Reframing the ACA

February 6, 2014 by By InTouch Health

In his recent State of the Union speech (SOTU), President Obama used his considerable powers as “persuader-in-chief” to reposition the Affordable Care Act in citizens’ minds.

The president devoted more SOTU time to healthcare than in any address since 2010. He noted that despite the botched rollout of www.healthcare.gov, some 9 million Americans have signed up for the new private health plans or Medicaid coverage. And he cited the ACA innovations that people in both red and blue states are excited about, including no coverage denials for pre-existing conditions and the ability to keep kids on a parent’s health plan until age 26.

Opinion polls show that Americans are increasingly fed up with partisan gridlock – and Mr. Obama warned that voters would frown on more efforts to “repeal a law that’s already helping millions of Americans.”

Lawmakers at the state level are finally starting to admit that the ACA offers major advantages. The president praised efforts by Kentucky governor Steve Beshear to ensure that his state’s health insurance exchange is successful. “Kentucky’s not the most liberal part of the country,” said the president, “but Governor Beshear’s like a man possessed when it comes to covering his commonwealth’s families.”

As memories of the awkward launch fade, the public is starting to realize that health reform truly is improving access, raising quality and lowering costs. We applaud the president for having the courage to reframe the health reform debate, even though many members of his own party feel that it’s a losing issue.

Americans are willing to be patient with health reform because it promises so much. To quote an old song by The Eagles: Will health reform make it? We’ll find out in the long run.