Health Behavior and the Affordable Health Care Act

The wellbeing of the public is a vital aspect in all governments. It is the responsibility of the centralized and regional authorities to facilitate prevention or treatment of certain diseases. This is possible through the persuasive nature of laws in the medical subdivision. In America, the Affordable Care Act is a set of policies that seeks to improve the health of the general populace by influencing various health behaviors. Health behavior encompasses a wide range of departments in the medical sub sector including public health, sociology, epidemiology, anthropology, and psychology.

This ideology refers to actions at an individual, group, or organizational level in addition to the factors, links, and costs related to these activities. The consequential dynamics of health behavior include policy formulation and accomplishment, social change, and improved physical conditions of the general population. Based on this philosophy, health behavior is not only a physical affair but it is also an emotional and mental principle that affects the entire community. Health behavior comprises of three key facets, which guide the resultant actions. One such category is the preventive health behavior (Daschle & David Nather 2010, 99).

Under this medical principle, the relevant parties focus on avoiding potential damage at the individual or societal levels. Such measures may be self-protective or imposed by various authorities. For example, the medical professionals advocate for the use of condoms during sexual relations as a way of preventing the public from acquiring or spreading sexually transmitted diseases. Vaccines offered under the facilitation of the government are also an example of preventive health behavior. Conversely, illness behavior involves the realization of abnormal functioning of one’s body and subsequent hunt for an appropriate remedy.

There is a close relationship between this category of health behavior and the sick-role set of activities. Under the latter facet, the responsibility of offering quality treatment is mainly on the medical authorities in partnership with other influential agencies (Kovner, James & Steven 2011, 111). The wellbeing of the ailing individual depends on the actions of other relevant parties, making it an all-encompassing health behavior. With the public health being a sensitive affair, the government has utilized the aspect of policy development to improve the health of its citizens. This is possible through the formulation and execution of the Affordable Care Act.

 This bill, signed by President Obama on March 23, 2010, seeks to improve the entire health sub sector in America (Longest 2010, 124). The law focuses on the coverage of health services, reduced costs, and delivery of quality medical care instantaneously. This legal document contains several key aspects aimed at improving the health sector in the United States. To start with, this act emphasizes on the need for all citizens to access quality and affordable health care. To achieve this, the lawmakers stipulated the role of public programs such as federal-supported insurance schemes and Medicaid services (Santalucia, Bethany, Ellen & Richard 2013, 113).

In terms of insurance provisions, the legal reforms prohibit health plans that deny certain benefits to minors under the age of nineteen because of a pre-existing medical condition. Moreover, anyone below the age of twenty-six can benefit from his or her parent’s medical cover. With medical costs being a major consideration in the act, insurance companies have to provide concrete evidence before executing any forms of increase in charges related to medical insurance. Additionally, one’s premium dollars are predominantly for health care as opposed to administrative charges (Longest 2010, 129).

Likewise, in order to improve the delivery of medical care, preventive health services do not attract any form of charges. Furthermore, a patient can choose a physician from his or her insurance network. These provisions also allow one to seek the services of a general practitioner outside the specifications of his or her insurance in case of an emergency (Longest 2010, 131). Based on these facts, it is right to conclude that policies have a substantial influence on health behavior. The actions by the American government are proof that public health is a crucial aspect in every administration. The Affordable Care Act has resulted in complete reforms in the health sector, leading to development of other connected divisions.


Daschle, Thomas, and David Nather. 2010. Getting It Done: How Obama And Congress Finally Broke The Stalemate To Make Way For Healthcare Reform. New York: Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press.

Kovner, Anthony R., James Knickman, and Steven Jonas. 2011. Jonas & Kovner’s Health Care Delivery in the United States. New York: Springer Pub.

Longest, Beaufort B. 2010. Health Policymaking in the United States. Chicago: Health Administration Press.

Santalucia, Antonio, Bethany Whitaker, Ellen Oettinger, and Richard Weiner. 2013. “Potential Impacts of Federal Health Care Reform on Public Transit”. Research Results Digest (National Cooperative Highway Research Program). (383).

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