The Affordable Care Act will reach two major milestones in the next couple of weeks. March 23 marks four years since the law took effect, and March 31 marks six months since new marketplaces for health insurance opened in all 50 states.
Millions of Americans—many previously uninsured and uninsurable—will have new health plans in place when this year’s enrollment period ends on the 31st. Millions more will remain uninsured—whether by choice or necessity.
And whatever the final enrollment tallies, the debate over health care reform will rage on. The voting public still strongly disapproves of “Obamacare,” even while strongly favoring most of its provisions. Republicans are preparing to run against it in this fall’s midterm elections, and Democrats are running scared.
Meanwhile, ordinary Americans are still coming to terms with the transformation of health care. The system now taking shape is far more inclusive and accessible than the old one, but people’s experience of it varies widely depending on where they live, where they work, how much they earn, and whether they’re full U.S. citizens.
What does the Affordable Care Act mean to you as a consumer, a voter and taxpayer? What aspects of it still concern or confuse you? Next week, as part of msnbc’s countdown to March 31st, national health reporter Geoffrey Cowley will answer your questions. Cowley has spent more than 25 years covering public health and health care—from the Clinton administration’s ill-fated 1992 reform effort through the passage and rollout of Obamacare.
To ask him a question, simply join the MyHealthCare group and type it into this article’s comment section. Our goal is to illuminate the issues, not to fuel partisan rancor, so please ask questions of substance. Responses will appear in this space next week, with links to additional information.