Has Healthcare Reform Failed?

October 25, 2016

By Kevin Mowll, Executive Director, The RISE Association

News articles announce retreats of large insurance companies from the public health insurance exchange markets, leaving many geographic areas served by only one insurance company option, and ask whether "Obamacare" is coming unraveled.  Other postings point to the financial losses that these companies have suffered.  Yet others observe the steep prices for insurance coverage that continue to rise while still leaving huge cost-share burdens on the backs of the unsubsidized enrollees covered by these insurance products.  Additionally, shortfalls in online enrollment levels are presented by some as further evidence of the failures of “Obamacare”. 

Others are disappointed in the stonewall of states refusing to expand Medicaid to low income populations as a solution to the uninsured problem and all that implies in terms of access to sorely needed healthcare for neglected populations.  Are we to conclude that the summation of all these woes means that healthcare reform is a failed experiment?  

Indeed, all of these symptoms are valid observations on the problems in the current HHS Marketplace, yet they are only one side of the ledger balanced against the many significant successes in rapidly moving millions of Americans under an umbrella of insurance.

While the motivation of some who disparage the program is ideological in nature, the one-sided view that ignores the successes is doing so because these critics would begrudge any wins achieved by their ideological foes.  Yet others settle for a negative verdict based on sound bites and thin insights. They fail to examine the root causes of the failure areas.  The cause of these failures is the foundational challenges posed by the way the U.S healthcare system and insurance companies work to begin with, not the marketplace reforms overlaid on top of that flawed foundation.  

In truth, we must first recognize that healthcare reform has barely started.  It has not yet failed nor has it succeeded because it is only recently begun.  Click here to continue



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