Social Work Research paper Affordable Care Act.
A Policy Brief is a concise and neutral summary of a particular issue and/or related policy. The goal is to evaluate policy options, provide recommendations, educate legislators and stakeholders and ultimately affect change.
• Selection of a legislative policy with which to work (due in Week 1, non-graded)
• Issue Brief – Draft (10% of assignment grade)
• Issue Brief – Final (30% of assignment grade)
• Written and Oral Testimony (60% of assignment grade)
The section below details the requirements of this assignment part:
Part C – Issue Brief – Final
After receiving draft feedback from your instructor, address the issues and finalize your brief. Remember: The following 2 bullet points needs to be discussed in detail of appeals and professionalism when it comes to the Affordable Care Act. Also I have submitted what has already been submitted as Part B of the paper.
• Appeal – policy-makers are busy people and are not specialist in your area. Therefore, make your brief attractive, interesting, short and easy to read.
• Professionalism – The brief must be research-based and not opinion-based. Excellent writing is emphasized by the expectation that any work that is produced will be free from errors and properly cited utilizing APA guidelines. Papers turned in lacking clarity and logic and having numerous grammatical errors will be returned without credit.
Since the introduction of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), a significant percentage of Hispanics/Latinos population has gained health insurance. However, this segment of the population still records the number of uninsured people in the United States compared to other races and ethnicities. The federal government can reduce these healthcare disparities by implementing two policies. First, the Medicaid expansion program should be embraced by all states to increase access to coverage. Second, the ACA’s market premium credits and subsidies should be increased. This would allow many Hispanics/Latinos that are ineligible for ACA to access affordable healthcare.
Importance of the Problem
In the United States, the likelihood of getting health insurance coverage is directly linked to one’s race and ethnicity. Hispanics and Latinos are less likely to have health insurance compared to Whites and African Americans. The introduction of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) also known as the ObamaCare in 2013 helped millions of Hispanics/Latinos to gain health insurance. In fact, the uninsured rate for all Hispanics/Latinos falls from 43 percent in 2010 to 25 percent in 2016. Despite the gains, the racial and ethnic disparities in health insurance coverage still remain. Hispanics/Latino community still has the highest uninsured rate compared to other races and ethnicities. There are several reasons for this persistent disparity including the language barrier, citizenship status, and socioeconomic challenges. Nearly 50 percent of the uninsured Hispanics/Latinos are undocumented immigrants and therefore are ineligible ACA coverage as well as Medicaid expansions (Cleaveland & Ihara, 2012). Many states densely populated with Hispanics/Latinos such as Texas have not expanded Medicaid. This implies that the number of uninsured Hispanics/Latinos would continue to constitute the largest percentage of all uninsured population in the USA.
Critique of Policy Options
The ACA coverage disparities can be cured with two policy options. One, there should be a federal legislation compels all state to actualize Medicaid expansion. The law would help to increase the number of Hispanics/Latinos with health insurance coverage. It would be critical for states to reduce their restrictions on the eligibility of undocumented immigrants. However, this policy is likely to encounter opposition it would be a very expensive undertaking by the states. Many states are incurring budget deficits consequently forcing them to increase their expenditure on health insurance coverage in untenable (McCollister 2010). Some states like Nevada have already sensed the financial struggles ahead and do not want a situation in which it is mandated to meet the Medicaid expansion demands. Nevada is considering repealing its Medicaid expansion program. Another policy option is increasing marketplace premium credits and subsidies (Doty, Rasmussen, & Collins 2014). ACA’s marketplace plans play a significant role in supporting those who do not have employer-based insurance coverage. Majority of Hispanics/Latinos fall into this category. Doctors prefer treating patients with private insurance to those with Medicaid. Therefore, increasing financial assistance through premium credits and subsidies would indirectly affect the smooth running of the Medicaid program.
With the rising number of uninsured Hispanics/Latinos in the United States, states should take the necessary steps to ensure health insurance coverage is accessible to all. Immigrant families should be allowed to access affordable health care through the expansion of the Medicaid program and increase funding for ACA’s marketplace plans. Regardless of their citizenship or immigration status, the Hispanics/Latinos play a critical role in the economic development of the nation. They take up low-wage jobs in Agriculture and textiles industries that other races and ethnicities shy away from. By increasing coverage among the Hispanics/Latinos, the US government would have eliminated health insurance disparities.