Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Reform law 'quietly accomplishing the goals it was created to achieve,' McClatchy Newspapers reporter writes

The federal health-reform law is still controversial and still facing a legal challenge, but "is quietly accomplishing the goals it was created to achieve," Washington correspondent Tony Pugh reported for McClatchy Newspapers on the occasion of the law's fifth anniversary. (The Lexington Herald-Leader is a McClatchy paper.)

"The nation’s uninsured rate has plummeted as more Americans enroll in Medicaid or in federal and state marketplace coverage," Pugh notes. "The law’s consumer protections and insurance-benefit requirements have improved the quality of coverage for millions of people who get health insurance outside the workplace. Premiums for marketplace health insurance have largely been reasonable and have increased only moderately thus far. Long-term cost estimates for providing coverage under the law have been falling."

Howver, Pugh writes, "The law may never overcome the bitter politics that surrounded its enactment and that partly define its legacy. Long viewed as a government overreach, the health-care law has been problematic for those who want the private insurance market to dictate who gets health insurance and what it should cost. . . . Moreover, the law’s requirement that most Americans have health insurance is seen as an infringement on individual freedom. The Supreme Court ruled in June 2012 that the so-called individual mandate didn’t violate the Constitution."

The White House issued a state-specific list of the law's benefits. For Kentucky's, click here.

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