During the debate over health reform one of the primary criticisms of the Affordable Care Act was that it created uncertainty and stifled long-term investment, especially in the health care sector. While it was probably exaggerated, it’s true that hospitals and insurers and drug companies didn’t entirely know what to expect. Now everything has changed.
The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the law as constitutional. A wide range of businesses, both in and out of the health care market, now understand what is required of them. They are making future decisions and investments based on health reform. Entrepreneurs are eyeing new opportunities. State governments are establishing new information technology infrastrustures. Insurance companies are thinking about how to compete on cost and quality instead of cherry picking the healthiest customers or paring down policies until nothing is covered. Hospitals are looking to increase efficiency and shift from traditional fee-for-service systems. It is an exciting time.
But there is one problem. Opponents of health reform continue threatening a full repeal of the law. This is frightening to organizations that are shifting toward providing better care at lower costs. Many of these models depend on implementation of the ACA. Health reform is funding new models of care. It is investing to strengthen the safety net. And the health care sector is depending on 32 million more Americans gaining access to affordable health insurance.
Many businesses were just waiting for a Supreme Court ruling to move forward. Now there are politicians saying that organizations should wait until November. After that, who knows?
And there is evidence that the ridiculous lies told about health reform are hurting business. Realtors are struggling every day to dispel the myth that middle class home owners will pay a tax on real estate transfers.
The Affordable Care Act is law. The Supreme Court has ruled. Let’s move forward and stop playing silly political games. Perpetuating lies and uncertainty only hurt the families and businesses of our state and slow the economic recovery.