Like it or hate it, the Affordable Care Act (aka Obama Care) was the most significant legislation to be passed into law since the Patriot Act. The sweeping reform of the healthcare system had the country in an uproar after along passing along party lines in a democrat controlled congress. Now the uproar has been reduced to a murmur as more and more American’s seek to get coverage from the insurance marketplace.
That is of course unless you listen to the Republican Candidates who vow to “repeal and replace” a law that is set cost the federal government $2.76 Trillion over 20 years including over $270 billion in administrative costs.
The GOP prefers an open market that will allow competition to lower cost for consumers and increase accessibility for consumers.
But the changes in how consumers buy insurance is nothing compared to the changes in the healthcare system at large since the ACA’s passage. The insurance reimbursement to Hospital systems and the physicians has changed drastically. Quality Care Thresholds have also changed making reimbursement based on outcomes and not volume of patients treated. Mountains of policy and regulations changes have occurred as a result.
It is the mountain of new rules that makes the notion of totally repealing Obama Care a false premise. It can only be tweaked but never rolled back completely.
This may be disconcerting for the one issue voters out their who hope a vote for a Tea Party Candidate can get them the type of healthcare reform they prefer.
So if the law can’t be repealed, how can we effect change?
The Affordable Care Act is so complex federal agencies are still working on the regulations that will enforce the spirit of the law. Decisions on how healthcare organizations are funded, the availability of expensive treatments and quality of care indicators are all being discussed as you read this post.
The ACA gives government agencies more power over our healthcare decision then any other point in our American history. Now is the time for consumers to stay vigilant and voice concerns over the new policies and program being put into place.
The 2016 Presidential Candidates need to back away from sound bites full of empty rhetoric and educate the voters on how they can effect change moving forward. Adhering strictly to the talking points won’t accomplish this.
If the Republican field is truly serious about protecting the healthcare consumer from government overreach they should appoint a healthcare advisor to each of their campaigns to take a hard look the new regulations are having on real people. Otherwise any talk about improving the healthcare system is a waste of our time.