Politicos will have plenty to say, but one Michigan man’s summary of the Affordable Care Act’s impact is worth your attention. Most of the health care world has been focusing on whether healthcare.gov will reach its stated goals and whether the correct mix of young and old or healthy and sick people are in the pool. Most stories indicate that things aren’t going well: numbers are short of the seven million sign-up goal, and too many young people have stayed on the sidelines.
Charles Gaba sees things through the lens of the Affordable Care Act’s cumulative effect. By his count, over 15.75 million Americans have gained coverage through one aspect or another of the law’s implementation (as of 3/25/14). Anyone who produces an analysis like this courts critics and controversy. Charles Gaba has been no exception.
Amid the seemingly unending capacity for debating the Affordable Care Act’s merits and drawbacks, consider a simpler point of view. At this point in health care’s history, health care is accessible and affordable – i.e., seeking coverage won’t trigger debt burdens or medical bankruptcy – only when individuals have coverage of some type. (Whether that’s “right” or not is open to its own debate.) By whatever mechanism or door created by the Affordable Care Act, it’s likely that more than 16 million will gain that coverage by March 31, 2014.
And that is no small feat.