Online Program

How will we know if the Affordable Care Act is working: A view from Chicago

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 1:15 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Daniel Swartzman, JD, MPH, Department of Public Health Sciences, Loyola University Chicago, Maywood, IL
For those of us who have worked for decades for healthcare reform, the Affordable Care Act was presented as a significant step forward.  Millions now have health insurance who did not.  People with pre-existing conditions can get new insurance.  The ACA has banished life-time caps and requires free preventive screening.  But, although the rate of increase of healthcare costs has flattened, costs are still rising faster than inflation.  Many people who have insurance may not be able to afford deductibles and co-pays that come with their new policies.  Cut backs in Medicare coverage will change treatment options.  Many states expanded Medicaid coverage, but the bill for this expansion, even considering federal assistance, might burden state budgets in out years.  And the sad moral truth is that millions of people who didn’t have healthcare coverage in 2009 will not have coverage in 2020.  It is too early to tell how all of this will turn out, but now is the time to start asking the questions that will allow us, ultimately, to know the extent to which the ACA is working.  By focusing on the realities of healthcare in Chicago and its surrounding suburbs, this project will identify possible factors that ought to be part of a model to examine the success or shortcomings of the ACA, thereby beginning  a dialogue that could facilitate evaluations of the law, when the time comes.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Describe the accomplishments of the ACA that are already apparent. Identify possible areas where the law may prove effective. Identify problems with the US healthcare system that the law may not remedy.

Keyword(s): Public Health Policy, Health Care Reform

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been teaching health administration and public health policy in schools and programs of public health for 37 years.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.