Affordable Care Act: Still Much to Be Done

As I have mentioned in earlier posts, the implementation of the new health care law — the Affordable Care Act (ACA) — has been full of starts and stops.

The latest situation centered on congressional leaders criticizing Secretary Sebelius for trying to raise private dollars to implement the new federal law. The reason she is doing this is because Congress is refusing to give her the money to properly implement the federal health care law.

This is not the first time this has happened. There are many occasions where Congress passes legislation and then refuses to fund it or allocate money to implement it. However, in my memory, this has never happened on such an important piece of legislation.

The main provisions of the ACA must be implemented by January 2014. Since March 2010 when the bill was signed into law by the President, he and his administration have been preparing regulations and policies that are necessary for proper implementation. Frankly, some states and some political activists have done everything possible to subvert this implementation.

I am worried that, with only seven months left before the law must be fully implemented, there is much left to be done.

A recent poll showed where about 42 percent of Americans don’t understand what’s in the bill and more than 54 percent are opposed to the bill. However, a majority of Americans approve of the specific provisions contained in the bill, such as covering pre-existing conditions, allowing young people to be covered on their parents insurance until age 26, purchasing insurance via an online marketplace, etc.

I am told the early days of implementing the Medicare program were also quite messy…but eventually everything got worked out.

Frankly I recently signed up for Medicare and it could not have been easier.

Hopefully this same outcome will be reached with the ACA.


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Health Reform

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HCF's Local Health Buzz Blog aims to discuss health and health policy issues that impact the uninsured and underserved in our service area. To submit a blog, please contact HCF Communications Officers, Jennifer Sykes, at jsykes@hcfgkc.org.

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