Focus on Implementation of Health Reform

The federal health reform bill was signed into law in March of this year after months of difficult and very messy negotiations and partisan political activity. It was not a pretty sight to watch even if you liked the final outcome. It certainly did not inspire confidence in our elected officials.

While national polls show that the vast majority of Americans strongly approve of the specific provisions of this new law, the same polls are still showing that most Americans are not in favor of this health reform legislation. The only way I can understand this apparent lack of consistency is that Americans are showing their lack of support for the process used to pass health reform legislation, even though most Americans support the provisions contained in the bill.

Frankly, passing the legislation may prove to be a shorter process than getting agreement on the rules and regulations that are presently being drafted by the federal government to implement this new law. What is encouraging to me is that the hospital industry, insurance companies, consumer groups, drug companies and other health related groups are talking and listening to the federal officials who are writing the regulations trying to come to agreement on appropriate regulations. This is the only way that we will reach an acceptable conclusion to all the parties involved.

We are past talking about if we should have a health reform bill…we should now be totally focused on how to implement a new health reform law. This is our opportunity as Americans to design a new health delivery system that provides quality health outcomes at an affordable price.


Whenever I reflect on the utter chaos that seems to ensue from any steps forward in health care reform, I am astonished that in the year 2010 the richest nation in the world struggles so much to offer healthcare, food, and housing to every single citizen of this country. The process of true and real change and justice has become so muddled in our political struggles, and so many Americans automatically disengage from the entire thing because its too hard to keep up with and have hope that something good will come of it all. But--I fervently hope that in 100 years, we can look back on these struggles and see how hard it was, but have the comfort that our struggles resulted in success, and every American finally has access to affordable healthcare. Its the only thing that will make all of this worth it.

Steve, I think your assumption is right on, the public got a little to close to the "sausage making," process. I also suggest that the complexity of the legislation, when considered as a whole, has overwhelmed most Americans. I am disturbed by the apparent "knee-jerk," reaction exhibited by various state legislators, by trying to pass legislation designed to opt-out of the Federal law.

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About Me

Steve Roling

Steve Roling

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.