. However, it is a new program which has never been tested before. This means that these disparities may or may not be addressed for certain demographics of the population. To determine the long-term effects, we are examining how these trends will become better or worse for various segments. Once this takes place, is when we provide specific insights that will highlight how the problem is being addressed and new challenges that will arise in the future. It is at this point when these insights can be used to create strategies that will help to address any kind of disparities. (Eibner, 2012)

Landscape Identification

There are a number of stakeholders and a host of factors that will have an impact on the uninsured. The most notable include:

Health care providers: These organizations are concerned that the government will impose new regulations and guidelines upon them. This hurts their ability to innovate and offer solutions which are meeting the demands of patients. Politically, they are concerned that they could lose influence and control over their facilities. Socially, many individuals are worried about if this will change the way medicine is practiced (with most people believing it is fundamental a right). ("How the Health Care Law Benefits You," 2012)

Economically, the new changes could increase costs and hurt the profit margins of health organizations. Legally, a number of facilities believe that the Affordable Care Act is opening the door in dealing with the uninsured by forcing them to treat patients without compensation. This is problematic, as any effort to address disparities with the uninsured will have an impact on quality and costs. When this happens, there is a possibility that the health care system will become similar to models that are utilized throughout: Europe, Canada and Australia. This could adversely affect innovation and any kind of solutions that are introduced. (Cogan, 2012)

Patients: Changes to different regulations will have a positive impact on select segments (most notably U.S. citizens). This is because they do not have to hide in the shadows or learn about how the system works. Instead, they can legally sign up for different programs and address any gaps in health care coverage. However, there are select groups such as illegal immigrants that do not have access to these services. To address these challenges, the law needs to consider ways to improve education and where everyone can learn about these programs. Politically, this may not be popular as some conservatives will argue that illegal immigrants should be provided with nothing. Socially, these disparities will hurt productivity, costs and the standard of living for these people. ("How the Health Care Law Benefits You," 2012)

Economically, this will create even larger divisions between these segments of the population. Practically speaking, this will address the root causes of the problem by targeting those segments which are not covered by the law. Legally, there are issues surrounding eligibility and who is considered to qualify for these programs. ("How the Health Care Law Benefits You," 2012)

Regulators: Regulators are focused on dealing with the large number of uninsured. The most effective way for them to address these challenges is to concentrate on directly confronting the problems impacting the largest segments of the population. Then, they will address other areas, after new challenges have emerged (later on). Politically, this is designed to show that everyone is doing something about the problem. Socially, this is reducing the disparities which exist based upon income, racial and immigration related factors. ("How the Health Care Law Benefits You," 2012) (Cogan, 2012)

Economically, this is decreasing costs for households by providing them with direct relief. Practically speaking, these provisions are making the family environment more stable through ensuring that there are additional funds to address other challenges. Legally, officials are using the power of regulation to protect the interests of the general public by controlling rising costs and preventing abuses. ("How the Health Care Law Benefits You," 2012) (Cogan, 2012)

Employers: Employers will benefit from having the government providing additional relief with health care costs. This allows them to invest these funds in expanding their business which will lead to an increase in hiring and capital spending. However, there are concerns that the mandatory coverage will increase costs for those firms that do not provide health insurance to employees. Politically, this is designed to provide assistance, but could affect the owner's views based upon their cost structure. Socially, this is ensuring that workers have access to affordable health care. This addresses any kind of disparities between management and employees. ("How the Health Care Law Benefits You," 2012) (Cogan, 2012)

Economically, this will reduce the costs that most firms are paying for health insurance. Practically speaking, these issues will transform the way these services are offered and areas of responsibility. Legally, this will create a change in what kinds of benefits will be provided to employees in the future. ("How the Health Care Law Benefits You," 2012) (Cogan, 2012)

These factors are showing how there conflicting views that will have an impact on the total amounts of uninsured. What is happening is the Affordable Care Act will address disparities between different segments inside the U.S. population. This will lead to a decrease in the total number of uninsured.

However, there will be various segments of the population that are ignored by these changes. This will create new divisions between select demographics (which have higher rates of uninsured). When this happen, there will be differences among these groups in contrast with the rest of society. The key for making the Affordable Care Act successful is to create programs which can help… [END OF PREVIEW]

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