Health Care Opinion Leaders: New Law Will Provide Millions with Access to Affordable Coverage

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By an overwhelming majority, leaders in health care and health policy think the new health care reform law will successfully expand access to affordable health insurance to the millions of Americans who currently go without it. The latest <a href="/publications/surveys/2010/apr/commonwealth-fund-2010-survey-health-care-opinion-leaders">Commonwealth Fund/<em>Modern Healthcare </em>Health Care Opinion Leaders survey</a>—which was fielded while the legislation was still pending in Congress—also found that virtually all key features of the health reform law are supported by a large majority of opinion leaders. <br /><br />In addition to coverage expansion, large majorities of opinion leaders supported the inclusion of major elements of reform in the new law. Income-related subsidies to help individuals afford coverage, new insurance market rules, and quality improvement and public reporting were considered important or very important priorities for health reform by nine of 10 opinion leaders surveyed. <br /><br />Experts were less likely, however, to agree that the legislation will improve the affordability of health insurance for Americans who already have coverage, or that it would begin to control rising health care costs and not add to the federal budget deficit. <br /><br />Opinion leaders also identified several areas of potential concern as the nation begins implementing reform, including the nation's limited supply of primary care providers and the states' capacity to implement reform. <br /><br />For more on the survey's findings, read the Commonwealth Fund <a href="/publications/publication/2010/apr/health-care-opinion-leaders-views-health-reform-implementation">data brief</a> and commentaries by <a href="/publications/publication/2010/apr/first-and-ten">Tom Daschle</a>, former Senate majority leader, and <a href="/publications/publication/2010/apr/first-and-ten">Michael Leavitt</a>, former Utah governor and U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services. <br />