The certitudes and uncertainties of health care reform

Ann Intern Med. 2010 May 18;152(10):679-82. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-153-1-201007060-00235. Epub 2010 Apr 8.


The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) of 2010 was signed into law by President Obama on March 23. This legislation has elicited much debate among policy experts and the public alike. No one knows exactly how this new complex law will play out, and objective evaluation of its effects is important. The American College of Physicians hopes that the legislation will advance key priorities on coverage, workforce, and payment and delivery system reform. The goal of the PPACA is to help provide affordable health insurance coverage to most Americans, improve access to primary care, and lower costs. This article discusses what the chances are that it will accomplish these objectives. It also explains many of the key provisions in the legislation and how they will affect both physicians and patients. Despite considerable uncertainty about the effects of this act, when compared with the status quo, it is an extraordinary achievement that will continue to evolve through its implementation.

MeSH terms

  • Health Care Costs*
  • Health Care Reform / economics*
  • Health Care Reform / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Insurance, Health / economics*
  • Medicaid / economics
  • Primary Health Care / economics
  • United States
  • Workforce