History gives perspective to changes in health care system

Pia Christensen

About Pia Christensen

Pia Christensen (@AHCJ_Pia) is the managing editor/online services for AHCJ. She manages the content and development of healthjournalism.org, coordinates AHCJ's social media efforts and edits and manages production of association guides, programs and newsletters.

While most of us are focused on the opening of the insurance marketplaces on Tuesday, Catherine Hollander, in the National Journal, takes a broader look at the history of changes in our health care system and how the Affordable Care Act might change things over time.

She asserts that the ACA is not the first or even biggest transformation of our health care system:

“Two overhauls were more radical than Obamacare will be next year: the dramatic rise of employer-sponsored insurance during the World War II era, and the adoption of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965.

A look forward at what health reform could mean for the country explains the coverage gaps left by the decisions to expand or not expand Medicaid in the states. The system will experience insurance reforms, more patients for doctors to see, innovations designed to save money and improve care and possibly a change in perception of people being rated on the state of their health.

Hollander, putting things into perspective, points out there is still a lot we don’t know about how Obamacare is going to play out and whether it can shift the entire health care system.

(Hat tip to Phil Galewitz)

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