The Affordable Care Act was recently upheld in the Supreme Court for the third time after the latest challenge from Republican-led states. Kaiser Health News’ Julie Rovner says the majority-conservative SCOTUS upholding the Obama-era law is indicative of how deeply the ACA has impacted the American healthcare system.
“If the Supreme Court had struck down the entire thing it would’ve created chaos in the healthcare landscape… (the ACA) touches almost every piece of the healthcare system.” -Julie Rovner, Kaiser Health News
Listen: Longtime healthcare policy expert Julie Rovner on the significance of ACA being upheld for the third time
Julie Rovner is Chief Washington Correspondent for Kaiser Health News, and has been covering healthcare for 30 years. She says the ACA has undergone many changes since President Obama signed it into law in 2010, but the core of the law is still an integral part of American healthcare. “If the Supreme Court had struck down the entire thing it would’ve created chaos in the healthcare landscape… (the ACA) touches almost every piece of the healthcare system,” says Rovner.
Rovner says she doesn’t know if there will be another challenge to the entire law, but it doesn’t seem likely in the near future. “Republicans have never agreed on what the ‘replace’ piece would look like in ‘repeal and replace’…” explains Rovner. “there’s also a lot of disagreement about healthcare in the Democratic party… the worst outcome would’ve been for the Supreme Court to agree with Republicans.”
Supporters of privatized healthcare claim it breeds industry innovation, but it can also leave many Americans behind, according to Rovner. “In general… people who like to make money are moving into healthcare because that’s where the money is… investors and hedge funds… the trade-off is innovation versus affordability,” she says. “One would presume there’s a balance, but we haven’t found it yet.”
Rovner says within American healthcare, insurance coverage can depend on factors outside of peoples’ control: “Rising deductibles are a big problem… and that’s not an ACA problem, that’s a rising health costs problem. Employers are loading more of the premium and rising deductibles to try to keep their health care costs in check.”