What editorial writers are saying about the effects of health system reform
■ The first major pieces of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act took effect Sept. 23.
Posted Sept. 27, 2010.
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Even before limits on health insurers' coverage rescissions and expansions of coverage for children, among other items, were official, assessments of whether health system reform was having good or ill effects already were taking place.
[P]eople's lives will change -- for the good -- because of the health care reform bill that was passed earlier in the year. The "Patient's Bill of Rights" aspects of the law are ready to kick into gear, and it will be interesting to see if the number of Americans who have expressed skepticism, even fear, of the reforms will feel that way after they benefit from them, and if the number of politicians who are running on repealing the new law will change once people see its effects. ... The upcoming changes address some of the most egregious insurance practices of the past, which penalized policyholders for actually using what they had paid for. The Courier-Journal (Louisville, Ky.), Sept. 16
Health insurance hurts
[T]o be successful, health care reform should have focused on cost first and other issues -- expansion of coverage -- included later. It didn't, and it marks failure for all concerned, including President Obama and members of both parties in Congress -- but especially the reform-pushing president who failed to heed the concerns, and the opposition to the final health care bill, of most working Americans. The Buffalo (N.Y.) News, Sept. 12
Federal health reform is hardly sitting idle
Many Americans seem to have little memory or the patience of earlier generations. For example, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Social Security into law in 1935, it called for the first monthly retirement checks to go out in 1942 -- a seven-year lag. Congress later accelerated that to 1940 -- still a five-year lag. Today, while major provisions of the new health law don't take effect until 2014 -- it will take some time to set up exchanges where people can shop for insurance, for example -- many do take effect much sooner. ... These are ambitious reforms. Give them a chance to work before rushing to a verdict. The Sacramento (Calif.) Bee, Sept. 13
Despite reform, health costs still on rise
The benefits of the comprehensive law passed earlier this year are largely in the future; that is, if the regulations now being written work out in everyone's favor. But the costs of health care -- today, not in the future -- are still rising. ... For several years, companies have absorbed the bulk of rising health insurance costs and paid for it by holding down wage increases. Now, with the sour economy, the wages will stay low and the employees' insurance will increase -- another setback for families. Obviously, Congress should be rethinking the meaning of the word "reform." The News-Press (Fort Myers, Fla.), Sept. 13
The Affordable Care Act: There's much to do, but much to gain
While some politicians bluster about repealing the Affordable Care Act, patient advocates have teamed with hospitals, insurers and drug companies to make sure it works as smoothly as possible. ... Good for them. Congress' health care fix isn't simple, and it has flaws. But it is a needed response to a broken system, and energy is far better spent on making reform work than threatening to overturn the law. Kansas City (Mo.) Star, Sept. 15
Suits could be stake in heart of Obamacare
The legal challenges [two separate lawsuits filed by state attorneys general] to Obamacare's unprecedented intrusion are well-founded. Ultimately, they may be more likely to prevail than even the mounting political dissatisfaction. ... Either way, by repeal or a court order, Obamacare must be derailed. Its massive reshaping of health care promised lower costs and more services and coverage. But it will have virtually the opposite effect. Private industry already is feeling government's heavy hand. The Orange County (Calif.) Register, Sept. 13