The cost of healthcare has been a major concern over the years. Hence, the government, through the legislature has always tried to manage the cost and quality of healthcare through the formulation of relevant laws (Scott 254). However, with every solution that the government has created, there have been other concerns such as the quality of health and congestion of facilities. Among the most recent legislations that have been made to make healthcare affordable to all Americans is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also called the Obamacare. The fact is that, before the recent attempts, other similar attempts were made, and the most notable attempt is the Preferred Provider Health Care Act of 1985 (Oberlander 2165). The act was formulated in the wake of the rising medical costs that were becoming a major hindrance to the attainment of quality care for Americans. The act positively influenced the management of healthcare in ways that include cost management and increasing the insured’s choices.
The Preferred Provider Health Care Act of 1985 was instrumental in managing the cost of healthcare services (Burgess 275). The act formulated the rules to be followed in providing motivations to health care consumers to seek services from particular healthcare providers. The innovative way included ensuring that the providers that made agreements with insurance (Grol 65) companies had more clients while the clients received services at discounted prices. Therefore, the insurance companies would also maintain the providers and process claims faster and therefore make work less cumbersome, both in the part of the patients and the service providers who were selected by the companies.
The Preferred Provider Health Care Act also gave the patients power to choose their care providers. Unlike in the past where insurance companies decided the providers that could work with them, the act prohibited the insurers from refusing to pay claims of patients who sort services from alternative providers (Burgess Essays.Solutions). By allowing patients to seek services from their preferred provider as long as they could pay the excess fees, the act made healthcare providers more competitive. Increasing the competition was an important move that made the providers keener on ensuring that they offered better services and respected the clients more. The control of the industry shifted from being almost entirely in the hands of insurers and providers, both of who could take advantage of consumers who had no options, to the consumers. Since then, the people of the United States of America have the autonomy to choose their physicians and providers of choice.
Despite the advantages of the legislature, before enactment, some professionals in the field of health argued that the arrangement would compromise the quality of services for the sake of lowering costs (Burgess 275). Those who opposed argued that the act would indeed make healthcare more affordable, but the increased accessibility would overburden the already strained healthcare providers. However, the clause that allowed consumers to chose their providers increased competition, therefore forcing providers to improve their quality or risk losing clients (Donaldson et al. 231).
In summary, healthcare is a basic need that requires proper management both in funding and service provision. The two aspects also depend on each other. Before 1985, the healthcare sector was suffering from very high costs of operation and services. Therefore the legislature formulated the Preferred Provider HealthCare Act that not only lowered the cost of accessing services, but also ensured the cost is maintained. The targets of the act were achieved through empowering consumers to choice their preferred providers rather than be restricted to particular physicians and hospitals by their insurers.