Local Perspectives on the Affordable Care Act

Monday, May 13, 2013

U.S. President Barack Obama (C) is applauded after signing the Affordable Health Care for America Act during a ceremony with fellow Democrats in the East Room of the White House (Getty Images)



It has been three years since President Obama signed the Health Care Reform bill into law, but according to a recent Kaiser Family Foundation survey, four out of ten American adults are still unaware that the Affordable Care Act is, in fact, law. In addition they found that roughly half of American adults do not feel they have enough information to understand how the ACA will affect their lives.

This lack of awareness could be a consequence of disorganization on the part of local and national governing bodies. It seems that the government itself still has yet to resolve some of the many anticipated hurdles in the ACA rollout, leaving insurers, health care providers, small businesses, and many uninsured Americans unclear on how to carry out these new policies and requirements.

As this major, complex system begins to take effect, we analyze what it's looking like on the ground - in hospitals, doctors’ offices, and state legislatures around the country. What do these changes look like, and where are the seams starting to show?

Three reporters on the ACA beat from across the nation offer their thoughts: Gina Jordan, state policy reporter for WLRN in Miami, Florida, Elizabeth Stawicki, health care reporter for MPR in Saint Paul, Minnesota, and Veronica Zaragovia, statehouse reporter for KUT in Austin, TX.

With confusion surrounding the roll-out of the final piece of the Affordable Care Act, we asked listeners to comment on how they expect health care reform will affect their lives and the lives of their families.

Some are not looking forward to the changes. Chris in Orleans, Massachusetts writes, "It will raise my existing insurance premiums, which are already too high for me. I wish I had an investment that I could make that was tied to insurance."

Others are more optimistic. A listener in Long Island, New York says, "My 20 year old son will need a pacemaker 20-30-40 years down the road. Thanks to Obama care he won't be kicked to the curb with a pre-existing condition. I don't think the act is perfect but we had to make the first step. Health care in America has been a wreck for a long time."

And others are still confused. One listener in Denver, Colorado offers, "As a nurse, American, Obama voter and healthcare reform supporter, I have no idea how most of the bill will affect me and my family. I wish I did."


Gina Jordan, Elizabeth Stawicki and Veronica Zaragovia

Produced by:

Mary Harris and Jessica Miller

Comments [5]

Bill Dotson from Washington State

The interview with the "doctor" that spewed rhetoric and conjecture detracting the ACA, and backed it up with anecdotal "evidence" was not protested or challenged enough my Mr. Hockenberry. He almost sounded like a conservative plant by the producers... is this a wing of the Bush version of NPR?

May. 14 2013 02:02 PM
Donna Cappella from Maplewood, NJ

We need a concise FAQ. It's not helpful to hear the prices have increased or went down. For example: What about people who never had insurance? How are they paid for now and how will that change in the future under ACA? I appreciate that there are many books that explain ACA (another income stream like our tax code??) but maybe something short and simple instead of the regular mile high no info view. Emphasize state's rights as well where appropriate.

May. 13 2013 03:44 PM
Ira Manhoff from NYC

In regard to the ACA. I had insurance through my union but it ended last year when they increased the amount of hours you need to work to qualify. My question is that I am working limited hours due to my employer, so I dont have a choice here. So while the union increased the amount of hours you need to get insurance, they are still taking funds that the employer gives for the time I worked but I am no longer getting any benefit from this. I work the hours, I have no health insurance and the union makes off with this uncredited money. Is this legal? It certainly isnt fair and I dont know where to turn for help. Any suggestions?

May. 13 2013 03:27 PM

We're calling it the ACA now? When did that memo
go out? Apparently the terms affordable and
Obamacare are too embarrassing.
Will the IRS still be the enforcer of the ACA?

May. 13 2013 09:14 AM
Ed from Larchmont

There are several books out there written to help the average person negotiate Obamacoverage. The rules and regulations are endless. As pointed out on the news, there are, for example, 7 different codes for being attacked by a turkey - pecked, bit, tripped over, etc. And most of the regulations are at the discretion of this board or the secretary and haven't been decided or written yet.

Also it is a windfall for the abortion industry and the first time that tax payer money will be used to pay for abortions.

May. 13 2013 08:04 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.