Below, a guest post from Stephen Reid, Managing Partner at Pharmspective, a market research firm that provides advisory services to healthcare and pharmaceutical companies on strategic issues including the Affordable Care Act. (ACA)
I don’t agree with Reid on every point. (For example, if Republicans take both the White House and the Senate, I believe that they could and would eliminate both the premium subsidies that will make insurance affordable for middle-class Americans and the mandate.) Nevertheless, when he sent his Op-ed to me I was impressed by how well he understands the legislation. A great many moderates have been confused by the arguments coming at them both from the left and from the right. A combination of misinformation, half-truths and fear-mongering has created so much “noise” that it has become extremely difficult to separate fact from fiction.
By contrast, Reid does a very good job of explaining the reasoning behind the Affordable Care Act, and how its “checks and balances” work. I agree with him that the legislation is far from perfect, but it represents a good beginning.
There is just one major aspect of reform that I think Reid doesn’t understand: the rationale for expanding Medicaid. See my note at the end of his post.
A Centrist Perspective: Makers, Takers and Obamacare
by Stephen Reid
With a few days left before we elect a president, the prevailing belief is that an Obama win would propel the Affordable Care Act (ACA) forward with little delay and a Romney win would kill it. Both parties have gone to great lengths to characterize healthcare reform; the Democrats tout the legislation as essential to addressing a broken healthcare system that results in the U.S. spending twice as much as most developed countries on healthcare while leaving 50 million people without coverage; the Republicans cite the ACA as an example of hopeless dependency on government and contrary to free-market principles and individual rights.