While the Affordable Care Act faces a questionable future with the coming Supreme Court hearing and the 2012 elections, the rising U.S. deficit may pose the greatest threat to the law. Both current and former health care professionals working with the Obama administration claim that the health care law may run aground, financially, as early as 2013 if the deficit is not addressed. The problems may be due to sluggish action from Congress and the rampant infighting between the two ruling parties of the government.
The Affordable Care Act makes several major changes to the health insurance industry and the health care system of the nation as a whole. These changes cost, roughly, $2.6 trillion, including additional millions that are being given to states in the form of grants to help in building health insurance exchanges. The price of the law was one of its most controversial aspects before it was passed in 2010, but the issue has since fallen by the wayside.
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Now, however, the costs are beginning to overshadow what benefits the law may bring to the country and those without insurance coverage. If the issue cannot be addressed soon, the health care law may collapse, which would further add to the deficit as the majority of the money used to pay for exchanges may account for nothing.
Health care professionals and legislators met at the Harvard School of Public Health this week to discuss the matter. A webcast of the panel can be found via Harvad’s website.