The Affordable Care Act: What's Next?
The postelection efforts to repeal, replace, or modify the Affordable Care Act (ACA) suggest that the debate over healthcare coverage will remain contentious, particularly because of the high and rising cost of health care. Feasible, potentially bipartisan approaches to improving access to coverage should emphasize reforming health care to achieve higher quality at a lower cost. In the individual market, where many enrollees face limited options and rising premiums, a combination of high-risk pools, reinsurance, and risk adjustment could improve coverage options while encouraging innovations in care for the highest-risk patients. State Medicaid programs, which are increasingly important sources of coverage but are crowding out other important budget priorities that affect population health, could achieve better results through federal reforms that provide more flexibility for states alongside greater emphasis on achieving better outcomes. Accelerating payment reforms and other policy changes to encourage more innovative and efficient care delivery models, along with developing better evidence on successful models, can also improve the prospects for coverage reform.
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