The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: a new dedication to primary care
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act drastically transforms the United States healthcare infrastructure. This law, passed in 2008, will shift financial incentives, payment methods, policies, and, in fact, the very way our physicians practice medicine. Currently, the US ranks 1st in healthcare costs, but 37th in healthcare service in the world. It is estimated that there are between 35-42 million uninsured Americans that ultimately cost 50 billion in taxpayer dollars annually. The 4,033 behemoth of a law sets the groundwork to provide high quality healthcare to all Americans with either insufficient or no insurance. Although it will affect every aspect of healthcare and medicine, this paper will assess the changes being made in primary care. The renewed dedication to family medicine provides the foundation to create a more cost efficient healthcare system and a healthier America. We will review the current state of primary care, assess the provisions enacted by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and evaluate future goals of family medicine. Ultimately the Affordable Care Act attempts to boost primary care, focus on prevention, and use research-based policies in order to lower healthcare costs and provide accessible healthcare. In order to do so, the United States needs to address the insufficiencies of the previous healthcare system and re-evaluate our healthcare expenditures.