With various deadlines for implementation of the Affordable Care Act approaching, questions abound regarding the affects of the act. During the “Health Care Reform” session at the ACA Convention, Mike Robbins, senior vice president for financial policy with the Maryland Hospital Association, talked about several aspects of the Affordable Care Act.
With the Supreme Court upholding the constitutionality of the Act, the future of reform hinges on the subsequent actions of Congress and individual states. Republican members of Congress have already taken steps to attempt to repeal aspects of the law. These steps are expected to continue following the November elections.
States need to determine their level of commitment to setting up state insurance exchanges, according to Robbins. The federal government will operate exchanges in states that do not implement them on their own. Although federal funds are available to help states implement exchanges, some states are expected to decline because of ongoing operational costs.
Whether or not Congress repeals aspects of the Affordable Care Act, the need for reform will remain, according to Robbins.
“Without reform, hospitals will close at a faster pace than we’ve seen,” he said. “Other will consolidate or become niche providers. The current model is unsustainable.”