Week 6 – The Public Sector and its Influence on Healthcare Policy

This week’s topics focus is on the public sector and its influence on healthcare policy and the efforts to assist the uninsured, under-insured and otherwise less advantaged with healthcare coverage. The public sector of an economy is the sector responsible for providing public services (investorwords.com, 2015). This is essentially the government. With regard to health care, the government of the United States (U.S.) currently has the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), called the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for short, and its main purpose is to reform the health insurance industry in the U.S. and its entire health care system (obamacarefacts.com, n.d).

This health care policy is great because it is a way to aid every American get some form of health insurance whether employed or not. The only thing is part of the ACA law is defining full-time employment. The United States Department of Labor under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) clearly states that it “does not define full-time employment or part-time employment and that the matter is generally to be determined by the employer.” (www.dol.gov, n.d.). Every organization has been allowed to define the term full-time employment for the purposes of their business and what benefits to offer their employees. This has generally been at least 30 hours per week.

The thing now is, and this could be viewed as a problem, if employers adopt this new definition of full-time employment and then most of their employees are no longer under full-time employment (in an attempt to not have to follow the mandate of the ACA policy to offer healthcare insurance to full-time employees), then these employees would have to rely on the government, the ACA policy or Medicaid, for health care coverage which puts a burden on the federal budget (Reich in Frick, 2015). The purpose of the ACA policy is to make sure that all Americans have healthcare coverage though inadvertently causing some to be unable to continue to gain coverage for their health care insurance needs from their employer, thereby causing more people to need aid from the government.

The government, Congress and the House of Representatives, should further consider the long ranging effects of this piece of legislature to define full-time employment as 40 hours per week and its ripple effects, a few of which have been hinted at above such as employers using the new law to avoid the mandate to provide health care insurance to their full-time employees and these employees in turn having to rely on the government for coverage.

References

Frick, W. (Interviewer) & Reich, R. (Interviewee). (2015). Robert Reich on Redefining Full-Time Work, Obamacare, and Employer Benefits.  Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2015/01/robert-reich-on-redefining-full-time-work-obamacare-and-employer-benefits

Obamacare Facts. (n.d). ObamaCare Summary: Obama Health Care Summary. Retrieved from http://obamacarefacts.com/obamahealthcare-summary/

United States Department of Labor. (n.d.). Work Hours: Full-Time Employment. Retrieved from http://www.dol.gov/dol/topic/workhours/full-time.htm

WebFinance, Inc. (2015). Public Sector: Definition. Retrieved from http://www.investorwords.com/3947/public_sector.html

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One thought on “Week 6 – The Public Sector and its Influence on Healthcare Policy

  1. I think you made a great point in regards to the ripple affect of this bill. When considering any policy change, it is important to consider the intended and unintended impacts. In this case, many employees are at risk of losing their health insurance if this bill passes. However those who are considered middle class will not get as much savings from the ACA health insurance when they apply, adding to their financial burden of health coverage for their family.

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