In addition to electing a President on Nov. 6, Americans also made the case for mandated insurance exchanges in every state. As could be expected, most “red” states had withheld decisions concerning the establishment of such insurance exchanges with the premise that the law would be overturned.
The rancor on capital hill preceding the election was ripe with accusations on both sides of the aisle as to the propriety and legality of the Federal Government in mandating the purchase of health insurance or the mandate of state specific insurance exchanges. The recent Supreme Court ruling accepting such mandates was the first shoe to drop, and the re-election of it’s primary sponsor was the second, and possibly final.
Living in and around the world of healthcare delivery, it may be instructive to take a macro economic view of the possible outcomes of Obama care. For many, this exercise requires a suspension of the belief that this particular legislation will be the end of free enterprise, as we know it, and that the end of capitalism is near. For the rest, we still live in a free market society, and opportunities will still abound.
The premise for the Affordable Care Act is not necessarily to provide healthcare for all Americans, but to provide insurance for all Americans. The marketplace question to ask is, “will this increase the demand for healthcare, and if so, by what percentage?” The fortunes of the VMS industry are closely tied to the demand for healthcare as the downturn in census during the recent recession indicated. The more complicated question then becomes the nature and constituency of payors as provider penalties and Medicare cuts will heavily influence care decisions. I’m betting contract labor, along with vendor management solutions will be the most efficient means to handle what is expected to be significant growth.