Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

On March 23, 2013, the comprehensive health reform, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care was signed into law by President Obama. The new law has a few changes on the previous laws mainly focuses on provisions to expand coverage, control of health care costs, and improving health care delivery system. It therefore requires US citizens to have health insurance. After the , the statistics taken from (March 23, 213) when the act came into effect up to March, 2014 showed that there was a decrease in the uninsured by 9%. (Wilper et al., 2014)

According to Wilper et al. (2014) as with any system, there are however those who are not insured as required by the new healthcare act. With the Patient Protection and Affordable Care in place, there will be some impacts on the uninsured part of the population. Low income earning families make up 40% of the remaining uninsured. This uninsured group remains so due to the fact that they cannot afford the new health care act. We are therefore now going to discuss the impact on those who are not insured.

First, health providers are given the liberty of whether or not to provide health care for the uninsured. According to the federal law, they are required to attend to the uninsured only if it an emergency. It is however true that it is not necessarily more likely to use the emergency room than those with insurance. In the event however that they are treated for an emergency, those who are unable to pay for the care in full are always turned away when they go to those healthcare facilities to seek follow-up care for medical conditions. As such therefore, they are they at a huge disadvantage when compared to those who are insured. (Garfield, 2014).

Next, Garfield (2014) pointed out that the uninsured receive less preventive care and recommended screening as compared to the insured. As statistics taken in 2014 show, approximately a quarter of uninsured adults, which stands at 28%, reported a preventive visit with a physician in the past year. This is a very low and partly number when put against the 47% of insured adults who gained coverage in 2014 and 65% of adults who had coverage since before 2014.

Due to the cost of being insured, the uninsured have been found to report higher rates of postponing care and forgoing necessary health care and/or prescriptions. This was according to Scope J (2015). He however pointed out that those covered by Medicaid, other public programs, or employer/private coverage do not experience such postponements and are offered services immediately. A seminal study of health insurance in Oregon found that the uninsured were less likely to receive care from a hospital or doctor than newly insured Medicaid enrollees. A follow-up study and its analysis then found that newly insured Medicaid enrollees were much less likely to delay care because of costs than the uninsured.

For the uninsured, Medical bills can not only put big strain but also threaten their physical and financial well-being. Low- and middle-income nonelderly adults who remained uninsured in 2014 were twice as likely as those who gained coverage in 2014 and those who had coverage since before 2014 to have problems paying medical bills. Uninsured adults were also more likely to face negative consequences due to medical bills, such as using up savings, having difficulty paying for necessities, borrowing money, or having medical bills sent to collection.( Skopec J ,2015)

Lastly, Uninsured low- and middle-income nonelderly adults had a very high likelihood to be lacking confidence in their ability to afford the expected as well as other medical expenses including emergencies. This case was very rare for those that were insured. As the statistics show, Over two-thirds (69%) of the low- to middle-income uninsured are not confident that they can pay for the health care services they think they need this was a very high number as compared to only 34% among the newly insured and a lowly number of 24% among the previously insured. The uninsured live with the knowledge that they may not be able to afford to pay for their family’s medical care, which can cause anxiety and potentially lead them to delay or forgo care. Over a quarter (24%) of low- and middle-income uninsured adults said worry about medical costs affected their job performance, family relationships, or ability to sleep and are therefore stress-free. (Skopec J, 2015)

From our discussion above, it is therefore clear to see that being uninsured is very disadvantageous. It is therefore important to be insured because of its impact. Every indication therefore points to the success of this new act. First, it covers more ground and helps in the registration of more citizens. This is because one of its major cornerstones is to expand healthcare to millions of more Americans. Secondly, success for this new law will come in that the overall healthcare plan will be cheaper than the previous regimes. This means that more Americans will be able to afford being insured hence more people will be treated health wise. (Garfield, 2014).

When a check is done in like 6 years’ time, the impact of the act will be very successful. The average health standards in the population should have gone up. This is because more people will be getting more healthcare services. Production will therefore increase as people will be fit hence economic growth that can be attributed to this service can be measured.


  1. Skopec J (2015): Health Insurance Coverage in 2013: Gains in Public Coverage Continue to Offset Loss of Private Insurance. Washington, DC: Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured. Available at:
  2. Garfield (2014). “The Uninsured at the Starting Line: Findings from the 2013 Kaiser Survey of Low-Income Americans and the ACA.” Kaiser Family Foundation. Available at:
  3. Wilper et al. (2009): “Health Insurance and Mortality in US Adults.” American Journal of Public Health, 99(12) 2289-2295.