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Affordable Care Act Celebrates Second Birthday

March 23, 2012
by Gabriel Perna
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Today is the two-year anniversary of the enactment of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The ACA is a major piece of healthcare legislation, affecting nearly every American, including those in the health IT sector. CIOs, CMIOs and other tech leaders in hospitals have implemented health IT systems for the purpose of completing many of the mandatory and voluntary programs within the ACA, this includes the preventable readmissions program, the value-based purchasing program, hospital acquired conditions program, and the accountable care organization shared savings program, among others.

The ACA is well known for its goal of expanding insurance to 30 million in Americans within the decade and its overall overhaul of the health insurance system in the U.S. Of its many goals to change the health insurance industry, the ACA is attempting to prevent health insurance companies from denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions.   

“Today, two years after we passed health care reform, more young adults have insurance, more seniors are saving money on their prescription drugs, and more Americans can rest easy knowing they won’t be dropped from their insurance plans if they get sick,” President Obama said in a statement.  “The law has made a difference for millions of Americans, and over time, it will help give even more working and middle-class families the security they deserve.”

The legislation has its fair share of opponents and may not see its third birthday. This year’s elections, specifically the presidential election, could play a role in its future. A loss by President Barack Obama to a republican candidate might signify the ACA’s end. GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney has made plans to repeal the legislation if he gets elected by giving a waiver to all 50 states to discontinue the president’s plan. In addition, the ACA’s constitutionality will be up for debate in the Supreme Court next week, where the court could strike it down. 

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