Implications of the current economy new healthcare legislation and increasing Medicare population

Friday, August 2, 2013

Implications of the current economy new healthcare legislation and increasing Medicare population

Is your leadership discussing the implications of the current economy and the new healthcare legislation and the increasing Medicare population on your organization and budgetary planning?

The world seems to be heading to a massive financial turmoil. The current economic trend doesn’t have the resources to pull itself to a better platform. It’s not just one country that is undergoing severe economic crisis, but almost every nation has its own share of problems.
Image credit: wavebreakmediamicro / 123RF Stock Photo

The Euro crisis, coupled with the sliding US economy has led the world to believe that it is again heading closer to the experiences of the Great Depression Era. The US economy in particular, has been under a scanner, where steady rise in fuel prices and the lowering of interest rates by the Federal Reserve has put the nation in a spot of trouble.

To make matters worse, the new health care legislation has driven employers to safeguard their employees, further more than what they have already being doing. In a much debated move, the Obama Administration had passed the law, where it says that employers with more than 50 employees are required to provide certain health insurance coverage for all its employees. If not, it could mean penalties for employers.
The US government has decided to postpone the implementation of the bill till the year 2015 after sections of the private sector had opposed the legislation vehemently. More than the health cover, it is perhaps, the reporting norms that have said to disturb the business establishments more. The 21 page health application is spilling more fire into the debate, and the mood swings changing in the government set-up. They finally seem to have brought more sense to the whole argument by reducing the application format to just three pages.
At a time when companies are charged up to find a solution to meet higher health care costs, the question now is whether the new health care legislation will solve budgetary upheaval. And how will it help the economy?

Experts believe that there could be a significant decrease in hiring by firms. Companies feel that the decision by the government to come up with the new health care legislation will somehow affect their performance, especially, the not so large companies. They are now in a spot, whether to spread the work load in the existing set up, or hire new ones. Some companies will surely not look to add on the rolls, unless necessary.
Was it necessary for the administration to pass the bill, when the country is already facing difficulties in the economic front? Companies are also finding hard to come to grips with the affect new health legislation will have on Medicare.
The growing Medicare population is set to benefit the entire health care system. The Medicare, which was primarily set up to introduce new cardiac technologies faster, has indeed got standout benefits. Many countries don’t give ample significance to Medicare program, unlike in the United States, where it remains the key health insurance provider.
Everyone believes that the growing Medicare population will ultimately keep the health care cost in check. Not just that, but it has also enabled the inclusion of extremely expensive cardiac technologies into hospitals. Medicare has made health care affordable in many respects. It has brought those with smaller income level to believe that they are protected by insurance. 
The fear, which now gets into the minds of the people, is the fact that the new health care legislation will lead to cuts in Medicare. However, if one looks at the new health care legislation carefully, the government has made attempts to bring greater health care benefits under one umbrella. The Obama administration has promised to reduce Medicare costs at least for those who do not fall in the category of seniors, and this new health legislation is a step to endorse its long drawn promise.
Companies will now have to make few sacrifices to accommodate the new bill. To drop out hiring as an option is not a wise decision. Companies should take measures to assign the work load carefully. They should also understand that the current bill will certainly go a long way to ease out the financial pressure faced by low income group in their firm. The economy will certainly stand to gain in the long run as the federal budget won’t be under the heat as it is now.
How companies perceive at the whole scenario, is instrumental in its growth? What they need to be convinced and convince others is that the Medicare benefits may not be strikingly evident, but has been packed with elements such as providing extended preventive care and reduction in the cost of prescription drugs in the new affordable insurance program. The employees will remain secure without worrying about the health care. The companies can take advantage from the knowledge of a secured health care system under the new affordable health insurance.
The new program will also help the Hospital Insurance Trust Fund to remain flush. The Hospital Trust Fund that pays for hospital expenses on behalf of Medicare beneficiaries is predicted to grow insolvent within the next four years, and; therefore, a timely intervention was required. The current affordable insurance program clearly will help the fund stay afloat for many more years, and also help improve the economy as a whole. The implementation of the new legislation will indeed support Medicare beneficiaries, and in the long run might be looked upon as an economy boosting measure.

By Rajiv Sighamony

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