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The Affordable Care Act

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) of the USA has three prime goals: increase access to health cover, shield patients against random arrangements by insurance firms, and decrease health care expenses. A country should have a response, care, and treatment scheme that is well structured and synchronized. Policy ought to enquire from the public what is indispensable to live the lives they please, and then backing them to get there (Beronio, et al, 2014). In the old system, people with mental illnesses were manacled, neglected, and otherwise overlooked. However, various agencies remain to fight to guarantee access to treatment; advanced quality of treatment; lessen confinement, and discrimination. In due course, the system moves towards an improved mode where people are treated with respect and promote early intervention to improve psychological well-being. The Affordable Care Act which as designed as a tool of social justice has helped a lot in making mental health treatment more affordable, accessible, enhancing equity.

Overview of the Policy
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was signed into law by former President of the United States of America Barrack Obama in March 2010. It was implemented starting January 2014. The Act stretched cover to an additional 30 million uninsured adults. The reforms were done by increasing Medicaid and providing state subventions to help low- and middle-income Americans purchase private insurances (Beronio, et al, 2014). Additionally, all states with Medicaid programs offer mental health amenities, and some offer substance use disorder services to the citizens. These services comprise therapy, rehabilitation, medication administration, social work services, peer support, and addiction treatment.
The policy serves a lot of purposes. The patients can easily access outpatient care services and also different medications at an affordable price. Under the law insurance firms will be required to cover mental or behavioral health services. Including services such as medication and therapy sessions in some states. Additionally, different people are now able to access emergency care services, and insurance companies will also meet hospitalization as costs. In addition to that, the policy recommends prevention and wellness services where the public adopts healthy living styles hence prevent diseases (Heintzman, et al, 2017). Preventive measures are an essential aspect since the illnesses can be prevented or detected early enough thus higher chances of recovery. Also, the act provides for pediatric care, laboratory services, maternal and newborn care. Therefore, the policy covers all round health services at a subsidized rate.
Policy Analysis
Access
The Affordable Care Act advances access to mental health care by giving persons with a mental ailment the chance to get inexpensive health insurance. Also, including mental health care and substance use disorder services in the benefits sold in the health insurance has improved access. Many previous studies have scrutinized the connection between insurance coverage and access to health care. Almost all have found that people with health insurance, whether Medicaid or private coverage, have improved access to amenities. (Heintzman, et al, 2017). The number of low- and middle-income people who skip mental health treatment has sharply declined. The decline is because people can now easily access screening for mental health, counseling, psychiatric attention, and even hospitalization. Among all income groups, there was substantial improvement such as the increase in the people reporting to a regular health care center and a reduction in unmet needs due to the price of care.
Before the implementation of the act, many people with mental illness could not get health care since insurance companies rejected them or charged them more due to their preexisting condition. The law prohibits any insurance company from dismissing anyone or increasing charges based on their current health status. Besides, people who had long-lasting illnesses don’t have to burden themselves about their insurers rejecting them, which mostly was the case before. Due to the pressure, Obamacare put on insurance companies they are now covering screening as a preventive measure. Eventually, this reduces the number of patients that get sick afterward (Wallace, et al, 2014).
Affordability
Substance use disorder (SUD) is a crucial public health matter in America, mainly due to the rampant use of opioid. For the country to meet the needs of the patients, it is paramount for insurers to cover the full series treatment The ACA provides better access to treatment through coverage extensions, requiring coverage in already existing insurance plans, and offering addiction treatments at the same level with medical and surgical procedures. Therefore, it allows the stakeholders to address substance use ailments and particularly opioid epidemic.
The ACA makes health care inexpensive. One way is by providing insurance coverage for people who were uninsured and by trying to control health care costs by shifting how people pay for medical services. Health insurance is offered to some subgroups who are uninsured, so that they can obtain care with a favorable insurance rate, instead of paying the full price for the services provided. Parents are also allowed to add dependents up to age 26 to their plans(Wallace, et al, 2014). Additionally, health insurance firms will no longer be able to reject customers coverage due to preexisting ailments. The government will offer the resources needed to low-income families to empower them to acquire health insurance. However, the public disagrees on using more taxpayer cash to decrease the rate of uninsured people.
Equity
The adults of up to 26 years are to be covered by their parents’ insurance. The country has taken a big step towards the fight against addiction because of a large number of those addicted fall on this age group. The act also prohibits insurers from declining to sell to persons with preexisting conditions (Wen, et al, 2017). Precisely, the insurance firms can no longer deprive those with previous treatment for addiction to opioid coverage. Consequently, it has intensely enlarged coverage for addiction treatment. However, the patients deal with challenges such as limited mental health specialists. Some have to wait for more than a month to get an appointment with a psychiatrist.
Inequalities in health care are prevalent in the USA. The Act was planned to increase coverage and bring a new era of medical care availability. Although it has improved coverage and access-particularly for poor and minority groups, its general influence was modest compared to the gaps experienced before the law. Some people in the USA remain uninsured, and considerable disparities in access along financial, gender, and racial lines persist. Before the Act implementation, some women who tried to buy a health plan on their own were denied coverage due to various reason. They were charged higher percentages or had specific diseases omitted from their programs.
Social Justice
The Affordable Care Act (ACA)was a tool designed to fight social injustice. It is an initiative to deliver health insurance coverage for poor, uninsured adults. The sparse population has an inadequate health care system, and the government felt the need to improve the status of its people. In the same country, some people enjoy great medical care. The program pursues to redress these inequalities by endorsing impartiality through extended health insurance coverage. The initiative can offer coverage to around 18 million underprivileged Americans including those who have behavioral health problems. Hence, the Medicaid Expansion holds a firm position in the bid to improve behavioral healthcare.
It is impossible to describe health care inequality bearing in mind the concept of social disadvantage. It discusses those circumstances some people systematically tolerate based on their position within a social ladder. The social problem could be due to lack of power, low income, occupation and level of education. Health disparities impact disadvantaged groups by putting them at higher risk for indigent health care. Consequently, this generates a condition where getting over the social disadvantage is problematic (Wen, et al, 2017).
In conclusion, the ACA has completely changed the lives of underprivileged Americans. It addresses the core issues in the health sector. Health care is now more affordable and easily accessible. As a result, healthcare discrepancies between the low- and middle-class citizens has been closed up. The reforms have helped to address the various social injustices in the community. The framework has discussed adequately mental health care. Patients can easily get treatment which is covered by multiple insurance plans. Also, the coverage on preexisting