Affordable Care Act – affordable care for all?
I like this doctor’s take on the Affordable Care Act. – Dr Evan
Dr. Adam Perlman Shares Reflections on Implications of the Supreme
In a landmark decision, the Supreme Court has upheld the Patient
Protection and Affordable Care Act. There are many complex subtleties
to this legislation and many points on which lively and spirited
conversation will continue to unfold. From our perspective at Duke
Integrative Medicine and from the larger perspective I now hold as
Associate Vice President of Health and Wellness at the Duke University
Health System, there is no doubt that significant benefits will at
last be realized in many important areas that support enhanced quality
of care and preventive services for patients.
Here are some highlights of the areas of change about which we are
An independent, non-profit group known as the Patient-Centered
Outcomes Research Institute has been formed to study treatments and
determine which is the best both from an economic perspective and from
a quality of care perspective.
Children under 19 will not be charged more due to pre-existing
conditions, and they can remain on their parents’ health insurance
until age 26.
Insurers will no longer be able to drop clients once they are sick,
nor can they charge more for clients with pre-existing conditions or
for those who are sick.
Insurance coverage may no longer be dropped due to patient’s age (no
more lifetime limits).
Insurers must inform clients of everything they are charging (random
fees must be thoroughly explained).
Doctors will be reimbursed on the basis of their quality of care, not
on the number of patients they see.
Preventive care, not just “sick care,” will be included in coverage plans
Medicare will be expanded to include care delivered in smaller clinics
Given the breadth, scope and complexity of the Act and the politically
polarized culture that we live in, it is no surprise that there will
continue to be heated conversation about the legislation. However, it
is hard to argue that something needed to change with our current
system, and that something has to include more emphasis on improving
quality, increasing access, and decreasing the cost of care. In
addition, we need greater emphasis on prevention and healthy
lifestyle. Hopefully with the Supreme Court decision behind us, we can
begin to focus on what’s most important: improving the health and
wellbeing of our community, our state and our nation.