David Williams hosted a great Health Wonk Review this week, and it was interesting to see how he divided the articles into optimistic and pessimistic viewpoints, with one section for “glass half full” articles, and another for the “glass half empty” ones. It’s a reminder that there are always different ways of looking at the same thing, and we see that every day with so many aspects of healthcare reform.
One of my favorites in this edition comes from Brad Wright, explaining how the sky has not fallen, and is indeed a brighter shade of blue for a lot of people now that January 2014 is finally here. Yes, there have been some hiccups along the way to ACA implementation. And it’s true that not everyone comes out a winner under the new law. People who don’t qualify for subsidies and have had medically underwritten individual health insurance in the past are likely to be paying more for their health insurance now than they used to (but keep in mind that these are people who are earning more than most Americans, and their financial situation is thus better overall than most people). And some people have had to switch to a new doctor because they opted for a new health insurance policy with a narrower network (although that’s not necessarily a bad thing).
But there are so many people whose health care situation is tremendously improved this month. People who couldn’t afford health insurance in the past are now able to have a real policy thanks to subsidies. People who had no options but the state high risk pool because of a pre-existing condition can now shop around just like everybody else. Brad’s article is a good reminder of all of this. If we keep things in perspective, we can see that the positives of the ACA far outweigh the negatives (many of which are not permanent and are getting ironed out a little more each day).