Health Care Reform

iStock_000009605208Small-700x468 copyToday’s health care climate is one of flux, and it is too soon to tell whether the dramatic policies implemented in 2010 by President Barack Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) will be successful in their attempt to provide health care to the estimated 50 million uninsured Americans, while simultaneously decreasing the United States budget deficit. There is little doubt, however, that the  corresponding changes will impact both the ways in which Americans receive care and the means by which it is provided.

Enacted on March 23, 2010, the ACA is a comprehensive plan embracing a multitude of revisions to the structure of the American health care system that will take effect over a four-year period, including prohibiting health insurers from denying coverage or refusing claims based on pre-existing conditions, expanding Medicaid eligibility, subsidizing insurance premiums, providing incentives for businesses to provide health care benefits, and increasing support for medical research. Though the resultant growing pains from such sweeping legislation have yet to be fully understood, much of the 2,700-page bill is beginning to take shape, even as it continues to face partisan challenges.