Affordable Care Act Essay
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Free Affordable Care Act: Obamacare Provisions Essay
The Affordable Care Act entails the health care reforms enacted in 2010 by the US government. Primarily, the reforms increase the accessibility of people to health care services and reduce the cost of receiving healthcare services. One of the provisions I would change in the Obamacare provisions is the no contraception policy based on religion as outlined in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. The provision at first spurred a lot of controversy in the American soil (Rigby, 2012). The provision obligated all employers in America to provide contraception services to the employees against their religious beliefs. However, the provision got revised and published in 2011, to stipulate that the religious employers would be exempted from the rule (Tenenbaum, 2013). According to the provision, there are clear conditions for consideration as a religious employer. One is that they should have inculcated religious beliefs in their purposes. Secondly, the employees hired by the employer and the people served should share common religious beliefs and lastly it should be a non-profit organization.
The alternative policy relates to giving contraceptives to women by all employers. The discriminatory policy would be detrimental to the health and interest of the women largely (Gedicks & Van Tassell, 2014). Undoubtedly, the religious exception limits the accessibility of all women to the healthcare services. The denial is not to the spirit of the Affordable Care Act of 2010. The employers would have an obligation to pay for the health requirements of women regarding the use of contraceptives. All women have a right to be included in the mainstream of healthcare services and reforms. They should have the freedom to choose rather than remaining hostages of the employers under the religious doctrines (Koppelman, 2013). It should be the women employees to refuse the use of the contraceptives rather than subscribing to the decisions of the organization.
The policy to give the exception to religious employers has a considerable potential to improve the healthcare services especially to women (Graves, 2013). The availability of contraceptives would reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies experienced in the nation. Unplanned pregnancies affect the victims’ health as well as social and economic wellbeing. These challenges would affect the motivation and performance of the employees. The employees can then make smart decisions about when to have children. The burden of having to raise children against their wish would be reduced. The policy would give many employees more time to focus on their work related responsibilities (Berg, 2013). On the other hand, the employers would enjoy increased productivity at workplace. It should be noted that the Affordable Care Act is a healthcare reform. Thus, it should have the blueprints of improving the health of the population. The statistics reveal that as at 2010, 37% of the births were from unintended pregnancies (Mosher et al., 2012). The policy of having reduced unwanted pregnancies would reduce the negative impacts that would face the victims. The deleterious health effects of abortion cannot be underestimated. Some of the health risks to women who undergo abortion include the possibility of cervical cancer, uterine perforations, and placenta previa among others. These complications would reduce considerably due to the new religious exception policy of the ObamaCare Act.
The religious exception would have an adverse impact on the health of women. In particular, the women not subscribing to the religious beliefs and yet work for the religious employers would be disadvantaged. Similarly, it should be noted that the health choices of the women subscribing to the religious beliefs should reflect the freedom of will. Lack of the exception would allow them to access the contraceptives payable by the employers at their own will (Finer & Zolna, 2014). Therefore, they would have an improved right and freedom to good health as well as accessibility to more health services. The rationale is that they are not exempted from the circumstances leading to unwanted pregnancies as well as medical issues that may necessitate abortion and associated complications.
The best alternative policy to implement is the use of contraceptives by all irrespective of the religious background. Notwithstanding, the religious exception entails many potential health impacts to women. The health impact of the exemption would reduce the negative health effects of health to women (Jost, 2013). These include reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies, lowering the number of abortions as well as reduction of the number of health complications. For instance, unwanted pregnancies have the capability of affecting the health of women negatively. Implementing the alternative policy to direct all employers to give the contraceptive cover regardless of religious affiliation is a better option (Carlin et al., 2016). Women are likely to be affected psychologically by the burden of keeping and raising the unplanned children. The stress would affect their health subsequently. This policy in comparison to the religious exemption is promising to improve the health and wellbeing of women in the society. Moreover, it reduces the religious discrimination by promoting religious freedom of people in the society (Graves, 2013). Therefore, abandoning religious exemption has the capacity and potential to positively affect the experiences of all women in healthcare in conformity to the increment and reduced cost of health services as outlined in the Affordable Care Act of 2010.
References: Affordable Care Act: Obamacare Provisions Essay
Mosher, W. D., Jones, J., & Abma, J. C. (2012). Intended and unintended births in the United States: 1982-2010.
Graves, E. (2013). Corporate Right to Free Exercise of Religion: The Affordable Care Act and the Contraceptive Coverage Mandate, The. Tex. Rev. L. & Pol., 18, 199.
Hamilton, M. A. (2015). The Case for Evidence-Based Free Exercise Accommodation: Why the Religious Freedom Restoration Act Is Bad Public Policy. Harvard Law & Policy Review, 9.
Gedicks, F. M., & Van Tassell, R. G. (2014). RFRA Exemptions from the Contraception Mandate: An Unconstitutional Accommodation of Religion.
Jost, T. S. (2013). Religious Freedom and Women’s Health—The Litigation on Contraception. New England Journal of Medicine, 368(1), 4-6.
Berg, T. C. (2013). Progressive Arguments for Religious Organizational Freedom: Reflections on the HHS Mandate. J. Contemp. Legal Issues, 21, 279.
Carlin, C. S., Fertig, A. R., & Dowd, B. E. (2016). Affordable Care Act’s Mandate Eliminating Contraceptive Cost Sharing Influenced Choices Of Women With Employer Coverage. Health Affairs, 35(9), 1608-1615.
Koppelman, A. (2013). Freedom of the Church and the Authority of the State. J. Contemp. Legal Issues, 21, 145.
Tenenbaum, E. M. (2013). The Union of Contraceptive Services and the Affordable Care Act Gives Birth to First Amendment Concerns. Albany Law Journal of Science and Technology, 23(3), 539.
Finer, L. & Zolna, M. (2014). Shifts in Intended and Unintended Pregnancies in the United States, 2001–2008. American Journal Of Public Health, 104(S1), S43-S48. http://dx.doi.org/10.2105/ajph.2013.301416
Rigby, E. (2012). State Resistance to “ObamaCare”. The Forum, 10(2). http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/1540-8884.1501
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