Today, the Health Care Reform is one of the most debatable issues in the American society and politics. The Health Care Reform can have a profound impact on the health care system of the US, availability of health care services, funding of the health care system and its future development. At the same time, the Health Care Reform is primary concerned with the financial resources the national health care system needs because the existing system of funding is ineffective because it makes health care services unavailable to a considerable part of the US population. In such a situation, the Health Care Reform is essential and it primarily aims at changes which can make health care services available to all Americans. However, such reform needs substantial financial resources. Therefore, the Health Care Reform will affect inevitably accounting procedures related to health care to fund changes being introduced in terms of the reform.
In actuality, he U.S. health care expenditure is considered to be one of the highest in the world, accounting for 17.5% of its GDP in 2009, as compared to an average of 8% to 9% in countries of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). (Obama’s Health Care Reform Bill, 2010). The existing health care system cannot afford enrollment of all Americans and provision them with health care services of the high quality on the equal ground. At the same time, the national health care system is consuming a considerable of GDP that proves that the Health Care Reform will need substantial financial resources. Therefore, the Health Care Reform is likely to affect not only health care organizations and state programs supporting the national health care system but also average taxpayers as well as companies because to fund the Health Care Reform the government and national health care system will need financial resources, while taxes comprise the major source to fund the reform.
In this regard, specialists point out that individual taxes will be affected once the health care bill becomes law (Russell, 2010). Taxpayers should come prepared to the necessity to pay more to cover initiatives of the US government in terms of the Health Care Reform. In such a situation, many taxpayers can face a risk of deteriorating their financial position and consistent change in taxes they pay. For instance, some specialists already worn against consistent changes that may occur to taxpayers, because from taxpayers who choose not to purchase health care coverage to those that adopt children, have flexible spending accounts, and even the higher-income taxpayers, everyone needs to pay attention to important changes in the health care bill that could affect their tax situation. (Russell, 2010).
Furthermore, businesses cover a considerable part of health care costs at the moment. Specialists argue that currently, businesses provide health coverage because they know their employees need and want it (Russell, 2010). This is a crucial factor for modern businesses because employees are dependent on health care coverage, with the help of which companies can maintain employees’ loyalty. However, if a business does not provide health coverage, it is often because it cannot afford to. Now it has to provide it or pay a penalty. (Russell, 2010). The reform can affect business and make health care coverage unaffordable for companies and, therefore, unavailable to employees. However, the government will need to expand its support of the health care system to provide health care services to all Americans that implies the rise of the tax pressure on average taxpayers again.
In this regard, it is worth mentioning the fact that the provision most immediately affecting individuals is the change in the definition of reimbursable expenses for flexible spending accounts and health savings accounts, and the increased penalty for nonqualified disbursements from HSAs. (Russell, 2010). These changes can affect consistently the health care accounting because the changes are likely to lead to a considerable redistribution of funding of health care services from businesses to the state or the increase of the fiscal pressure on business, which though is likely to occur anyway.
Moreover, specialists forecast that beginning in 2011, only prescribed drugs and insulin will be reimbursable through flexible spending accounts or health savings accounts (Russell, 2010). In such a way, the proposed changes affect sales of over-the-counter drugs such as aspirin or medical-related items such as bandages. If the Health Care Reform is implemented, these drugs and medical-related items will no longer be qualified expenses for HSA or FSA purposes (Russell, 2010). Moreover, specialists warn against the penalty for nonqualified distributions from health savings accounts increases from 10 to 20 percent in 2011 (Russell, 2010).
Obviously, such changes make the sale of drugs and medical-related issues more complicated. In such a context, the question concerning availability of health care services arises because the extent to which the Health Care Reform affects availability of health care services is still unclear. The system of penalty may become an unbearable burden for the health care system and taxpayers, whereas its effectiveness is still under a question because it makes the distribution of drugs quite complicated and not always effective. For instance, specialists argue that if you use the funds for the wrong thing, for FSAs you just pay tax on the income ”“ there is no penalty. But if you use funds out of an HSA, you pay the penalty. It is important for people to understand this and know how it affects them (Russell, 2010).
In fact, the system of penalty grows more complicated and severe. For instance, beginning in 2014, taxpayers who are required to obtain or maintain qualifying health care coverage will face a penalty if they do not comply. This penalty increases from $95 in 2014 to $695 in 2016. They must file a return substantiating required health care coverage beginning in 2014 (Russell, 2010). Obviously, such a substantial increase in penalties may become unbearable for business and the health care system. Therefore, the state will need to support the national health care system more through the system of subsidies to cover health care costs and needs of the population.
In this regard, the government relies heavily on insurance companies because subsidies, administered through an insurance company, will help defray the cost of the insurance for individuals below a certain income level (Russell, 2010). However, the system of subsidies may not always be effective because this system implies the use of taxpayers’ money to cover health care costs for those Americans, who cannot afford them. In this regard, the assistance from the part of insurance companies can hardly be effective, taking into consideration the inability of the modern health care system based in health insurance principle.