The passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, after much deliberation and debate, has set the framework for how health care coverage is discussed in the United States. According to Rockefeller Institute Senior Fellow Richard Nathan, the real challenge, however, lies ahead as lawmakers attempt to implement the law in the face of many uncertainties. Nathan argues that, in the politicized and frenetic current budget process, expert opinion and deliberation are often lost.
Nathan advocates the creation of a new institutional mechanism to "monitor and react to changing conditions" and to provide valuable feedback to the president and Congress on what legislative changes are necessary to adapt the health care law to the unclear political and economic landscape. He proposes the creation of an entity ---- similar to the Simpson-Bowles deficit reduction commission ---- to recommend gradual reform that is informed by expertise and research. The commission will not completely remove politics from the process, but will provide the government with valuable input on what course corrections are needed to meet the goals of the new law.
Nathan also examines five major players in the health care economy and the evolving role that intermediary organizations can play for consumers in counterbalancing the power of providers.
For a full copy of the report, visit www.rockinst.org.