In a new position paper published in Annals of Internal Medicine, the ACP offers seven comprehensive recommendations to improve the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and promote universal health care coverage for all Americans.
“The ACP has long endorsed policies to achieve universal health insurance coverage and supported passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010. ... The ACA has extended comprehensive health insurance coverage to millions of persons, but many remain uninsured or underinsured,” Ryan A. Crowley, BSJ, and Sue S. Bornstein, MD, wrote on behalf of the Health and Public Policy Committee of the ACP.
The committee reviewed studies, reports and surveys on the ACA and input from ACP boards and councils to examine approaches on how to improve the law.
Based on its review, ACP made seven recommendations:
- achieve universal health coverage;
- redesign eligibility requirements for premium tax credits and cost sharing to improve individual market insurance affordability;
- institute a permanent reinsurance program to help stabilize the marketplace;
- strengthen awareness of and education about ACA for patients;
- develop an auto-enrollment program, a penalty for failing to enroll upon eligibility and/or an individual mandate to help guarantee that all individuals enroll in coverage;
- expand Medicaid; and
- encourage market competition by establishing a law to develop a public insurance plan to ensure access to coverage options.
“For policymakers, the pragmatic proposals offered here will require substantial political will and funding,” Crowley and Bornstein wrote. “If these proposals are fully implemented, coverage and market stability problems will probably remain.”
“However, adopting these policies will be a step toward realizing what has been an unachievable goal: affordable, comprehensive insurance for all,” they added. “To accomplish true universal coverage, a concerted effort must be made to transform the U.S. health care system into one that attains universal coverage in a less costly and complex way.” – by Alaina Tedesco
Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.