On March 23, 2010, after years of deliberation, President Obama was finally able to pass his monumental Health Care Reform bill. The bill was broken up into two separate bills; a Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and a Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act. Some of the effects of the bill have already begun, while many others are still yet to come. Of course with any major reform, there are those who favor it, and those who oppose it. There are those who benefit from the law, while others lose. This time it has clearly been the Health Insurance and private health companies that have lost. This has recently become the focal argument for the Conservative-Republican base. However from a neutral standpoint, there are obvious advantages and disadvantages in the bill.
Medical Research Cutbacks
While it may seem to favor the general public, it undermines the facilities that administer this coverage. For example, private health companies and pharmacies that are seeking to invest into new medical research, have found their resources greatly diminished. In today’s new health care system, medical companies can no longer afford to put in the time on research, without suffering financial losses elsewhere. That is to say, doctors and bio-scientists cannot research cures for diseases and ailments, as efficiently as they once could. Ailments such as ovarian cancer, that may have suggested treatments such as chemotherapy, however still deliver inconsistent results. Doctors that are looking to improve these treatments need to be able to invest time into researching and studying the actual science of the sickness.
The Quality of Care
The general argument here is now the quality of care. It seems reasonable that everyone should be offered proper health coverage, no matter what situation, yet this will eventually cost the medical industry. To operate a medical facility requires money; from the staff, to the equipment, to the medicine, and so forth. So while people are getting their affordable coverage, the medical industry is slowly losing profits. One can only predict that it may be a matter of time, before doctors receive major pay-cuts, and the medicine and treatments are not as effective as they once were. With major-cuts and a decline of solid treatment, what’s to stop our health from going downward. It’s a serious concern that must be considered in this new reform.
The Future of Health Care Reform
It still may be a little early to jump to assumptions on how things may play out. The bill itself has hardly even begun to lay out its new policy, and many of its effects are spanned to begin over the next few years. However medical companies have already prepared for these new policies to take way, and have already begun to restructure their spending budget. I would expect the field of medical research to be the first to be cut, since it doesn’t generate any sudden profit. Although this is an extremely vital area for the future of our health, it is the most practical move from a business perspective.
So the question is no longer, will scientists ever be able to find the cure for cancer, HIV, polio, Ebola, and so forth. It’s whether these scientists will ever be able to find the time to search for these cures. It’s a frightening thought, to consider that while we may be providing a common necessity to everyone, we may be slowly regressing its quality.
Michael Cash is a twenty something freelance writer and internet consultant residing in western Michigan. When not coaching people out of 1990s era web practices and working on his Masters Degree, a passion for politics and current events consume his free time.