Has it Lived Up to Expectations?
As the second Open Enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) begins on November 15th, it seems appropriate to look at what it has accomplished. Did all the dire warnings come true? It appears not. Has the delivery of health care services been pointed in a new direction? Definitely.
According to The White House (www.whitehouse.gov), more than 8 million Americans have signed up for private health coverage thanks to the ACA. It is now illegal for insurance companies to discriminate based on pre-existing conditions or other factors including gender. Health exchanges in many states allow families and individuals the security of affordable coverage. The ACA is also improving and expanding community health centers to reach more people in underserved communities. Many preventive screenings are now covered by insurance companies and Medicare with no co-pay because of their importance to the overall health of our citizens and the economic savings that will come from early diagnosis and disease treatment.
There’s more work to be done. Wrinkles in the system have become evident and must be ironed out in the months and years ahead. As a healthcare practice consultant, I look at the ACA as a beginning rather than a finished product. For all its imperfections, it is a giant step on the road to wellness, not only for patients but for the health care system itself.