Now that we have an incumbent President Obama, the Affordable Care Act is here to stay.
As the Washington Post reported yesterday, though, “We know a lot less…about how that happens.”
The states now have a lot of responsibility to get things figured out. States now have about a week (until November 16) to officially decide whether they will set up an insurance exchange as a state or if they will turn it over to the federal government. States must also decide whether they will participate in Medicaid expansion.
After making those decisions, states have to navigate all the details. How do they figure out who now qualifies for Medicaid? How are they going to set up these exchanges? And if they opt to have the federal government run the exchange, how do they go about implementing what the federal government sets up? How do the states ensure that people are enrolled for health insurance? How do they monitor who purchases health insurance and who opts to pay a fine?
There is clearly a lot of work to do, and it seems likely that people (or state governments) will want to continue to fight against the Affordable Care Act. However, I think that the ACA is on track to happen, and now it’s our responsibility to make the best of it. We must figure out how to maximize the benefit of all the programs of the Affordable Care Act in a way that will still give us market prices and decrease health care spending overall.
It is our responsibility, as American citizens, to choose what is best for us, but it is also our responsibility to think outside ourselves. We must do what is best for America. We can’t leave all important decisions up to governmental officials. We can do our part to ensure that the regulations being implemented by the ACA will benefit Americans.