The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was signed into law on March 23, 2010 by President Obama. It was essentially meant to allow all those living in the United States have insurance cover. For those who are not covered by the employer or government, and then they had to have an insurance cover. In case one is found without any insurance cover, then it would attract a pay penalty. This penalty was not imposed on those who faced financial hardships or those whose religion does not allow them have medical insurance (Congressional Budget Office, 2011). This act increased insurance coverage to about 30 million Americans (Keehan et al 2011). This act was passed by the senate on December 24, 2009 garnering a support of 60 votes against an opposition of 39 votes. (Lambert, Lisa 2011). However, it is salutary to note that this act does not cover illegal immigrants who are known to be many in the United States.
Public policy impact
According to Cillizza & Blake, 2012 this act has increased the spending of the government on medical subsidies whereas the Medicare expenditure will be drastically reduced. According to CBO, this health policy does not in any case reduce the pressure on rising health costs that has already been experienced. They observed that “Putting the federal budget on a sustainable path would almost certainly require a significant reduction in the growth of federal health spending relative to current law (including this year’s health legislation)” (CBO)
Change in number of the uninsured
It is estimated that this policy will reduce the number of uninsured people by approximately 30 million (CBO). Those that might not be insured are the illegal emigrants since they are not eligible to have medical insurance and subsidies. They are only allowed to be treated under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) (Keehan et al., 2011). It is noted that most young Americans opt to pay the penalty rather than taking the insurance cover. This trend is also common amongst the many single Americans.
There is competition for premiums within the insurance companies. Young people have run into the insurance companies to get insurance cover. However, due to this competition, many insurers have raised premiums due to increased demands. It is not expensive for only those who are buying the premiums but also for the existing customers due to the fact that the insurance companies have had to seriously revise their terms (Congressional Budget Office, 2011).
For those who are not insured probably because of their religious believes or low incomes, they will go the emergency rooms to seek for treatment. Essentially this will lead to an increased health care cost as well as increased costs of the premiums. “Those who don’t have insurance will simply do what the uninsured have always done: crowd emergency rooms and increase the cost of health care for us all, both in higher medical costs and insurance premiums” (Cillizza & Blake, 2012).
Strategic plan to include this new law
Since the law wants to provide cheap medical cover for the residents of the u United States, there must be a strategic plan in ensuring that this law is incorporated into marketing decisions. It is worth noting that there is immense completion for the premiums in the market due to the penalty that faces those who are not exempted from having the insurance cover. The strategic plan should be prepared during the implementation of the Act. It should essentially focus on the middle aged who is not ready to take the insurance (Keehan et al., 2011). This is because at this stage, people should be well informed of the positive effects of the act. As they make decisions whether to have insurance covers, they will chose readily available insures at that instance.
Environmental factors that will affect the new law
This involves legal issues and requirements that pertains the implementation of the Act. It is evident that this act has faced major challenges from the all quotas of the civil society and right groups. There are several court challenges of the act. It is argued that imposing fines on individuals is not within the context of the Congress. It is noted that 28 states have file law suits challenging the Act (Cillizza & Blake, 2012). This law is believed to cost the government million of dollars hence opponents criticizing it as being very costly in terms of implementation. The low income earners are exempted from the fines as well as those whose religious beliefs do not allow them pay fine. This essentially is selective application of a process since law must apply to all legitimate residents universally.
According to Cillizza & Blake, 2012 this law has imposed major economic impacts on the United States government as well as the citizens. There has been increased cost of the premiums by the insurers due to increased demand on the premiums. There is also the penalty imposed on those who fail to secure medical insurance. This has led to serious resistance from most of the lawmakers as well; as civil rights groups. In fact this factor has led a lot of law suits (McDonough, 2011).
There is advent of technology in the world as new inventions are made. New technology may result in increasing costs of accessing health care. Hospitals are required to upgrade their equipment as they acquire new imaging devices. There may also be stiff completion from the health providers that opt to use an old technology as compared to new ones. Essentially this puts the all essence of the health care Act into question (Keehan et al., 2011). It should be clear that all the health care providers must engage in new technologies for the act to be effectively implemented. Otherwise, there will be unfair completion which might derail the successful implementation of the policy.
There is competition for customers from many health care families each one having its own strategy of attracting customers. It is difficult to know the nature of the competitive advantage but those facilities that are opened for long hours tend to have more customers as compared to those that open late and close early (Cillizza & Blake, 2012).
There is the changing trend of health providers which must be keenly looked into. Families are also expanding hence the need to cater for a large number of people. There are people whose religious etiquettes do not allow them have medical insurance (McDonough, 2011). Essentially these people will not be forced into having the insurance. Due to a large number of emigrants in the United States, it will be noted that many other people will not have the insurance as required by the act. Hence, there will be strain on the health facilities due to Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act. In this regard therefore, it becomes very difficult to implement a policy in which a majority of others will not be part of (Congressional Budget Office, 2011).
The factor that has majorly affected this act is the regulatory factor. Most people have gone to court to launch law suits on the credibility of the congress in instituting a fine on those who don’t have the insurance. It is yet to be seen what directions the courts will give (Keehan et al., 2011).
The target audience is the young Americans whose population is estimated to be around 40 million. This is the group that finds it difficult to take medical insurance. When this group is well informed of the positive impacts of the act, they may choose to have insurance cover therefore being a large target market fir the insurer. It is important to note that this group is very energetic and can reach to others hence forming a network of customers as well as a continuous stream of customers Berkowitz, N. (2004).
This Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act have had major challenges in its implementation. The cost involved as argued by the opponents is too high hence they want to stop the act from being implemented further. Will the courts allow the implementation of the entire policy? Only time will tell. The paper has also critically analyzed the major factors affecting the implementation of the Act and they include legal, social, economic, and technological among others.
Berkowitz, N. (2004). Essentials of health marketing. Canada: Jones and Bartlett.
Cillizza, C. & Blake, A. (2012). President Obama embraces ‘Obama care’ label. But why?. Web.
Congressional Budget Office. (2011). CBO’s analysis of the major health care legislation enacted in March 2010. Web.
Keehan P., et al. (2011). National health spending projections through 2020: Economic recovery and reform drive faster spending growth. Health Aff. Millwood.
McDonough, J. (2011). Inside national health reform. University of California: University of California Press.