The Supreme Court has ruled on the constitutionality of the health reform law. Now it remains for stakeholders, policymakers, analysts and taxpayers to take it from here. Shifts in health care delivery towards more coordinated care to improve quality and efficiency are already taking place in the public and private sector. But many provisions in the law require specific actions to be taken and deadlines to be met by states, providers and others in order to implement various aspects of health reform scheduled to take effect in January, 2014.
How many states will be ready to open the doors of their health insurance exchanges on schedule? Is the federal government prepared to administer such exchanges in states that are not building their own? Will information systems be ready to determine eligibility for Medicaid or subsidized health insurance? What about the movement between the two as consumers’ incomes vary across the year? Will some states continue to slow implementation efforts until after the November national elections?
What does the court’s ruling mean for those without health insurance? Will states that choose to participate in the Medicaid expansion be ready to cover nearly all non-disabled adults under age 65 with household incomes at or below 133 percent of the federal poverty level as of January, 2014? Will some states likely choose not to participate in the expansion now that the court has removed the most severe penalty for not doing so?
Panelists were: Sheila Burke, Harvard University; Christopher Jennings, Jennings Policy Strategies; MaryBeth Musumeci, Kaiser Family Foundation; and Joshua Sharfstein, Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Diane Rowland of Kaiser and Ed Howard of the Alliance co-moderated.