As the nation watched and waited on pins and needles the election returns, many were disappointed while slightly more were filled with joy. No matter which way you voted or how you feel about our current President, we all will be under the same healthcare system moving forward. Now is the time to educate yourself on the coming changes and how that affects you and your family.
You may remember that President Obama passed historic health reform in his first term. This law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, guarantees that all American will have the ability to get affordable health insurance starting in 2014. During the debates we heard Romney say that he would replace the law if he were elected. Now that Obama has secured his second term, the path is clear for him to implement this law.
However, the implementation of this law will be a bit tricky. The two main components are state-run programs for people to buy insurance online with some help from the government and an expanded Medicaid program that will allow more people to qualify. The problem with these components is that Congress is trying to figure out ways to cut government spending with the upcoming “fiscal cliff” staring us down. Medicaid will undoubtedly be a big part of these debates in Congress. Earlier this year the Supreme Court upheld the decision on the health care reform to be constitutional, however, they did say states had the option on whether or not they would expand their Medicaid programs. Certain states, such as Florida, Louisiana, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Texas said they would exercise their right to not expand their Medicaid programs.
For the state-run exchanges they must work fast to get their online marketplace ready for business. The deadline for these exchanges is October 2013. As of right now (Nov 2012), only 15 states have solid plans in place for their exchanges.
Obviously there is a lot of scrambling, planning, and shuffling of resources to get this health care law in place. If you are needing affordable healthcare now you should try our medical walk in clinic in Madison, TN. We have reasonable rates for those without insurance and we take all major insurance including TennCare.
Here’s to your health!
Dr. K Bennett