By Jacob Molyneux, AJN senior editor In a brief analysis of the gradual rollout and effects so far of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) at the start of this year (“The ACA Continues to Run the Gauntlet”), I reviewed a few of the issues the law was intended to address when it was passed in 2010:
* the highest per capita expenditures of any health care system in the world
* consistently worse outcomes on measures such as infant mortality rate than most other developed nations
* increasing numbers of uninsured Americans each year, to over 50 million in 2009, the year before passage of the ACA
* unsustainable annual increases in health insurance premiums and drugs costs, leading to astonishing rates of medical bankruptcy
* a Medicare reimbursement process that rewarded the volume of care provided rather than the effectiveness of that care
These worsening issues had become impossible to ignore. No one believes the ACA is a perfect law; there were too many cooks in the kitchen for that. But it’s at least a good faith attempt to address real problems, to get a framework on the table that can potentially be improved upon. Read the rest of this entry ?