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The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

Davis Weiss The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is a federal statute that was signed into law in America by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010. It is divided into 10 titles. The bill contains provisions that will go into effect on June 21, 2010 and September 23, 2010. Also, the additional provisions will go into effect in 2014. Title I of H. R. 3590 will ensure quality affordable health care for all Americans by eliminating discriminatory practices by health insurers such as pre-existing condition exclusions.

Title I also extends dependant coverage up to age 26, caps insurance companies non-medical expenses, and prevents unfair termination of insurance policies. Title II expands eligibility for Medicaid to lower income persons and assumes federal responsibility for much of the cost of this expansion. These bills provide enhanced federal support for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, simplify Medicaid and CHIP enrollment, and improve Medicaid services.

Title III will strengthen the quality of healthcare by establishing The Physician Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI) which is a value-based purchasing program for hospitals that link Medicare payments to quality performance. Title IV puts into place a new interagency council to promote healthy policies and to establish a national prevention and health promotion strategy. Title V will encourage innovations in health care workforce training, recruitment, and retention, and will establish a new workforce commission.

Title VI creates new requirements to provide information to the public on the health system and promotes a newly invigorated set of requirements to combat fraud and abuse in pubic and private programs. Title VII allows certain hospitals and treatment centers to receive discounted and/or generic drugs to aid their budget. Title VIII establishes a new, voluntary, self-funded long-term care insurance program, the Community Living Assistance Services and Support (CLASS) Independence Benefit Plan, for the purchase of community living assistance services and supports by individuals with functional limitations.

No taxpayer funds will be used to pay benefits under this provision. Title IX levies an excise tax of 40 percent on insurance companies and plan administrators for any health coverage plan that is above the threshold of $10,200 for individual coverage and $27,500 for family coverage. It also requires employers to disclose the value of the benefit provided by the employer for each employee’s health insurance coverage on the employee’s annual Form W-2.

And lastly, Title X requires employers that offer and make a contribution towards employee coverage to provide free choice vouchers to qualified employees for the purchase of qualified health plans through Exchanges. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act reforms the health care system by expanding the availability of health insurance, regulating health insurance coverage, and restructuring health care delivery, including how it is paid for. The bill would reduce the number of uninsured Americans by 31 million, leaving only 6 percent of nonelderly adults uninsured.

A number of different mechanisms are used to increase coverage, including expanding Medicaid, which provides insurance to low-income parents and children at very small cost; establishing state-based insurance exchanges with subsidies for low- and middle-income households; requiring individuals to obtain coverage; and mandating that most employers offer health insurance. The new act would make Medicaid available to all individuals earning less than 133 percent of the federal poverty line, or $14,500 a year ($29,500 for a family of four) while improving services for beneficiaries.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act also create state-based health insurance exchanges, called Health Benefit Exchanges, which are marketplaces where consumers can shop for and purchase health insurance. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act include numerous reforms of the health insurance market, in many cases regulating this market for the first time. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that about 8 million such persons would remain uninsured.

Additionally, the bill restricts access to abortion services in the Health Benefits Exchanges and, in particular, for people receiving federal subsidies. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act saves money by reducing the cost of premiums that families and individuals pay to maintain their health insurance policies. It also saves money by getting rid of waste in the medical industry by establishing a center where physicians can report waste and by supporting comparison shopping for medical equipment. In addition, the act helps small businesses to save money by giving them the opportunity o offer health benefits to their employees without devastating the budget of their company. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act raise revenue by imposing an annual fee on the health insurance sector. Such fees would be imposed on insurance companies that sell high cost health insurance plans. The fee is designed to generate smarter, more cost-effective health coverage choices. The reconciliation bill delays this new fee until 2018 so that plans have time to implement reform and begin to save from its efficiencies.

The amount of the fee is $8. 0 billion in 2014, $11. 3 billion in years 2015-2016, $13. 9 billion in 2017, and $14. 3 billion in 2018. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the legislation will reduce the deficit by $138 billion over the first decade and by $1. 2 trillion in the second decade, as compared to current legislation. The CBO has recalculated its estimates several times, first projecting a savings of $132 billion, then $118 billion, and $143 billion. It also increases the Medicare Hospital Insurance (HI) tax rate by 0. percentage points on an individual taxpayer earning over $200,000 ($250,000 for married couples filing jointly). The revenues from this tax will be credited to the HI trust fund. The taxable base of the HI tax is also broadened by including net investment income. The act would also impose a ten percent tax on amounts paid for indoor tanning services. The tax is effective for services on or after July 1, 2010. Reduces the deficit in the next ten years and beyond. The bill is fully paid for with revenue provisions that focus on paying for reform within the health care system.

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