Last week, the National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems (NAPH) celebrated its 30th anniversary and its annual meeting focused on the public hospitals’ role in a reformed health care system. Although the advent of Medicare and Medicaid in the 1960s challenged the need for these systems, today the Affordable Care Act (ACA) reinforces the historical and future role of the hospital safety net.
NAPH invited a number of national health care leaders to provide their perspective on the future. Some of their observations include:
The Public and Health Care Reform
Celinda Lake (Lake Research Partners) is one of the Democratic Party’s leading strategists and pollsters. She reviewed a number of polls regarding the ACA and provided some very interesting insights. For example:
- The country is still split on the idea of health care reform as a whole, but when individual pieces are presented, they almost all have high favorability ratings – with the exception of the individual mandate.
- Although most individuals understand some of the insurance aspects of the ACA, they clearly do not understand the system reform elements. For example, when asked if they would like to receive their care in a medical home, most individuals recoiled at the thought. “Why would I want to be put away like that?”
- Finally, 30 percent of Americans think health care reform has already been repealed. This will be an interesting challenge when the Health Insurance Exchanges begin to operate in 2014.
The States and Health Care Reform