Health care — what happens next?

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The front pages of various newspapers the day after the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act (David Goldman/Associated Press)

Hour 1

While the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is settled law, questions still remain about how and whether the law will work to improve access to health care, ensure its quality, and reduce its costs.  In this hour of Radio Times we’ll talk with two experts about what happens next.  Our first guest, Cornell economist ROBERT FRANK, says the Supreme Court’s ruling will give health care a “chance to evolve,” will extend coverage to millions of people who are uninsured, and may help contain costs through increased competition.  Then we’ll talk with the Kaiser Family Foundation’s MARILYN WERBER SERAFINI about the challenges facing the states and health care systems.  After the Court ruled that states are not required to expand Medicaid by taking federal funds, the issue has become a political one with some Republican governors saying they won’t accept federal money to do so.  The law also requires states to establish their own health insurance exchanges by 2013 or let the federal government do it for them, so governors are facing real pressure to get things moving.   At the same time, hospitals and health care systems are scrambling to put together Accountable Care Organizations promoted by the new law, which offers financial incentives to provide quality care for Medicare patients while keeping costs down.

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[audio: 071712_100630.mp3]

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