NYT Editorial: Dawn of a Revolution in Health Care
The United States is embarking on a truly historic journey toward near-universal health care coverage this week. Starting Tuesday, the federal government will make it possible for millions of uninsured Americans who can’t get health insurance, or can’t afford it, to obtain coverage with the aid of government subsidies. It is a striking example of what government can do to help people in trouble.
The health care reform law, known as the Affordable Care Act, requires the creation in every state of new health insurance exchanges on which people can shop for health plans. Insurers selling plans on exchanges will have to provide a set of “essential benefits” and virtually anyone will be allowed to buy on exchanges (except undocumented immigrants), though few people who are covered by employer health plans or by public programs like Medicare and Medicaid are likely to switch.
For the first time last week, federal officials reported what health insurance will probably cost in the 36 states where the federal government will fully or partly run the exchanges. The prospects are promising. It looks as if most uninsured people, including young people whose participation is crucial, will be able to find very affordable coverage with the help of government subsidies.
…. After decades of debate and bitter political battles, millions of uninsured Americans will soon be able to get health coverage they can afford, a right that has long been universal in other advanced nations.
Full editorial here