This week seems like its the day after last night’s party. Tired, frazzled (hung over?), picking up the pieces, trying to figure out exactly what everything meant that happened and figuring out how to move forward. The passage of the healthcare reform bills last week is good for seniors and for Americans. There will always be complaints about the impact the reform will have on taxes and whether enough was really done. Some of the benefits will be immediate, some will permit the continuation of current practices and some will take many years to fully achieve (gradual closing Medicare Part “D” is a good example). The more challenging question will how will these changes affect operators, managers and more importantly seniors now, tomorrow, 12 months, 2-5 years down the road? The bill should have positive short and medium term impact but its the long term impact that is unclear at this time. It is a great thing that Congress and the President have done in terms of ideology but the fact of the matter is that great ideas are just that; ideas. Ultimately, it will be the execution of the law that will determine if Obama’s healthcare legacy will be considered successful in the coming years.
For a good summary of what was specifically in the bill, visit AASHA’s Summary of Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.