On the day the U.S. Supreme Court delivered its historic decision on the Affordable Care Act (ACA), aka Obamacare, I was rounding on my hospital patients: a man on the ventilator with pneumonia who had private insurance, one elderly woman with abdominal pain going for gall bladder surgery on Medicare, and one middle aged obese woman with a skin infection without any health insurance.
On my patients’ TV screens I watched our nation’s reaction to the decision. Some called for “repeal and replace,” while others felt vindicated.
Placing a stethoscope over my patient’s heart, I wondered how the court’s decision will affect us, as patients and doctors, and our health care system, which brings us together and includes the insurance companies and hospitals.
Undoubtedly, our opinions on the ACA are in large part aligned with our political affiliations. However, what if we put politics aside for a moment, and tried to understand the law. Over the past two years, I have referred to the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation website, kff.org, which has simple-to-understand summaries.