The New York Times recently pulled their reportorial and graphics know-how together to do a one-year assessment of the ACA. It concludes: “After a year fully in place, the Affordable Care Act has largely succeeded in delivering on President Obama’s main promises, an analysis by a team of reporters and data researchers shows. But it has also fallen short in some ways and given rise to a powerful conservative backlash.”
The package consists of seven sections that run the gamut, with some key numbers and charts. Overall it’s a positive but not uncritical look. The cost section is particularly nuanced, noting the challenges of narrow networks and high deductibles.
Most of these topics we’ve considered on this blog over the last few years. But the series provides a nice, compact overview and handy reference going into the second year.
Here are the seven sections covered, and the nutshell conclusion the Times provided for each.
- Has the percentage of uninsured people been reduced? Yes, the number of uninsured has fallen significantly.
- Has insurance under the law been affordable? For many, yes, but not for all.
- Did the Affordable Care Act improve health outcomes? Data remains sparse except for one group, the young.
- Will the online exchanges work better this year than last? Most experts expect they will, but they will be tested by new challenges.
- Has the health care industry been helped or hurt by the law? The law mostly helped, by providing new paying patients and insurance customers.
- How has the expansion of Medicaid fared? Twenty-three states have opposed expansion, though several of them are reconsidering.
- Has the law contributed to a slowdown in health care spending? Perhaps, but mainly around the edges.