Overall, Howard Dean is fine with the way the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is shaping up, but he’s no fan of the Independent Payment Advisory Board.
The former Democratic presidential hopeful (2004) offered his latest no-holds-barred assessment of PPACA in a weekend op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal. First, he upbraided members of the GOP who are trying to kill PPACA. Says Dean:
“Continuing efforts by congressional Republicans to ‘defund’ further implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, even if it takes shutting down the federal government, are willfully destructive. … Like it or not, the law — at least its foundation — is here to stay, and lawmakers ought to focus over the next year on ensuring a relatively smooth implementation.”
Some of the other big takeaways from the mind of the former Vermont governor and Democratic Party chair:
The end result of healthcare reform may well be the end of company-sponsored health plans.
Says Dean: The administration’s decision to delay implementation of the employer mandate until 2015 will help funnel individuals and families who do not get insurance through their employer into the exchanges. While this may benefit the participating insurers in the short term, this also accelerates the trend toward divorcing health care from employment. … That development will lead to the end of job lock for workers and contribute to a more competitive American business community in the longer run.
Another major consequence may be the death of the fee-for-service system.
Says Dean: “Accountable Care Organizations could eliminate duplicative services and prevent medical errors while seeking to reduce costs for individuals, particularly if their creation ultimately leads to the end of fee-for-service medicine, as I believe it will.”
The health exchanges will prove to be hugely beneficial to average Americans who now have little or no control over any aspect of their health coverage.
Says Dean: “The Health Insurance Marketplace exchange systems, once implemented, will provide individuals with competitive plan options based on price, services, quality and other factors. Even more important, the exchanges will make the process of securing health insurance much easier and more transparent for millions who don’t currently have it.”