Healthcare costs are not only a problem affecting budgets, taxes and government waste. Healthcare costs also mean that healthcare policy and healthcare reform effectively happen through the spending of big dollars by individuals and immediately benefiting individuals who are part of the healthcare industry. The people who are to be affected by the social investment and who ultimately must change behaviors to impact their health status are quite distant from the decision making and from the economy that healthcare reform creates. Ultimately, healthcare costs and consequences will be more impacted by the kitchen table decisions of millions of families than by the billions of dollars that health professionals, consultants and go-betweens will garner from the current healthcare reform top down process.
“As government officials, community organizations and advocates gear up the consumer information and assistance efforts that will surround this fall’s open enrollment for the health insurance exchanges created under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), much of the public remains confused about the status of the health law, according to the April Kaiser Health Tracking Poll. Four in ten Americans (42 percent) are unaware that the ACA is still the law of the land, including 12 percent who believe the law has been repealed by Congress, 7 percent who believe it has been overturned by the Supreme Court and 23 percent who don’t know whether or not the ACA remains law. And about half the public says they do not have enough information about the health reform law to understand how it will impact their own family, a share that rises among the uninsured and low-income households.”