The Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) is now settled law.
It will be implemented. It will also have to be changed but not until after it is implemented and the required changes becomes obvious and unavoidable. We can all debate what those things will be (cost containment is on top of my list) but it doesn’t matter what we think will happen––time will tell.
There are and will be more lawsuits.
I wouldn’t waste a lot of time worrying about those. Anyone in the market will do better spending their time getting ready.
But, when will the Affordable Care Act (ACA) be implemented?
So far, only about 15 states say they want to implement health insurance exchanges. Some of those may not make the October 1, 2013 kick-off date.
Maybe now that it is clear the law will go forward, some of the conservative states who have said they would not build one will get into high gear rather than have the Obama administration do it for them. But they may not have enough time to be ready in less than eleven months.
The Obama administration says they will be ready on time with federal exchanges. But they have not been at all transparent about just what they have so far done and can get done in the eleven short months that remain.
Starting today, the big question is can the Obama administration really be ready or will the October 1 insurance exchange launch date have to be pushed back, at least in some states?
It’s time for some post-election transparency and honesty from the administration.
Continue reading “The 2012 Elections and 2013 — A Daunting To-Do List”
Filed Under: THCB, The Business of Health Care
Tagged: 2012 Election, Affordable Care Act, cost containment, fiscal cliff, Health Insurance Exchanges, lawsuits, Medicaid Expansion, Obama administration, Obamacare, President Obama, Robert Laszewski, Washington
Nov 7, 2012
Governor Patrick signed a new healthcare law today aimed at cost containment, and the rhetoric soared assuring all that Massachusetts has “cracked the code on healthcare costs.” Unfortunately, with no debate on the underlying bill in the House of Representatives and only little debate in the State Senate, the 349-page statute, which was released just 14 hours before the legislative final vote, is little understood and brimming with unintended consequences.
Real cost-containment is only possible when we encourage patients to reward low-cost, high-quality providers with their business. We’ve said it over and over again throughout this process.
Instead, the law being signed today re-imagines and repackages so many failed top-down approaches from the past. The acronyms may have changed, but this bill looks a lot like past approaches that trusted government, not patients, to drive big, systematic changes in how we purchase healthcare. For some reason our state policymakers expect completely different results this time around.
Rather than provide financial incentives for individual patients to take charge of their own medical care, this legislation rearranges the system based on accountable care organizations (ACOs) and governmentally-imposed changes in payment methods. Real-life evidence that these approaches contain costs is mixed at best; as a result, the law misses the mark by a long shot and will not lead to long-term, sustainable containment of health care costs.
Continue reading “Will Government-Directed Healthcare in Mass. Really Contain Costs?”
Filed Under: Uncategorized
Tagged: ACOs, cost containment, Deval Patrick, Josh Archambault, Massachusetts, physician pay, Pioneer Institute, The States, unintended consequences
Aug 7, 2012