I have chosen to pay tribute to these five significant developments that I believe should be placed on display at the Heath Care Hall of Fame Museum.
Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Exhibit 1
The Affordable Care Act puts consumers back in charge of their health care. Under the law, which was signed in by President Obama in March 2010, it gives the American people the stability and flexibility they need to make informed decisions about their healthcare. Some major features of this change:
a) Health plans cannot limit or deny benefits to children under 19 due to a pre- existing condition.
b) If you are under 26, you may be eligible to be covered under your parent’s health plan. c) Insurers can no longer cancel your coverage just because you made an honest mistake. d) Your premium dollars must be spent primarily on health care – not administrative costs. e) Lifetime limits on most benefits are banned for all new health insurance plans.
f) You may be eligible for recommended preventive health services. No copayment. g) Choose the primary care doctor you want from your plan’s network.
Since this act has been set in motion millions of Americans have been able to provide healthcare for their family who may not have qualified for Medicare or Medicaid.
Medicare Exhibit 2
The Medicare program paved the way for Americans over 65 who could not get insured. Under the law, which was signed in by President Johnson on July 30, 1965. Medicare pioneered the ushering of the U.S.government into the healthcare insurance business. Prior to the change it was almost impossible for anyone over 65 to affordable health insurance. Medicare pays billions of dollars to take care of our senior citizens, our disable and those with end stage renal disease. Some major features of this change:
a) Part A – Hospital Coverage
b) Part B – Medical Coverage
c) Part C – Combines A & B
d) Part D – Prescription Drug Coverage
Similar to Social Security, Medicare is an entitlement program. Most U.S. citizens earn the right to enroll in Medicare by working and paying their taxes for a minimum required period. Even if you didn’t work long enough to be entitled to Medicare benefits, you may still be eligible to enroll, but you might have to pay more.
The Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999 Exhibit 3
The Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999 allowed Americans with disabilities to join the work force without fear of losing their Medicaid and Medicare coverage. Under the law, this act was signed by Congress in 1999. Most disabled Americans are faced with an upheld battle of living day to day with a disability, this Act created a stepping stone for individuals that were born with these disabilities or those who unforeseeably encounter throughout their lifetime; this was their their way to improving their outcome on life.
Vaccine Preventable Diseases Exhibit 4
For the past 2 decades there has been a tremendous amount of declines in cases such as hospitalizations, deaths, and health-care costs associated with vaccine-preventable diseases. Since the vaccines have been implemented with the current child immunizations there have been preventative number of deaths such as 42,000 and 20 million cases of disease. This has showed an astounding amount of net savings rounding near the $14 billion dollar mark in direct costs and $69 billion in total societal costs says “Ten Great Public Health Achievements — United States, 2001–2010,” 2011. Because of these vaccines the days of high mortality rates in children as well as young adults has fallen drastically as much as 97% in the age 20 bracket. This is a humungous achievement in healthcare. The WHO (World Health Organization) lists 25 diseases for which vaccines are available:
5. Meningococcal disease
10. Hepatitis A
13. Hepatitis B
14. Pneumococcal disease
15. Typhoid fever
16. Hepatitis E
18. Tick-born encephalitis
19. Haemophilus influenza type b
21. Varicella and herpes zoster (shingles)
22. Human papilloma-virus
23. Rotavirus gastenteritis
24. Yellow fever
25. Japanese encephalitis
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Exhibit 5
Enacted by Congress in 1996, HIPAA is a complex law that has already begun to restructure health care. The effect of its Title 1 was to ensure the health insurance coverage of workers and their families when they change or lose their jobs. The law also prohibits cancellation of coverage because of pre-existing medical conditions. More sweeping, however, is the part of the law called “Administrative Simplification,” which required medical records to be computerized by October 2003. It is intended to reduce the costs and administrative burden of health care by standardizing the electronic transmission of many administrative and financial transactions. The standardization must also maintain the privacy of health information. As a result, the entire health care industry is involved in a costly high-tech upgrade of complex medical and financial documents to comply with the legislation.
World Health Organization, Global Vaccine Action Plan 2011-2020. Geneva, 2012.