We must remain focused on the goal of improving health outcomes and achieving the full promise of accessible, quality, affordable health care.
In 2010, the year that Congress passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, health care spending in the U.S. totaled $2.6 trillion dollars, roughly 18% of all economic activity. This represents roughly $8,400 for every person.
Elements of the Affordable Care Act include an individual mandate requiring most people to purchase health insurance; an employer mandate for firms with 30 or more employees; subsidies for individuals unable to afford market rate insurance premiums; expansion of Medicaid eligibility; restructuring of private health insurance; essential benefit requirements; and long and short term health care cost containment provisions. More than 20,000 pages of regulations have been issued by the administration associated with Affordable Care Act.
Whether you are an ardent supporter or detractor of the law, five years into implementation, we should all be able to agree on a few facts. The Affordable Care Act, like health care generally, is extraordinarily complex, remains challenging to implement, has numerous imperfections, and has initiated reverberations in the healthcare marketplace that will be felt for years, if not decades.
At the center of this discussion we must remain focused on the goal of improving health outcomes and achieving the full promise of accessible, quality, affordable health care.