Healthcare has been one of the major topics of the American political debate since President Obama took office and implemented his Affordable Care Act, nicknamed ’Obama Care.’ The U.S. reorganization of healthcare has been of interest to the world, as many countries are observing and awaiting the outcome of this controversial healthcare plan.
While some look at the Affordable Care Act as a move in the right direction, others who have not yet had the opportunity to capitalize from it see it from another perspective. All in all, the good things that are springing forth from the healthcare law can improve the economy in the long run.
Healthcare and Employment
Taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics,the following points show how essential healthcare as an industry is to the American economy:
- Noted as one of the largest industries in 2008, healthcare provided 14.3 million jobs for wage and salary workers.
- Ten of the 20 fastest growing occupations are healthcare related.
- Healthcare will generate 3.2 million new wage and salary jobs between 2008 and 2018, more than any other industry, largely in response to rapid growth in the elderly population.
- Most workers have jobs that require less than 4 years of college education, but health diagnosing and treating practitioners are highly educated.
Healthcare has been noted as one of the largest employers, providing 14.3 million workers with jobs. With the need for nurses, doctors, home health care workers, medical billing and coding clerks, and medical record clerks, there may always be work available in this field.
Nursing homes are continuing to be filled, hospitals are full on a daily basis, the homebound elderly still needs to be looked after, and doctor’s offices are never empty. With this unending need, healthcare has more than fulfilled the requirement for employment for those who are interested in working in this field.
Healthcare and Small Businesses
The Affordable Care Act that was passed in 2010 offers many benefits to small business owners.
Some are listed below:
- Health care tax credit. The tax credit will help the small business owner to pay his or her employee’s insurance premium. It can cover up to 35% of the cost of the premium. It will later increase to 50%. Employers must have less than 25 employees and an annual income of $50,000.00 or less to be eligible.
- End price discrimination. Formerly, when one sick employee would cause insurance rates to increase, health reform will ban this practice and insurers will no longer be able to increase the rates. This will go into effect in the year 2014.
- Reduce hidden taxes. The $1,000.00 hidden tax for health care premiums will be reduced by covering more than 30 million Americans by the year 2019.
- Reduce premiums. Many small businesses could not afford to cover their employees because of high premiums. The new health reform will lower these premiums to make them more affordable by year 2016.
Many citizens are still without healthcare and have been for some time. Healthcare has gone through many transformations and while Congress continues to debate, Americans are continuing to pay higher prices for lesser quantity of products and services, while struggling to hold on to immobile wages. As time progress and with much patience, the healthcare system can slowly change the face of the U.S. economy.