health insurance exchanges
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More than 8 million U.S. children depend on the Children’s Health Insurance Program for access to timely medical care. The program is authorized through 2019, but its federal funding expires in September and it’s unclear what Congress will do.
There was always an assumption that the Affordable Care Act would need time to find its sea legs. That’s why it included measures to shield insurers from the potential profit losses that inherently come with offering millions more people better health coverage at more reasonable prices. Insurers operate on profit margins and the ACA took that into account, for better or for worse.
If you look at the numbers, there’s no doubt that the Affordable Care Act is making a positive difference. In fact, just last month, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that the nation’s uninsured rate had hit a record low. At the same time, the health reform law wasn’t intended as a silver bullet and a number of problems remain. One of those problems is known as “churning.”
More good news from the Affordable Care Act: Since it became the law of the land, uninsurance disparities between white, black and Hispanic residents have narrowed significantly.
“Established by the state.” Those are the four words at the center of an upcoming Supreme Court case that could strip affordable health insurance coverage from millions of working families and result in billions of dollars in uncompensated care costs.
With so much pressure on the Affordable Care Act to immediately live up to high expectations, and with opponents who seem gleeful at the news that Americans are having a hard time signing up for affordable health care, it’s reassuring to read that the health reform law can readily take a few blows and keep moving forward.
An NEJM piece offers some advice and cautions about health insurance exchanges — a key to the Affordable Care Act’s success — based on the experiences of the Netherlands and Switzerland.