The ACA – Where Is It Going, Anyway?

This module examines the extensive challenges that have been associated with legislative efforts to reform the health care system in the United States and the policy trade-offs that often are part of this process. Wilensky and Teitelbaum present an in-depth look at historical attempts to achieve reform on a national level and the lessons learned from these efforts. The policy course of the Affordable Care Act is reviewed as well as the critical importance of key policy elements that are the underpinnings of its structure and are critical to its overall effectiveness. Module 6 takes an extensive look at multiple presidential executive actions aimed at dismantling the legislation and as well as the many lawsuits that have challenged its overall constitutionality and that of its individual provisions. The principle of state flexibility for health reform implementation is examined as well as the uncertainty and risk in the current health insurance marketplace and its impact on insurers, health consumers, and providers. The ACA’s uncertain future is considered through a look into the upcoming Supreme Court review and decision on the filed challenge to the law’s constitutionality.
Module Objectives
At the end of this module, you should be able to: 

Evaluate the Individual Mandate and its effectiveness in meeting established policy objectives.
Identify pivotal court decisions related to the ACA, the impact on structural legislative components, and the affect on overall policy function and outcome.
Explore the political climate that has underscored legislative efforts to repeal and replace the ACA as well as those aimed at dismantling it piece by piece over time.
Evaluate the role of states to function as policy “laboratories” in which health reform efforts can be crafted and tested on individual state levels and potentially serve as models for future health reform on the federal level.

Required Readings:

Essentials of Health Policy and Law – Chapter 10

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