Hmmmm...could the Scrooges who pronounced President Obamas Affordable Care Act a disaster in the making be wrong? It now appears they could be, and they are, at least by measure of New Yorks Commonwealth Fund, a private foundation that promotes improved health care.
A study by the Fund finds that last year, American consumers saved $1.5 billion, much of it in rebates from insurance companies, thanks to rules included in reform that forced insurance companies to spend 80 cents of every dollar in premiums on medical care. That means, not on multimillion-dollar salaries for executives or corporate perks or conventions or the like.
And surprise! In 39 states, administrative costs dropped.
Health-care reform was a hard-won battle, and the slings and arrows have never stopped. Even now, the presidents long-time critics continue to insist that the law should be repealed.
But Obamas victory in November ensured that the law, which goes into full operation in 2014, when affordable health insurance will be available to the vast majority of Americans, will stay on the books.
No, the law is not perfect. More needs to be done to control costs of care, for example. But considering the heated debate that ensued when a new president announced his intention to reform the system, much has actually been accomplished.
Its not been the catastrophe that opponents, supported by billions and billions of dollars in lobbying from the insurance industry and right-wing special interest groups, predicted. And in time, it may mean a healthier country and a healthier way of administering care.