Over the past 17 years there have been many changes in the ever-changing landscape of health care reform. From Republican to Democrat a major political movement of any president has been health care reform.

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Healthcare Reform Changes 1999-Present

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In the late 90’s there began to be a greater emphasis on providing options to those who were disabled to work. Many disabled individual’s had the desire to work but were not afforded the opportunity due to a fear of losing certain realms of their already existing health-care coverage. Both social security disability and medicare began providing incentives to those that were on disability to return to work without the fear of losing their health-care coverage (O’conner, 2013). Many states began providing programs such as the ticket to work program and programs that allowed those 250% over the poverty limit to begin to return to work without the risk of losing their health care coverages (Forster, 1999). In the modern era, President Obama passed universal health care options that required all citizens in the United States to have health care plans and no one person can be exempt from such healthcare. This does several things, it ensures that all Americans are playing a part in paying for premiums associated with their health-care even if they do not have current health care needs. Invoking such a program ensures that health care costs are kept at a certain level. This prevents increasing rates for Americans and also ensures that those with very severe health care problems will not have to pay astronomical rates for their coverage.

Those who may not have major health care issues are easing the burden on those who may not have the financing and income to pay for high cost premiums. Another major change in health-care system over the past 17 years is the utilization of tax free medical savings accounts (Kennedy, 2010). These include accounts that employees can place a certain amount of their income to help cover the cost of specific healthcare needs. These accounts are not taxed and often times employers will match a portion of these pre-tax monies to help alleviate the rising costs of health care costs. Hopefully, as the healthcare landscape continues to change with technology, more patients will continue to be offered easier, more effective means to monitor their healthcare (Kilpatrick, 1999). In the VA health care system for example, patients are able to see their doctor through video tele-conferencing & also re-order medications through a website that allows ordering of medicine and also instant messaging to keep in contact with their doctor.