One of the stated goals of the Affordable Health Care Act was to improve the overall health of Americans. As part of the goal, Obamacare created a National Prevention, Health Promotion and Public Health Council to manage the government’s goals and promote personal wellness.
Obamacare includes a variety of provisions designed to promote a healthier lifestyle.
Many of those options may have little effect on individuals who already have serious or chronic health problems, nor do the initiatives take free will into account.
Obesity is of particular concern and has been designated as a security threat, based on a study conducted by retired military chiefs that make up the Mission Readiness group.
No Co-Pays For Preventative Services
Obamacare has created a list of government approved preventative tests and vaccines that will be available for free. They’re part of the guaranteed essential health services under Obamacare and no co-pays of any kind will be required from patients.
Free tests run the gamut, from mammograms, colonoscopies and those for STDs to immunizations and screenings for heart disease, high-blood pressure and cancer.
Counseling rounds out the array of no co-pay services provided under Obamacare. Individuals can avail themselves of consultations and advice from medical experts on diabetes, smoking, birth control and HIV, along with domestic violence, breastfeeding, depression and dietary needs.
Vaccines will prevent the spread of disease and screenings are valuable tools for identifying existing and potentially dangerous heath concerns.
Counseling provides patients with information they need to manage their health, but if individuals don’t act on the data to change detrimental habits they’ll still end up being treated for those illnesses.
No Behavior Goes Unrewarded
Obamacare approves and supports employer-based incentive programs to steer workers toward health and wellness lifestyles. Incentives can take the form of cash, funds deposited into a flexible spending account (FSA) to pay for medical expenses, or discounts on insurance costs.
Employers also have the ability under Obamacare to penalize workers that engage in behaviors deemed unhealthy, from smoking and weight gain to lack of exercise.
It’s a form of negative reinforcement that’s long been frowned upon as a method for disciplining misbehaving children, yet Obamacare gives the behavior a green light in the workplace.
Medicare Spending And Prevention Counseling
In addition to the free services accorded to others through Obamacare, Medicare recipients can work with their clinician to formulate a preventative health plan customized to their specific needs.
Plans will address current and future medical issues and condition management.
Healthy Choices When Eating Out
Beginning in 2011, all restaurants with 20 or more locations were required to provide nutritional data and calorie counts on menus to aid people in making healthy choices.
The mandate also extends to vending machines.
Obamacare offers an array of beneficial services and is a step in the right direction, but health can’t be legislated.