I recently participated in small group discussion of folks who are very knowledgeable of the health care system. They came from various backgrounds: insurance provider, health investor, health attorney, home health care, health policy expert, nurse, doctor, health strategic planner, representative of the business sector who is interested in providing adequate health coverage to employees, health technology expert, etc.
It was a marvelous group of informed and very committed folks: some still working and others retired after a distinguish career who are determined to improve our current health system in America. While politics never came up. It was, in my judgment, a group of citizens who were not either hard right or hard left.
Of course, we talked mostly about the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
To a person, not one of us thought the ACA was perfect…in fact, most of us had serious concerns about the ability of states, insurance companies, hospitals, and the federal government to implement the new law fully according to the timeline set out by Congress. However, we all thought that the new law was going to be implemented and modified over the years just like all legislation, is no matter who is President after Nov. 6.
The group consensus was that health reform was necessary, and the ACA is a good first step. The provisions contained in the law were mostly good reforms that needed to happen. However, implementation regulations and timelines are causing much concern and dismay. Any change of this magnitude is extremely difficult, and the ACA will have its serious challenges but if all parties involved in health reform stay at the table and listen to each other we can figure it out. I sure wish members of Congress would take this approach!
Steve Roling is the President/CEO of the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City. Each week he blogs about issues that inspire him as we work toward eliminating barriers to quality health.