Back in April of 2010, shortly after President Obama had signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act (ACA), I quoted a senior executive from a health care products manufacturer who thought that in six months or so, it was likely that people would be asking what all that fuss was about. The process of developing the law had been emotional and highly politicized, and I included the quote because it reflected what I thought was the most likely scenario, i.e. that once passed, the law would simply become accepted as the law.
Clearly that was a mis-judgment; what critics insist on calling Obamacare has continued to be controversial, and it is clear the recent Supreme Court ruling upholding the law will not make it any less of a politcal hot potato. I am not a student of law or health care economics, but I do recall before ACA, a) an estimate that about 38 million people were uninsured, b) the many stories of private insurers denying coverage of needed services, and c) the extensive use of emergency rooms as primary care providers.
I am sure the law is not perfect, there is no way Congress could get such a major change right on the first try. Still, it was encouraging, even before the Supreme Court ruled, to hear that some of the private insurers were planning to voluntarily adopt some of the important ACA provisions.
Thus, I cannot help but hope that sometime soon, the national mindset will shift in the direction of pushing our legislators to begin to work at improving the law, rather than trying to repeal it.
I would welcome comments, pro or con, from anyone with experience, whether as a consumer of health care services, or a provider, or a funder. What are you experiencing?
Barkley Calkins, Director
Nonprofit Sector Resource Institute
Seton Hall University