The second anniversary of the signing of the Affordable Care Act serves as a prime opportunity for reflection on progress in addressing fundamental flaws in the U.S. health system. It’s particularly important to remember why the United States so urgently needs the Affordable Care Act. Just a few facts make it clear that the U.S. cannot afford to continue on the course it took in the first decade of this century:
It was with this backdrop that the Affordable Care Act was signed into law two years ago on March 23, 2010. While the major provisions will not go into effect until 2014, already significant shifts to improve access and care while slowing the cost trend are evident.
The Commonwealth Fund Commission on High Performance Health System’s local scorecard, released last week, shows that care is highly variable from one community to the next. The Affordable Care Act should help drive better local performance by ensuring more people have coverage and improving the way we pay for and deliver health care. Local providers now have the opportunity to save money and provide better care by organizing themselves into ACOs, and local leaders can also take advantage of opportunities provided by the Innovation Center.
We are on the cusp of addressing some of our nation’s most costly and burdensome problems. Year three of health reform will continue to move the United States to a high-performing health care system in which all Americans have access to affordable, high-quality care.