The Impact of Healthcare Reform May Need Wait-And-See Approach




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The clock is ticking. With just about seven months remaining until the major changes of healthcare reform take hold, the anticipation – and dread – depending on where you stand on this hotly contested topic – is beginning to reach its zenith.

For the 38th time, the U.S. House of Representatives held a vote to repeal Obamacare (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act the actual name of the legislation). In the GOP-controlled House, the bill passed naturally, 229-195. But with a Democratic majority in the Senate, the bill has little chance of coming to fruition.

And so the cycle continues on an issue that has become as politicized as just about any in modern history. Of course, as the months continue to pass by until the beginning of 2014, various studies and polls have been conducted that either reflect the positive or negative effects of Obamacare.

CNN released poll results earlier this week that showed 43% of Americans support healthcare reform, compared to the 54% that do not. Not surprisingly, the divide is split amongst party lines – approximately 75% of Democrats support it, while only 16% of Republicans are in favor. In an opinion piece later in the week, CNN contributor Aaron Carroll suggested that the devil is in the details. Looking upon the results more closely, Carroll argued that almost 60% of Americans wanted a system similar or more liberal than Obamacare.

Healthcare construction, on the decline the last few years, has seen an uptick as hospitals and healthcare systems prepare to have the infrastructure in place for an influx of patients previously uninsured.

And even something as basic as paying for premiums is expected to be affected. Insurers, as a recent Fortune article suggests, may look to eliminate accepting debit or credit cards to pay for premiums. Transaction fees, like many overhead costs, will need to be reduced in order to distribute the required amount of funds to cost of care measures.  For a country heavily reliant on credit, this latest trend could prove to be burdensome.

What the actual net of Obamacare’s mandates remains to be seen. Having a wait-and-see approach in today’s knee-jerk reaction society is as contrarian as it gets, but with so much still yet to be implemented, and its impact not intended to be immediate, we could be waiting many years to know if healthcare reform has succeeded or failed.


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