If you or someone in your family has cardiovascular disease, chances are you're already very busy scheduling doctors' appointments, researching treatment options, and working hard to stay on track with taking medications, preparing healthy meals, and exercising. In other words, managing your health and the health of your family is a full-time job and most of us already don't have a moment to spare with our lives packed full with work and other responsibilities.
That means very few of us have time to read, let alone interpret, the nearly 1,000-page healthcare reform law passed in March 2010 even though it has been billed as the most sweeping change to federal health law in more than 40 years. This guide is designed to help you quickly and easily understand the key pieces of the Affordable Care Act (the Act), when changes go into effect, and what it all means for you and your family.
Proponents of the law describe it as an essential attempt to reform the U.S. healthcare system and improve access to quality medical care. Opponents argue that it is unconstitutional and will lead to increased spending and taxes. The Obama Administration asserts that the purpose of the legislation is to:
- Assure affordable, quality health coverage for all Americans
- Remove obstacles to coverage for people with pre-existing conditions
- Maintain coverage in the event of job loss or change
- Safeguard families from bankruptcies related to health expenses
- Guarantee choice of doctors and coverage plans
- Shrink long-term cost increases in health care for businesses and the government
- Improve quality of care and patient safety
- Invest in preventive care and wellness
Does the Act accomplish these goals? That's up to you to decide. But whether or not you agree with the changes, it is important to know how healthcare reform affects your access to care and the quality of care you and your family receive so that you can make the best possible decisions when it comes to your cardiovascular health and wellness.
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Learn more about healthcare reform and what it means for you and your family. Dr. Peter L. Duffy, Pinehurst Cardiology Consultants, North Carolina, shares the best websites for information.